Female Leaders Are Boosting Vietnam’s Investment Potential

Vietnam leads the world in women filling senior leadership roles

More women in senior roles helps drive stronger investment returns

Dragon Capital outperforms industry average with women making up 40% of its investment team – improving risk management and offering strong performance

Female Leaders Are Boosting Vietnam’s Investment Potential

Vietnam leads the globe in workplace gender parity, with women holding 39% of senior leadership positions, compared to 28% in Asia-Pacific and 31% globally*. 

Studies have proven that when more women work, economies grow faster** while more women in leadership positions increase overall effectiveness and business growth***.

Dragon Capital, Vietnam’s biggest investor in the stock market after the government, is seeing the impact itself with women making up 40% of its investment team. It currently employs 17 women within its investment team, 10 of whom are senior leaders within the business. This diversity is contributing to better investment decisions, improved risk management, and helps drive performance.

One of these top female leaders, Quynh Le Yen, manages the Vietnam Equity (UCITS) Fund. She has achieved annualised returns of 14.6% and is up 236.1% (USD) since the fund’s inception in September 2013, compared to the Vietnam Index which is up 192.7% over the same period. The Vietnam Equity Fund has generated returns of 46.3% over the last three years, compared to the Vietnam Index which is up 35.1%.

Quynh Le Yen, Director and Portfolio Manager at Dragon Capital said: “Vietnam offers investors many attractive features, but one that is often overlooked is its excellent gender-parity trajectory and the benefits this brings to businesses and economic growth. There is still work to be done, but already the number of women in leadership roles is far higher than the Asian and global averages.”

“At Dragon Capital, we think that gender parity not only improves performance and contributes to longer-term returns, but also leads to better risk management outcomes. We are delighted to have a strong, diverse team including 40% of the investment team being women and, in our opinion, the result is we make better, more informed judgements for the benefit of our investors.”

Gender parity in education has been successfully implemented in Vietnam, where female graduates make up more than half of bachelor’s degrees awarded. Additionally, there is an increase in the number of female entrepreneurs in Vietnam, with over 25% of all local enterprises owned by women and an 2022 female entrepreneurial activity rate of 22.1% being greater than that of men (18.4%)*****.

The Vietnam Index was one of the world’s best performing last year, delivering growth of 39%. S&P Global upgraded Vietnam to one notch below investment grade at the end of May, citing several encouraging factors including Vietnam’s solid economic recovery and growth prospects, significant improvements in the Government’s administrative processes, robust external position and resilient FDI flows. 

Vietnam Enterprise Investment Limited (VEIL.L), a $2.0 billion closed-end fund listed on the main board of London Stock Exchange, is one of the funds managed by Dragon Capital, which has roughly $5.5 billion in total assets under management. Additionally, Dragon Capital oversees two Exchange Traded Funds, including one that is listed as a depositary receipt on the Thailand Stock Exchange, and three actively managed public equities and debt funds including the open-ended UCITs compliant Vietnam Equity (UCITS) Fund.

* Women in business 2021 | Grant Thornton insights

** Pursuing Women’s Economic Empowerment (imf.org)

*** Still looking for room at the top: Ten years of research on women in the workplace | McKinsey

**** As of 31 August 2022

**** Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2022