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‘Girl fund’ launches to invest in gender diverse companies

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has unveiled a ‘Girl fund’ which will allocate more to companies achieving higher levels of gender diversity.

The L&G Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index fund (Girl fund), claims to be the first gender-orientated fund, and will be available to individual investors through LGIM’s personal investing platform.

It scores and ranks companies (0-100) according to four gender diversity measures, with the minimum representative level at 30% in order to receive a positive score:

  • Women on the board of directors
  • Women executives
  • Women in management
  • Women in the workforce

For those companies with a low score, LGIM will discuss with them how they can improve their gender diversity.

The fund, run by David Barron, head of index equity and smart beta, tracks an LGIM-designed index of around 350 of the UK’s largest companies and aims to deliver returns by tracking the UK equity stock market, managed against the Solactive L&G Gender in Leadership UK Index. The index is ‘tilted’ according to LGIM’s proprietary gender diversity score.

The top runner is The Renewable Infrastructure Group Ltd which scored 100, followed by Merlin Entertainments (93) and N Brown Group PLC (91).

At the bottom end of the scale is Melrose Industries PLC (0), followed by Stobart Group LTD (5), and the following all scored eight points: Fresnillo PLC, Hochschild Mining PLC and Just Group PLC.

Helena Morrissey, head of personal investing at LGIM said: “Gender inequality is one of the key issues of our time – and one that generates so much frustration. Rather than feeling trapped or despondent, let’s do something about it.

“I’m excited about the launch of the Girl Fund, which empowers us all to use our money to help companies to progress. When we invest in the success of women, we are investing in the success of business. Collectively, we can help achieve gender equality and improve gender diversity in the UK.”

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