Gender Smart | October 30, 2018

Total assets in public and private gender-lens products double to $4.65 billion

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Capital continues to move into investment vehicles betting on women.

Nearly three dozen publicly traded gender-lens securities now hold $2.4 billion in investor capital, up 85% over last year, according to Veris Wealth Partners’ report on public gender-lens investment products.

Along with $2.25 billion in assets under management of private gender-lens funds (see, “More than two dozen new private gender-lens funds launched in 2018), total gender-lens investing assets stand at $4.65 billion, up from $2.2 billion a year ago.

“The growth of gender lens investing is one of the most positive developments in a year overshadowed by the gender pay gap, lack of women on boards and sexual harassment scandals,” said Veris CEO Patricia Farrar-Rivas.

  • Institutional support. Pension fund investments into public gender-lens products have boosted growth. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, for example, seeded RBC Global Asset Management’s RBC Vision Women’s Leadership ETF with $100 million in January. CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) earlier seeded State Street’s “SHE” ETF with $250 million.
  • Across asset classes. The set of public gender-lens vehicles includes 14 separately managed accounts, nine exchange traded funds, seven mutual funds, three gender equality bond issues, one exchange traded note, and one certificate of deposit (see, “Investment vehicles that benefit women are proliferating across asset classes). Since January 2017, 16 new public gender-lens strategies have launched.
  • Resolution success. Since 2015, Pax World has filed or co-filed 14 shareholder resolutions on pay equity. Twelve companies have enhanced their pay equity disclosure, including Apple, eBay and Amazon, says the firm. In March, for example, Pax withdrew resolutions following commitments from Discover, HP and KeyCorp to close their gender pay gaps. (Oracle is an outlier, Pax World says.)
  • Reminder: Join ImpactAlpha and other Agents of Impact at the Gender Smart Investing Summit this Thursday and Friday in London.