Three top-performing female portfolio managers in Asia

Morningstar research showcases three women managers who are not only excelling within the ranks but also setting new trends.
Three top-performing female portfolio managers in Asia

The asset management industry is slowly but surely throwing more examples of accomplished women who are redefining what it means to be a leader in the asset management industry.

Research by Morningstar has identified three top women performers in the field—Louisa Lo, deputy head of Asia ex-Japan equity and head of Greater China equity investments at Schroders; Pauline Ng, head of ASEAN at JP Morgan Asset Management; and Sophia Li, portfolio manager at FSSA Investment Managers—each displaying exceptional shrewdness and foresight in their roles.

Germaine Share

The pattern of success outlined by these women in fund management is indicative of a broader trend and highlights strategic execution that creates consistent outperformance, according to Germaine Share, director of Asia manager research at Morningstar.

"In our research, we have found that the strategies led by these capable women have consistently outperformed, delivering outstanding long-term results that surpass both the market benchmarks and their peers,” Share told AsianInvestor.


Discussing the distinct investment methodologies of these leading managers, Share said there are nuanced strategies that set these women apart from their counterparts.

Louisa Lo

"Louisa Lo of Schroders is unwavering in her commitment to a quality growth process, focusing on investments where the return on invested capital is significant," she said.

Sophia Li's investment strategy at FSSA Investment Managers is also highlighted for its precision and forward-thinking approach.

"Sophia Li has an exceptional talent for identifying smaller, promising companies and rigorously vetting them to meet her high standards of quality."

The narrative is not complete without the mention of Pauline Ng's adept leadership in navigating the nuanced ASEAN markets, said Share.

"Pauline Ng has distinguished herself with a deep investment experience in the region. Her strategy involves classifying stocks into categories that reflect the nuances of the local markets and leveraging her team's expertise to identify long-term compounders and tactical opportunities."

These women's investment strategies are not just about following trends; they are about setting them.

Sophia Li
FSSA Investment Managers

"Pauline Ng's approach with JP Morgan ASEAN illustrates how a deep understanding of regional dynamics, combined with a quality-growth-focused investment approach, can unlock value in lesser-known names and sectors, contributing to the strategy's overall outperformance."

The foresight of these female fund managers in crafting their investment strategies displays their innovative mindset and ability to adapt to unstable market conditions.


Great long-term performance, however, does not mean their strategies are immune to stylistic headwinds or the occasional mistakes.

In 2023, all three portfolio managers faced the challenges of a volatile market place.

Lo's strategy was impacted by a market favouring value over growth and missed opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI) stocks.

Ng's approach also fell out of favour, and her decisions in Singapore, especially an underweight position in Singapore Airlines, hindered performance.

Meanwhile, Li dealt with similar value headwinds, and one of her medical equipment stock picks encountered US regulatory issues, but she maintained her portfolio positions.

Despite these hiccups, Share points out that periods of underperformance are not necessarily indicative of a trend but are rather opportunities for growth and strategy refinement.

The managers' long-term records remain strong, reflected in their high ratings within the Morningstar Medalist Rating framework.

"Such instances are not setbacks but rather pivotal moments for learning and strategy enhancement,” said Share.


The advantage of having a diverse range of perspectives in fund management teams is a point on which Morningstar’s research is unequivocal.

"Diversity within a team allows for a multi-faceted evaluation of investee companies, which can only enhance decision-making and lead to superior investment results," said Share.

There are well documented tangible benefits that a balanced team can bring to investment outcomes, she said.

"Gender, cultural, and educational diversity within a team presents a distinct competitive advantage. Many of the teams we favour for their strong performance also demonstrate a commendable balance in gender diversity."

Share is optimistic about the evolving landscape of gender diversity within the asset management industry in Asia.

Pauline Ng
JP Morgan Asset Management

"The asset management industry is making strides in gender diversity, with an increasing number of women taking on analytical roles that often lead to portfolio management positions."

The research highlights a positive trajectory for women in finance, with increased attention on nurturing talent playing a crucial role.

"These developments are positive indicators of a future where more women will ascend to portfolio management roles, further enriching the industry with their unique perspectives and expertise," said Share.



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