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BMO Launches BMO Women in Leadership Fund

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BMO Investments has launched the BMO Women in Leadership Fund, Canada's first impact investing mutual fund from a Canadian bank.

"BMO is proud to take a lead on impact investing in Canada – especially in support of a cause such as the advancement of women, which is such a big priority for our bank," says Joanna Rotenberg, Head of Personal Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group. "An increasing number of investors are seeking both financial and social returns from their investments. By providing them with the opportunity to invest in organisations with a higher representation of women, we are giving those investors the ability to promote change by rewarding gender-diverse companies."

Impact investing refers to building portfolios with the intention of creating a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. The BMO Women in Leadership Fund offers investors the opportunity to align their investments with their personal principles to address a social challenge – the under-representation of women in corporate executive leadership. The Fund seeks to invest in North American companies that have a female CEO or a board of directors with at least 25 per cent female representation, referencing the Barclays Women in Leadership North America Index.

"This is a unique offering designed to provide investors with both financial and social value," says Kevin Gopaul, Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice-President, BMO Global Asset Management. "Research has shown that diverse leadership in companies translates into better results. Companies with gender-diverse boards tend to outperform those with no women on their boards and indices of companies with mixed-gender boards have outperformed benchmark indices."*

Rotenberg notes that BMO has a long history of championing the advancement of women in business and, with the introduction of this new fund, is now offering investors the opportunity to show their support.

BMO Investments has also introduced BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund, a socially responsible investment (SRI) strategy. The BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund aims to provide long-term growth of capital by investing in a globally diversified portfolio of equity securities that excludes companies primarily involved in the development and infrastructure of fossil fuels.

"Canadians care about the environment and about the potential impact of fossil fuel extraction and dependence," says Gopaul. "As a global fund that focuses on companies with strong businesses and significant growth potential, BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund provides Canadian investors with the option to have a diversified portfolio while avoiding fossil fuel producers."

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