Stockholm (NordSIP) – Lyxor Asset Management Group, the Société Générale-owned European asset management specialist with €126.2bn in AUM, has launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on companies that promote workplace gender equality.
“Our Gender Equality ETF is the latest addition to our ESG range, which includes Europe’s largest Water ETF and its first Green Bond ETF. This is a critical area of our range, and we will continue to invest here,” remarked Arnaud Llinas, head of Lyxor ETFs & Indexing.
The Lyxor Global Gender Equality (DR) UCITS ETF (ELLE.FP) is the first ETF in Europe with a gender equality lens.
“This ETF marks an important step in our progress towards a complete range of environmental, social and governance based investment products,” said Clarisse Djabbari, deputy head of Lyxor ETFs & Indexing.
The ETF will track an index developed by Equileap, an organisation set up to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace, calculated by index provider Solactive (Frankfurt-based Solactive earlier this year also launched the very first index – licensed to Lyxor AM – allowing investors to capture the performance of investment-grade green bonds).
Equileap maintains a global database, the Equileap Global Gender Equality Leaders Index, which covers over 3,000 companies with a market capitalisation of at least $2bn and an average daily traded turnover of at least $5mn each, across 23 developed market countries. The universe is also determined by an ESG screening and exclusion of companies on the Norwegian Ethics Council list.
The Equileap Gender Scorecard, a 19-criteria methodology developed from the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles of gender balance, equal compensation, work-life balance, policies promoting gender equality, transparency and accountability, is then used to narrow the bracket down to 150 companies.
Equileap also provides an annual global report and ranking of the top 200 gender equality companies, with key findings on gender equality per country and sector.
“Building our database, and ranking over 3,000 companies on 19 criteria, was a first step towards transparency – but you can’t change what you can’t see,” remarked Equileap chief executive Diana van Maasdijk. “Having investment vehicle tied to our indices is a second step, towards change – a tool not only helping responsible investors but also encouraging companies to make a difference.”
According to Equileap itself, this strategy has outperformed the MSCI World Index by 10.7% over the past six years.
Net profits from licensing the index are made to the Equileap Foundation, which makes grants and loans to support projects in developing economies that tackle the root causes of inequality, and help women and girls obtain financial independence and equal treatment.
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