WAIS inspires and reinforces importance of women supporting women
This year’s Women’s Alternative Investment Summit brought together more than 400 women fund managers, advisors and administrators, including female leaders from UMB Fund Services, for a chance to network and engage in discussions with peers about alternative investments.
Each year the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit‡ (WAIS) brings together an influential group of senior level women for a chance to network and engage in discussions with peers about alternative investments. This year, the summit brought together more than 400 women supporting women fund managers, advisors and administrators, including female leaders from UMB Fund Services.
Attendees engaged in roundtable discussions, attended workshops and panel discussions and heard remarks from esteemed keynote speakers such as Heidi Crebo-Rediker, former chief economist, U.S. State Department and Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, on topics ranging from the economy and managing existing portfolios to exit strategies and navigating the relationships between limited partners and general partners in tough times.
“Engaging with hundreds of female executives together in one place really underscored the potential power of female voices in this industry,” said Maureen Quill, chief operating officer at UMB Fund Services. “The level of intelligent, business-focused conversations our team was able to hold with this group of executives is unmatched compared to other industry conferences.”
Why forums like WAIS are critical to women supporting women
Currently only about 19 percent of those working in the alternative investing industry are women, according to a survey by Prequin.‡ Of that 19 percent, most women are working at a junior level. WAIS allows women in the industry to come together in a unique space that facilitates collaboration, widens networks and provides information on industry best practices and trends.
“Participating in the Summit reminded me that we, as an industry, need to do more to encourage women to raise their hands and take on new and challenging projects,” said Camille Clemons, vice president of business development at UMB Fund Services. “Then we, as senior women in this industry, can provide the support needed to execute these projects. Women need to remember to not be afraid of failure; the only way for anyone to grow is to step outside our comfort zones.”
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