A new initiative from IQ-EQ will support women to launch and grow their first funds. IQ-EQ Launchpad aims to expand inclusivity for the wider asset management industry and foster a self-sustaining network of women in senior leadership roles.
Funds with over 50% women ownership or a woman founder will be eligible to receive preferential service terms, tailored fund administration solutions, capacity building and access to a global network.
The Launchpad suite of services is designed to help women overcome the specific challenges they face launching their first funds, and was prompted by a recognition of the limited opportunities for women in the industry.
As part of this new initiative, IQ-EQ is also committing further resources towards incorporating gender-smart practices into all service delivery. This will be achieved through the collection of data and metrics for the gender-equitable management of performance, and to incentivise behavioural change within the firm and its clients.
Commenting on the initiative, Serge Krancenblum, IQ-EQ's Chairman, said:
“Only 15% of all private equity or venture capital firms are gender-balanced, let alone women-led. Yet research conducted by the IFC shows that gender-diverse fund management teams deliver an incremental 10-20% in net IRR returns compared to their non-gender diverse counterparts.
“As a leading member of the fund ecosystem we believe that we can play an important role in addressing the gender imbalance within the asset management industry. We have leveraged our business model and contacts to put together a comprehensive support package that will help first-time women fund managers to succeed. We are very excited to have already onboarded our first Launchpad client, Atlantica Ventures, an African impact-focused venture capital fund founded by Aniko Szigetvari, which provides early-stage funding and support to startups in Africa.”
Emma Crabtree, Group Chief Commercial Officer at IQ-EQ, also commented:
“This is an exciting and vital step that we are taking. Gender diversity in fund management will achieve not just better outcomes for women, but also for investors and the industry at large. Having recently joined the business it has been so encouraging to see this and other initiatives being organised. I look forward to working with client clients and colleagues on the implementation of Launchpad.”
The project will be overseen and promoted by Serge Krancenblum, Group Executive Chairman and leader of IQ-EQ’s D&I strategy. Justin Partington, Group Head of Funds, will be the project sponsor.