UBS has partnered with consultancy Equileap to launch a gender equality exchange traded fund (ETF).
The fund uses Equileap’s Global Gender Equality 100 Leaders index which tracks the leading 100 companies out of a universe of just over 3,000 globally.
To be included, companies must come from one of the 23 most developed countries. Equileap then applies an environmental, social and governance (ESG) screen to exclude companies deriving the majority of their revenues from weapons, gambling, tobacco or companies excluded by the Norwegian exclusion council.
The index provider then applies an ‘in-depth gender screen’ that ranks companies on 19 different criteria including gender balance in leadership and equal compensation and work life balance.
‘This is another big step in sustainable and impact investing innovation,’ said Michael Baldinger, head of sustainable and impact investing at UBS Asset Management.
‘The launch of this new ETF provides investors with a unique opportunity to benefit from systematically investing in the leading global companies on gender diversity, based on Equileap's pioneering research into corporate gender diversity, while at the same time having the potential to achieve strong returns.’
Commenting on the launch, Equileap CEO Diana van Maasdijk added: ‘We founded Equileap to give individuals and institutions the tools and information needed to invest, aiming for both a return and a more equitable world. We are encouraged by the growing interest in our high quality data and relevant insights into gender equality in the workplace and we have a few interesting developments ahead of us for 2018, starting with this ETF with UBS.’
The Global Gender Equality Ucits ETF is set to go live on the Swiss Exchange SIX today and is the third gender equality index tracking fund to launch in the last four months.
It follows similar offerings from Lyxor, QBE and Evolve tracking the index.