Investment management isn't exactly saturated with women. In fact, the proportion of female fund managers remains around 12%.

So, with the arrival of International Women’s Day we thought we would celebrate by showcasing three funds with Morningstar Analyst Ratings that are among our top picks.

The common thread? Powerful women are key decision-makers for these investment strategies.

Katie Hudson manages UBS Australian Small Companies, Elizabeth Kumaru runs the private corporate assets division at Australian Retirement Trust, and Laura Ryan is the head of research at Ardea Investment Management.

Let's take a closer look.

UBS Australian Small Companies Fund

Gold-rated UBS Australian Small Companies employs a fundamentally bottom-up-based approach to Australian small-cap investing.

Stock-picking is a crucial element, which is highly dependent on Hudson's investment decisions and ability to leverage the research team's insights.

Hudson has more than 25 years' experience in investment markets and is focused on the small- and mid-cap universe. This focus has translated into an enviable track record over time.

For investors looking for exposure to Australian small companies, we think this strategy is worthy of attention.

Australian Retirement Trust

Bronze-rated Australian Retirement Trust is the product of the Sunsuper and QSuper merger, and it now manages over $200 billion in retirement savings for more than 2 million members, making it one of the largest superannuation funds in Australia.

ART offers a number of options for members, and Morningstar assesses its diversified, multisector strategies. These options should be the beneficiaries of a structural bias to private assets.

Kumaru is responsible for managing the strategy and the implementation of the private equity, private credit and alternative strategy asset classes.

For investors looking for a diversified superannuation offering, ART is a top pick for us.

Ardea Real Outcome

Bronze-rated Ardea Real Outcome aims to deliver investors a stable return in excess of inflation over the medium term.

It primarily invests in fixed-income markets, including high-quality government and semigovernment bonds and related derivatives. The portfolio generally contains 300-400 modestly sized individual positions.

Ryan is head of research, and her team is responsible for developing value-added trade recommendations to drive portfolio performance and improve client outcomes.

The strategy has delivered on its return and risk objectives since inception, and with a competitive fee, Morningstar believes it has the right attributes to be an effective diversifier in investor portfolios.

Panel session with all three women

Hudson, Kumaru, and Ryan joined us for a panel session at Morningstar on 7 March 2023 to celebrate International Women's Day, where they shared what inspired them to become investment managers and provided personal investment insights to help navigate investment markets.