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The innovative German index provider Solactive has announced that is launching the Solactive Global Gender Diversity Index which will be licensed to UBS.
The index enables investors to integrate a gender-focused perspective in their investment strategies by choosing companies from a global stock universe that exhibit boardroom gender diversity and low volatility. The index is powered by research from Sustainalytics, a global provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings and analytics. The Swiss bank will use the index as the basis for the construction of index certificates.
In recent years, women have increasingly been seen in positons of power in both government and business. This trend has been supported by regulatory efforts in many western countries in the form of “pink quotas” that have shifted investors’ attention towards gender diversity issues. Some studies have shown that companies with more women on corporate boards can be associated with better performance compared to their less-diverse peers on the grounds that diversity can encourage a more open exchange of ideas and enhanced decision making. For instance, UBS has found that companies with women in at least 20% of leadership positions show superior profitability across various metrics. These results provide a potential return incentive for gender-related investing.
Astrid Ludwig, Head of Indexing, Solactive AG, explained:
The Solactive Global Gender Diversity Index allows investors to be one step ahead by providing exposure to companies whose governance models are in line with new gender legislations. In addition, the index enables investors to benefit from potential superior performance of gender diverse companies, while supporting the cause of women’s representation in corporate leadership positions.
Steffen Kapraun, Structured Products Expert, UBS, added:
Investors to whom gender diversity is important can add this part of the socially responsible investment universe to their portfolios with our index certificates. Just as for other fields of sustainable investing, there is convincing evidence that investing in accordance with societal values does not necessarily harm returns.
The Solactive Global Gender Diversity Index is available in EUR, USD and CHF. The index is calculated as a Net Total Return. The index is composed of 50 equally-weighted companies and is readjusted quarterly. Gender diversity data is provided by Sustainalytics. The index is based on 100 at the close of trading on the start date of December 8, 2010.