Who runs the world? Women. Or, at least, research indicates that companies with more women in senior management have higher returns on capital, lower volatility and increased innovation.
So it’s a logical bet that these companies will deliver better stockholder returns over time, an investment thesis manifested in the PAX Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund. For many of the firms in the fund, it’s not about empowering women, but recognizing women’s power in the corporate world.
The fund was the recent winner of Wealthmanagement.com’s Outstanding Achievement in Equities award.
The PAX fund is collaboration between Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevate Asset Management, founded with a mandate to advance women in business, and PAX World Management, a long-time leading investment advisor in the socially responsible investing space.
The fund is a unique offer in the SRI world in that it is the first to bring a gender-based lens on corporations, with the aim of both fostering, and benefitting from, businesses that have a significant level of women in leadership positions. It screens for companies with gender diversity in the boardroom and in executive management, among other criteria. It has about $79 million in assets and as of Sept. 30, an annualized three-year return of slightly over 9 percent for the institutional class of shares.
The goal here is not the raw pursuit of alpha—it’s an incremental, but much needed, step toward recognizing and, through the fund, institutionalizing the merits and benefits of gender equality at the highest ranks of business.
“Gender equality is one of the greatest human rights issues of our time, and advancing women’s leadership in business is a top priority for Pax Ellevate,” says Kathleen McQuiggan, managing director of Pax Ellevate Management.