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Swinson urges Highland schoolgirls to take part in national competition

27th September 2019

First competition of its kind in Scotland, open to all 16-18-year-old girls in the Highlands.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson addressed hundreds of schoolgirls at competition launch .

A nationwide competition - the first of its kind in Scotland - was launched on Tuesday by Jo Swinson in a bid to introduce girls to asset management and widen access for future generations of women into the sector.

The Growing Future Assets competition was launched by charity Future Asset with the support of the leader of the Liberal Democrats at its biennial conference at the University of Strathclyde.

Over 300 schoolgirls attended the free event from across Scotland. This included girls from Highland-based schools such as Fortrose Academy and Alness Academy.

Future Asset works to encourage high school girls in Scotland to consider careers in investment and finance. The charity was set up to help schoolgirls consider their career options, taking their skills and interests into account as well as subject choices.

The Growing Future Assets competition is open to all 16-18-year-old girls in Scotland and will see teams of five girls pitch a variety of established businesses to a team of investors, assessing their business models, practices, sustainability and opportunities for growth.

During the six-month competition organisers and professionals from the asset management sector, including Bailie Gifford, Investec, Stewart Investors, Artemis and Cornelian, will work in partnership with teachers and pupils throughout the competition.

Addressing over 300 girls at the launch of the national competition, Jo Swinson CBE, said that young women need to move away from ‘group think' and realise that they can each make a difference in the world.

She said:"As a society, we are still working towards gender equality. The next generation will have a huge role to play in stamping out inequality in all areas of society – including in business.



"The challenge doesn't fall solely at the feet of women and girls, though. Every single one of us has a role to play, and events like this one are an important part of the fight."

Susan Anderson, Chair of the Future Asset Steering Group, said: “Not every girl attending the conference or taking part in the competition will pursue a career in asset management, but our job is to ensure that they make that decision based on facts and their own abilities rather than misconceptions of what the job entails or requires of them.

“We want to give every schoolgirl in Scotland the chance to explore a career in asset management regardless of who they are or where they live and that’s why, with the support of our sponsors, we pay for travel and expenses for anyone travelling further than 20 miles. It’s just one part of our commitment to reduce inequality in the field of asset management."

Throughout the competition participants will be paired with Investment Mentors who currently work in the industry, who, alongside teachers, will support and motivate the girls throughout the competition.

The winner of the Growing Future Asset competition will be announced in June 2020 and awarded with a cash prize for their school.

Follow the event on Twitter using #IAmAnAsset

To find out more or to enter, please visit www.futureasset.org.uk

The competition opened on 24th September 2019 and applications close on 20th December 2019.

The first stage of the competition invites participants to create written pitches and a short elevator pitch video. A group of finalists will then be selected to deliver an extended pitch presentation to a group of senior investment professionals from firms including Bailie Gifford and Investec. The finalists will be announced in January 2020, with final pitches taking place in March 2020. The winner will be announced in June 2020.

Sponsors of the Future Asset conference include:

· Artemis Fund Managers Ltd

· Baillie Gifford

· Cornelian Asset Managers

· Kennox Asset Management

· Stewart Investors

· But there are lots of others who provide practical support and speakers on the day:

· Aberdeen Standard Investments

· Brewin Dolphin

· Cameron Hume

· Close Brothers AM

· Dickson Minto

· Dundas Global Investors

· Investec Wealth and Investment

· Kames Capital

· Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd

· Mcinroy & Wood

· Quilter Cheviot Investment Management

· Ruffer LLP

· Santander Asset Management

· Smith & Williamson Investment Management LLP

· Walter Scott & Partners Ltd

Expenses will be paid for teachers and students travelling over 20 miles to attend the Future Asset conference on 24th September 2019. Transport costs will be covered by conference organisers for those travelling 20 miles or more. Transport and accommodation will be covered for those travelling 70 miles or more.

Future Asset is a charity set up with the goal of enabling girls in the senior phase of high school to learn how investment can change the world for the better, gain valuable, transferable skills and consider the benefits of possible future careers. The Future Asset steering group comprises largely female professionals who are actively engaged in the Scottish financial sector, working mainly in the investment management area. Drawn from a number of different firms in the industry, members are united in their determination to increase diversity in its recruitment practices. Future Asset is a trading name Future Asset as a subsidiary of Didasko Education, which is a registered charity (SC040205). https://www.futureasset.org.uk/

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