Katherine Allchin, one of the founders of the $20 billion quant shop Vinva Investment Management, has picked up a second non-executive director (NED) role – at property fund management specialist Fortius Funds Management. Jobs for women on boards are very competitive, too, she says.
Allchin, a long-standing marketer at the former Barclays Global Investors, who joined the group who left to set up Vinva after the takeover by BlackRock in 2010, also recently joined the board of ethical specialist UCA Funds Management.
UCA has a policy of having at least 30 per cent female board representation, which it achieved with Allchin’s appointment in October.
She says that she is sometimes asked about positions for women on super industry boards, and whether it is easier for women because of supply and demand. She said last week that, while there was an awareness of the importance of gender diversity, usually meaning that more women should be appointed, competition was still “quite stiff”.
“It seems there are 20,000-odd women out there who are qualified for the various roles,” she joked.
AIST has a policy target for its membership of big not-for-profit funds to reach 30 per cent female directors within the next couple of years.
AMP Capital last week published a paper on gender diversity called: “The Real Reason We Are Still Talking About It”. (See separate report this edition).
Allchin said that she had not had a discussion about gender diversity on the board of the privately owned Fortius as yet.
Meanwhile, she said, she remained committed to Vinva, having worked with many of the key staff, including founding managing director Morry Waked, for more than 20 years. She is also a shareholder.
Vinva is arguably the most successful funds management launch in Australia in the past decade. Almost all of its strategies are “soft closed”, opening for short periods from time to time depending on fund flows and market growth.
She said she wanted to see how her workload went before deciding whether to pursue any further NED roles.