A report released Thursday by KPMG found that women-owned or -managed alternative investment funds find capital raising more challenging than their male counterparts, even though they continually outperform the industry.
Moreover, 72% of investors in the study said the biggest barrier to investing in funds owned or managed by women was the lack of supply of such funds.
“This year’s report demonstrates that many industry professionals believe women-led funds lack investor access and visibility despite better performance than the industry,” said KPMG Audit partner Kelly Easterling, a co-author of the report, in a statement.
“But women are not asking for special treatment; they want to be held to the same standards as their peers, whether male or female.”
KPMG conducted an online poll in March and April with 328 female respondents, including fund managers and other professionals, investors and service providers in the alternative investment sector.
The report also includes a new index created by Hedge Fund Research. The HFRI Women Index tracks women-owned and -managed funds and firms and how they perform against the overall hedge fund industry.
From January 2007 through June 2015, the annualized returns of this index were 5.6%, compared with 3.8% for the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index and minus 0.4% for the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index.
In addition, the report said diverse private equity funds — firms where 50% or more of owners or investment professionals were ethnic minorities or women — frequently exceeded the returns of the broader private equity market.
The survey examined the effect that mandates might have on women-owned and -managed funds.
It found that one-third of investor respondents had an emerging manager program or fund and 7% of investors had mandates specifically for women-owned or managed funds.