In a digital lunch talk on 29th of June, Fondsfrauen discussed “Business Case Gender Funds – Marketing or sustainable investing?” The discussion took place in English language.

The following panellists discussed the topic of gender-lens-investing in the Zoom Event:

  • Kim Heyden, Senior Sales Manager, Fidelity International.
  • Lilian Haag, CESGA, Senior Fund Manager Equities, DWS. She is co-managing the fund DWS Invest ESG Women for Women“.
  • Jacqueline Ovens, Vice President, responsible for investment, Equality Fund. Her fund is “inspired by feminists, managed by feminists, working with and for feminist movements worldwide”.
  • Dag Rodewald, Head of ETF & Index Fund Sales for Germany & Austria, UBS. UBS has an ETF with a gender-lens strategy: The “UBS ETF Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF”.

The talk was moderated by Fondsfrau Anke Dembowski.

Are gender-lens-investing strategies a business case?
The panel talked about in which sense gender funds and gender-lens-investing strategies are a business case for asset managers. The following aspects were discussed:

  • How do the different companies offer gender-lens-solutions: In a special fund, or in a niche strategy which is part of a broader sustainability strategy?
  • How are gender aspects taken into account in the asset management? What are the criteria to look at?
  • Who are the data providers for the data that is needed for the respective gender-lens strategies?
  • Who are the index providers that construct gender-lens-indices, so that ETFs can use them?
  • What is the reason that an asset manager pays attention to diversity in portfolio companies? Is it about „justice/fairness“ or about “striving for a better performance”?
  • Do companies that already take gender diversity into account, also differ in other respects from those that do not yet do so? Are they more open? Is there a better working atmosphere? Or are there other differences?
  • What are appropriate engagement strategies with a focus on gender-lens-investing?


Geschützter Inhalt

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Most traction comes from private investors
It was a vivid discussion about this topic, which is still a niche subject in the European asset management landscape. And this despite the fact that many studies (e.g. McKinsey) show that diverse teams make better decisions, because equal people tend to mirror each other. And also: Treating employees in good way reduces the risk of losing part of the workforce, which is an important aspect in the current times of a tight labour market.

And last but not least: Diversity and women empowerment are a good story – at least in the market for private investors and mission investors. The panellists said that most traction comes from there, and that the interest of the more established institutional investors in this topic is not yet high. So, there is still more to do!

Profilbild von Anke Dembowski

Anke Dembowski

Anke Dembowski ist Finanzjournalistin und Autorin verschiedener Investmentfonds- und anderer Finanzbücher. Sie ist außerdem Mit-Gründerin des Netzwerks „Fondsfrauen".