The pandemic was the catalyst for 100 Women in Finance’s first truly global capital introduction event to connect female fund managers to institutional allocators.
As live events shut down around the world, the group launched Global FundWomen Week and quickly attracted about 200 female fund managers and almost 400 institutional allocators from around the world.
The group had been hosting smaller, regional capital introduction events since 2014. Now the second annual global event — to be held September 20 through October 1 — has 300 fund managers signed up, with more than 260 people from allocator organizations registered to attend.
“This year, we’re zooming in on chief risk takers — the women who put on trades in public and private markets, alternatives, long only, across the liquidity spectrum, and across asset classes,” said Ulrika Robertsson, global committee chair of the event and co-founder of Impactus Partners, a 100 percent female-owned placement agency and private investment office. “The objective is to elevate the visibility of female fund managers, enable connections with institutional investors, and encourage increased capital allocations.”
Allyson Johnson, who is co-leading the effort and will be taking over as global chair, said it’s important that the conference is offered at no charge. Johnson does investor relations and fundraising at Gateway Partners, an emerging markets investment manager based in Dubai and Singapore that connects private capital to potential investment opportunities.
“You find lots of conference providers where LPs always get free access because you want to encourage and make it very easy for them and GPs are typically the ones who pay their way,” she said. “To me, it’s so special that 100 Women can do this for free for both sides. It’s a huge barrier to entry for emerging small pre-launch managers.”
Global FundWomen Week is organized and led by volunteers. “The only ask of allocator participants is to pledge a minimum of two one-on-one meetings with managers,” Johnson said. “For managers, the only ask is to populate their fund’s profile on the platform to make the search process easier on both sides.”
The conference focuses on three areas. The primary focus is capital introductions, or one-on-one meetings between managers and allocators. Johnson said the event also offers off-the-record coffee chats — live, small-group sessions initiated and hosted by any participant.
“Coffee chat is a great way to have a participant, whether an allocator or manager, moderate a conversation on a topic,” she said, pointing to how to approach sovereign wealth funds as one potential topic.
The third focus for the event is thought leadership. These will include panels and fireside chats featuring allocators and investment consultants, and will be available on demand after the event.
“It’s important to feature leading voices in the industry,” Johnson said. “We’re hopefully getting a diverse array of voices [and addressing] how are these investors looking at the world and opportunity set.”