Female Alternative Investment Managers Predict More Fund Launches

December 6, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly 70% of the women surveyed for Rothstein Kass’ "Women in Alternative Investments – Industry Outlook and Trends" expect the next 18 months to be more difficult than the preceding period.

In spite of this, slightly over 60% of survey respondents anticipate an increase in new fund launches over the same period. Although most respondents believe fund launches will increase in the next 18 months, respondents were divided as to whether more women would participate in these launches. Yet more than half of survey respondents are planning to introduce a new fund themselves in the next 18 months.  

Over 70% of respondents plan to raise capital in the next 18 months.  

Survey respondents see family offices (52%), pension funds (52%), high-net worth individuals (50%), foundations (41%) and endowments (35%) as most likely sources of new capital. Sovereign wealth funds (25%) and “other foreign sources of capital” (18%) were also viewed as significant sources of capital.  

In an uncertain economic climate, over 65% of women surveyed are confident there will be attractive investment opportunities in the next 18 months. A majority of respondents expect terms for new capital to be less favorable to fund managers in the next 18 months.

Impact of Gender on Alternative Investment Business  

Most survey respondents believe it is more difficult for women-run funds to attract capital. Slightly more than 40% of respondents believe capital-raising is more difficult for women-run funds because women often lack the investment track record their male peers have. About a third of respondents believe women's capital-raising efforts are hindered by the stereotype that women are more committed to family and personal responsibilities than their career. Slightly over 30% believe it is harder for women to raise capital because they have less access to investor networks.  

To help facilitate women's advancement in the industry, respondents noted women need greater access to roles which enable them to establish an investment track record, more women need to be recruited into the industry, and institutional investors should consider women's representation in investment roles when making allocations.  

The report also identifies the factors most critical to respondents' success in the industry. The most important factors are having a strong professional network, having strong mentoring relationships, willingness to take risks, strategic career planning and strong support networks.  

The research features the investment and operational insights gained through a third quarter survey of 189 executive-level women investing capital through hedge funds, private equity funds or venture capital funds.