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Top female portfolio managers in Asia

Morningstar highlights five leading fund managers in the region.
Group of people are working together in a modern working space in Tokyo.

Women are generally underrepresented in the portfolio management industry, according to Morningstar, and sole female managers and all-female teams are still difficult to come across.

For funds that are for sale in Hong Kong and or Singapore, women account for less than one-fifth of the whole universe, that is 16% of equity and 17% of fixed income management teams, versus 57% and 66% for all-male teams, respectively.

Despite being outnumbered by the opposite sex, many female portfolio managers’ portfolios yield outstanding results and earn high ratings from agencies, said Morningstar. Here are five examples:

Joanna Kwok, JP Morgan Asset Management

Since Kwok took over the lead manager role of the JP Morgan Asian Smaller Companies in April 2013, through the end of 2021, the USD share class registered an annualised gain of 11.80%, which beats the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Small Index by 564 basis points, according to Morningstar.

Kwok’s strategy ranked in the top percentile within the Asia ex Japan small/mid-cap equity Morningstar Category, and the manager recently earned an upward revision in the Morningstar People Pillar rating to high from above average of this strategy.

“We have built greater conviction in Kwok over the years as she has consistently impressed us with her expertise and has delivered outstanding long-term results on this strategy. Kwok has consistently demonstrated deep expertise in Asian small-caps and a passion for investing during our meetings,” notes Samuel Lo, manager research analyst at Morningstar.

Louisa Lo, Schroders

Currently, Schroders’ head of greater China equities, Lo has 28 years of Asian equity investment experience, 25 of which are with the firm.

She has $16.6bn in AUM, mostly invested in Greater China and emerging Asia mandates as of the end of September 2021.

She oversees four funds that are available to Hong Kong investors: Schroder ISF Emerging Asia, Schroder ISF China Opps, Schroder ISF Greater China, and Schroder ISF Taiwanese Equity. All four funds warrant a High People Pillar rating by Morningstar.

“Lo has consistently impressed us with her in-depth Greater China market knowledge and clearly articulated investment cases,” notes Germaine Share, director of manager research at Morningstar.

Pauline Ng, JP Morgan Asset Management

Ng has two decades of investment experience, most of which have been in Asean equities.

Between October 2010 and December 2021, the A USD share class of the JPM Asean fund returned 4.7% annualised, outpacing the category benchmark MSCI AC Asean Index by 259 basis points.

“Pauline Ng has delivered impressive benchmark- and peer-relative returns since she took the lead of this ASEAN strategy. Joined by three co-managers, Ng also places great emphasis on teamwork, which is well reflected in the strategy’s collective decision-making,” said Morningstar.

Anh Lu, T. Rowe Price

With 26 years of experience in the investment industry, Lu has managed the T. Rowe Price Asia Ex-Japan Equity since June 2009 and delivered strong long-term returns since then.

Through December 2021, the strategy’s A share class gained an annualised return of 8.8%, outpacing the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index’s 8.2% gain.

“We think Lu is a capable manager, having demonstrated solid investment insights and exhibiting introspection during our meetings. The strategy continues to merit an Above Average People rating,” notes Claire Liang, senior analyst at Morningstar.

Jing Ning, Fidelity

Since 2013, Ning has been managing the Fidelity China Focus fund, with the investment philosophy of primarily digging into stocks have been disregarded by the market, but have the potential to turn around.

“Ning is a capable manager who has consistently impressed us with her well-thought-out investment theses and a strong commitment to her value discipline over the years,” Morningstar’s Liang says. Together with Alice Li, the co-manager on this strategy from August last year, the two of them run a total AUM of

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