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March 3, 2003

...The Few, the Proud:

Where Are the Hedge-Fund Women?

When female hedge-fund managers start popping up in mainstream literature, the trend must be their friend. What are the underlying fundamentals? Well, perhaps surprisingly, it turns out that quite a few women have joined hedge funds.

Last year's smash-hit novel I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother, was just anecdotal evidence. A sort of Bridget Jones's Diary for mothers, the book is one woman's bittersweet story about juggling work on the homefront and at the offices of a cutthroat City of London hedge-fund shop.

Hedge funds are increasingly the 21st century's hot workplace. However, (as any portfolio manager worth her salt would ask), what are the numbers? Barron's found that about 6% of hedge-fund portfolio managers are women, according to a sampling of 1,300 funds in the Tremont Advisers database. The hedge-fund advisory firm recently started asking money managers for a "Mr/Ms" classification for data collected in 2002.

While the female hedge-fund chief crowd is small, it's grown a fair amount in just under two decades. And Sandra Manzke, co-CEO of Tremont, has kept tabs on it -- because after all, she started it.

Manzke founded Tremont, a Rye, N.Y., hedge-fund advisory firm, in 1984. And she'll be discussing her career as the first woman in the business at a May 7 event sponsored by "100 Women in Hedge Funds," an industry association founded last year. Manzke, 52 -- who began in the investment business in 1969, working at Scudder Stevens & Clark, and then at Bernstein McCauley, and Rogers Casey & Barksdale -- will also discuss potential SEC regulation of hedge funds, and talk about other industry trends.

For more information on the event, visit the industry group's Website (www.100womeninhedgefunds.org).

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