Women may only account for a fraction of U.S. mutual fund managers, but they have delivered returns similar to funds that lack women managers, according to the Goldman Sachs’ report “2020 U.S. Equity Outlook: United We Fall, Divided We Wise.”
As the paper notes, “While women have voted for a century, their progress in the labor force has been uneven.” The Goldman analysis found that 40% of all employees at U.S.-headquartered S&P 500 companies were women, but “they account for only 5% of CEOs and 21% of directors.”
Drilling down into the mutual fund industry, the skew is similar. Of the 528 large-cap mutual funds analyzed by Goldman, only 15, or 3%, have all-female fund manager teams and collectively have 1% of total assets. In comparison, 409 teams — or 77% — have all-male teams and control 64% of assets.
With this in mind, Goldman analyzed how the large-cap mutual funds with women making up at least a third of the portfolio management team performed vs. overall funds.
The firm found that only 73, or 14%, of the 528 large-cap U.S. mutual funds with are “female managed.” Further, of the $2.5 trillion of AUM, female managed funds have only 18% of AUM, or $196 billion.
However, during the past three years, “female managed funds have delivered similar hit rates of outperformance and risk-adjusted returns compared with all other large-cap mutual funds,” the report said.
In fact, since the beginning of 2017, “an average of 39% of female-managed funds has outperformed its benchmark annually compared with 41% for all other funds.” In addition, return volatility (12) and Sharpe ratios (2.0) have been “almost identical” across all teams no matter what the makeup.