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Women in the alternatives industry bring unique blend of skills to boardrooms, study finds

March 26, 2012

A study into the skills and aspirations of 100 senior women in the alternatives industry found a high degree of appetite and suitability among respondents for corporate board appointments.

The global study, the first of its kind, was undertaken by Odgers Berndtson, the executive search firm, in conjunction with the senior membership of 100 Women in Hedge Funds (100WHF, the global, practitioner-driven non-profit organization serving over 10,000 alternative investment management investors and professionals).

The study revealed a strong appetite by women in alternatives to take on corporate board roles – 85% of those interviewed thought they would be ready for a board role within 5 years and 58% within two years. Importantly, the research found the distinct and diverse skill set needed by women to succeed in alternatives mirrors many of those needed for corporate boards. These include a high degree of financial literacy, an understanding of how to raise funding, excellent risk assessment and corporate due diligence abilities, significant corporate governance awareness, experience dealing with a range of stakeholders including institutional and sovereign investors, a culture that emphasises exceptional performance, rigour and accountability and a naturally independent, ‘alternative’ perspective.

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