GAIN (Girls are INvestors), a UK charity dedicated to improving gender balance in the investment management industry, is launching a programme of initiatives in Sweden.

The expansion to Sweden marks the first establishment of GAIN outside of the UK, and an initial roll-out of its well-proven methods to strengthen the entry-level pipeline of female & non-binary candidates into the investment management industry through its programmes, resources and networking opportunities for students.

Founded in 2019, to date GAIN has reached over 50,000 students across the UK through its initiatives, and is supported by a network of more than 1800+ registered industry volunteers as well as 55+ sponsoring firms.

In partnership with leading private equity firm Altor Equity Partners, GAIN is actively exploring collaborations with Swedish industry professionals and is set to roll out its programmes from autumn 2024.

In the UK, women represent just 12% of decision makers in investment management . At entry level, it’s not much better - only c.20% of applicants to the industry are women.

Supported by a network of more than 1,800 registered industry volunteers and 55+ sponsor firms, GAIN has to date directly reached over 50,000 students across the UK through their free events, programmes & online resources. In less than 5 years, GAIN has emerged as the largest and most impactful initiative to expand and nurture the early-stage pipeline of female entry-level candidates into the investment sector in the UK.

The charity offers a range of initiatives, from its annual Investment Challenge (for students aged 15 to 18 in England & Wales), the GAIN Investment Insight Programme (for first year undergraduates) and flagship GAIN Empower Investment Internship Programme, which by the end of 2024 will have placed 384 students on investment management internship placements (in 2023 GAIN reported a 63% intern conversion rate) . GAIN also offers free online panel events, school talks, workshops, a podcast, jobs board and a bursary scheme.

GAIN Sweden aims to educate and inspire the next generation of Swedish female & non-binary investment professionals through the launch of the same initiatives that have generated significant impact in the UK. Sweden benefits from a highly educated student population and a well-established and flourishing investment and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

However, despite often being referenced as one of the most egalitarian countries globally, a 2023 report found that 17% of funds in Sweden are run by female portfolio managers - which although higher than the UK’s 12%, is still far from representative of gender equality in the industry.

GAIN’s first investment partner in Sweden is the leading private equity firm Altor Equity Partners, who are providing crucial initial support to facilitate GAIN’s entry into the Swedish market. It is actively exploring collaborations with other industry professionals and investment firms who share GAIN’s vision and welcomes interested parties to get in touch.

The official launch of GAIN Sweden is scheduled for the second half of 2024. GAIN Sweden will operate as a separate entity, managed locally. The GAIN UK team will continue its focus on the UK market, ensuring that both territories thrive independently.

GAIN UK CEO Tanya Tracey said: "Stepping into Sweden marks a significant milestone for GAIN, reflecting on the remarkable impact we have had in the UK. With the invaluable support of our corporate supporters and industry volunteers, we've directly enriched the careers of more than 50,000 students in the UK through our programs and events.

"As GAIN grows internationally, we're inspired by our achievements in the UK and optimistic about replicating this success in Sweden - ensuring that our initiatives continue to improve gender diversity in investment management and empower female and non-binary students to join this exciting industry worldwide. GAIN is open to opportunities for expansion in markets where our programs and network can be impactful. We are grateful to our sponsoring firms in the UK, to our new backers in Sweden, and would welcome opportunities to partner with more firms.”

GAIN UK Co-founder & GAIN Sweden Trustee Board chair Caroline Hultman said: “The low female representation among decision makers in the investment industry has a significant and long-lasting effect on society. GAIN’s programmes in the UK aimed at making female investor role models more accessible and providing educational content and real-life work opportunities have shown significant impact already; a staggering 63% of GAIN’s 2023 interns were offered full-time employment in the industry!

"Sweden’s investment industry is in desperate need for an initiative like this. Despite often being referenced as a highly egalitarian society, the Swedish investment industry lags behind many other European countries in terms of diversity among investment teams and funding to diverse founding teams. I am hugely hopeful for the change that GAIN will bring to the Swedish investment industry and urge everyone who shares our vision and mission to get on board!"

Linnéa Ekroth, senior associate at Altor Equity Partners said: “When we met with GAIN we were impressed by their ambitions, methods and track record in the UK. We are proud to be backing their expansion and look forward to the effect their programs and initiatives will have on students in Sweden. GAIN is addressing an issue that is affecting the whole investment community and the lack of diversity is a missed opportunity of highly needed talent.

"We see that their programs fill a gap where very few initiatives are active today. Our aim is that the students they reach, educate and inspire become our peers, colleagues and partners in the future.”