Manuela Cedarmas, senior portfolio manager, fund selector, and head of Emerging Strategies and Markets at the Italian fund house Tages Capital, speaks to Eugenia Jiménez about diversity in the asset management industry, where she sees some progress made but still battles ahead.
Manuela Cedarmas has been working in the financial industry for almost two decades. She currently works at Milan-based manager Tages Capital, where she joined in 2013 and carries out tasks related both to fund selection and fund management.
Her valuable and broad professional experience gained at companies like Duemme SGR, Unifortune SGR, Citibank Milan or the Italian stock exchange, has been recently recognised by her peers through the double nomination she has received for the Women In Investment Awards Italy 2019, hosted by InvestmentEurope and set to take place on the 2nd of October in Milan.
Cedarmas has been shortlisted in the Analyst of the Year and Fund Selector of the Year categories of these Awards, whose aim is to recognise the achievements of women working for the Italian financial sector but also some of the specific challenges faced by women in returning to the workforce, and those seeking to provide mentorship to others.
Although Cedarmas sees gender diversity as the most immediate - and statistically important -form of diversity to address, she believes that the focus on ESG by institutional and professional investors spans across all strands of diversity.
Do you feel the fund management industry is under pressure to achieve diversity objectives more quickly than it has thus far, and if so, is there a risk of additional regulations in this area?
Yes, we believe that in the last few years institutional investors have been more and more effective in driving the progress on a variety of ESG issues, including diversity. It is difficult though to assess whether this will lead to additional regulations for diversity and furthermore there has been a wide debate on the effectiveness of gender diversity regulation applied in some countries (e.g. Italy) for women representation on corporate boards. We believe that global professional organizations could be instrumental in setting good professional practices around diversity.