Investment Strategies

Gender Lens Investing AuM Up Fivefold Since 2014

Eliane Chavagnon Editor September 13, 2016

Gender Lens Investing AuM Up Fivefold Since 2014

The accelerated growth is the result of an increased number of GLI solutions now being offered by money managers, along with demand from individual and institutional investors, Veris and Women Effect said.

The volume of assets under management in gender lens-based investments in public market equities and debt have grown fivefold since 2014 to $561 million, according to data from Veris Wealth Partners and Women Effect.

The gender lens investment movement calls for investors to use gender as a category of analysis in company diligence, prioritizing bets on value opportunities in three types of firms: companies led by women, companies that promote gender equity, and companies that benefit women through products and services (source: Forbes, Gender-Lens Investing: From Margins To Mainstream).

As of June 30, 2016, there are 15 GLI equity and debt solutions, up from nine as of end-September 30, 2014. Two of the newest opportunities target non-US investors, including those in Canada and select European and Asian countries.

More than half of the growth in AuM has been in the Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE), which is sponsored by State Street Global Advisors. The ETF was launched in March 2016 and seeded with $250 million from the California State Teachers Retirement System.

"Gender lens investing is growing steadily, but we need sponsors to create more public market investment opportunities," said Patricia Farrar Rivas, chief executive at Veris Wealth Partners. "With more investment vehicles, gender lens investing will grow more, and that will be good for women and girls in the US and abroad."

The joint analysis was a follow-up to Veris' original survey of GLI solutions conducted in 2013 and then again in 2015. Two-thirds of available products provide both gender criteria and screen for other broader ESG factors, or give clients the option to apply their own, according to the latest data. 

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