Name That Fund Manager

For the past few years, Morningstar have been marking International Women’s Day by looking at how many fund managers in the UK are female and how that compares with funds run by men named ‘Dave’.

Why Dave?

It was a sad fact that some years ago, it was noticed that the number of male FTSE 100 CEOs named Dave/David outnumbered the total number of female FTSE 100 CEOs, which at the time was just six. I think that number has increased to 8 now, so Daves still outnumber the women CEOs.

Anyway, the good news is that there are now more women fund managers than fund managers called Dave:

  • 184 female fund managers are running 329 funds between them (some run more than one mandate) – 17.8% of all UK funds.
  • 59 fund managers with the name Dave or David ran 133 funds – 7.2% of all UK funds.

So great news that some progress has been made, but there’s still much more work to be done, to increase that 17.8%.

Anyway, what also interested me about the article was the most common names of fund managers:

Apart from James and Richard, that list of most common male fund manager names could have been taken from my school register!

Not that I’m saying that any of the boys I went to school with went on to become fund managers (fact – none of them) but the first names shared with the boys who were in my class is uncanny!

What this tells me is that these guys are probably of similar age group to me, Gen X, all with probably what you would now call ‘old-fashioned’ names.

Do you get babies getting called these names any more? I think I know of a recent baby James but that’s about it.

It’s a different story however when I look at the names of the women fund managers.

Only 2 of those share names with girls I went to school with (Amanda and Helen), with many having names I would have considered belonging only to the ‘posh girls’ who went to the all girls school.

So, posh girls who had better education/opportunities going on to run funds? Perhaps not implausible (I’m clutching at straws here of course!).

Most common girls’ names when I was at school were Lisa, Michelle, Sharon, Tracey/Tracy, Amanda and Helen (there were at least 2 or 3 of each in my school year).

Current Bunch

The company I work for has a young workforce (I’m one of the few oldies), the majority in between their early 20s and early 30s.

But even without knowing their ages, their names show that they are of a different generation.

Most common male names in the office? Jordan (3 of them), Jack (2) and Liam (2).

Most common female names? Lauren (3), Chloe (2) and Holly (2)

It will be interesting to see how the names on that fund managers list will change over the next 10-20 years, to see if more modern names creep in (in large numbers) and what name finally pushes Dave from the top spot!

16 thoughts on “Name That Fund Manager

  1. There’s actually a good freakonomics article about baby names you would enjoy. (It’s in one of their books I dunno if you can get the article separately). Boys names have a very slow turnover, it takes decades for the top ten boys names to change to ten new ones. But girls names have much faster turnover and move quickly down through social classes. Whatever names posh people call their baby girls, 5 years later middle class people will call their baby girls and 5 years after that working class people will call their baby girls. So it may not be that you are seeing middle class genx boys and upper class gen x girls, it may just be that you are seeing both gen x and millennials men and women.

    • Hi Kirsty

      That’s very interesting! I have read one of the Freakonomics books so I might see which other book(s) I have missed – thanks!

  2. We thought long and hard about our kids names before we had them – we wanted something that you set them apart, signal their superior nature and establish is as sophisticated elites.
    Anyway, Jxyn and Vajazza always turn heads when we scream at them in public.

  3. I’ve looked to invest in diverse managements long before it became fashionable however i have noticed the publishing industry is dominated by female executives and the industry is now dominated by cancel culture.Recommend read articles by Lionel Schriver on it.Millennial females are getting a totalitarian reputation.Be interesting to know how many of your young workforce have any idea what ‘free speech’ means or what happened in the ‘Chinese Cultural Revolution’?
    My daughters forename is called Paris as naming a child after having had a beautiful time in a beautiful city seemed a good idea.

    • Hi Simon

      That is unfortunate with the publishing industry but we shouldn’t be tarring all female CEOs with the same brush. Certainly from my own experience of working for women CEOs (including current CEO of where I work), I haven’t seen this totalitarian reputation you mention.

      Am always open to reading different opinions so will look up on Lional Schriver, thanks.

  4. Hey weenie,

    That’s interesting how those names are indeed becoming more linked to a generation although people are definitely still named those, they are not quite as rare yet as naming a baby Clive, Alfred, Ethel, Ernest, Gerald etc hehe.


  5. Love it – really made me laugh this one – even though it’s not exactly funny at it’s heart.

    Mostly because ‘Michelle’ was on your common list – yup, I defn did not go to a ‘posh’ school. And because I found myself nodding in agreement the further I read – we’re defn in the same age era ….

    Cheers Weenie. Trust all goes well otherwise.

  6. Interesting read Weenie.

    I am a Gen X and I went to a girls grammar school. (I am not posh, just passed the 12+ exam) I was surrounded by girls called Kate, Sarah, Helen and Lisa.
    None of them went into finance or running funds but did go into science and tech. One became a CEO of a large UK charity though.

    At my last work place, common male names were Simon and James and the common female names there were Helen, Lauren, and Chloe.

    • Hi Sparklebee

      Interesting on the number of Lauren’s and Chloe’s currently in the office workforce – all in their 20s/early 30s!

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