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Global Gender Equality ETF from UBS sees significant inflows

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UBS has announced that its Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF has reached USD140 million in capital flows eight months after the fund was launched, demonstrating, the bank says, a significant uplift in investor support for gender lens investing.

The ETF, which is listed on the Swiss Exchange SIX, invests in companies in the Solactive Equileap Global Gender Equality 100 Leaders Index, an equity index of 100 leading global companies with a strong record in gender diversity and sustainability.
 
The ETF results from a collaboration between UBS Wealth Management and UBS Asset Management, who manages the largest range of sustainable ETFs in Europe, with a total AUM of CHF3.6 billion in UBS ETFs (as at August 2018).
 
Suni Harford, Head of Investments at UBS Asset Management says: “We have been committed to providing sustainable ETFs since 2011. The success of our ETF serves as further proof that sustainable goals such as gender equality are a key priority for our clients.”
 
The bank writes that the ETF is one of the many ways UBS is supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (UN SGD 5), achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, while also transforming its business to better address the needs of female clients, a global commitment that was first made in January 2017.
 
Harford adds: “At UBS, we believe we have a critical role to play in connecting capital to UN SDG 5, leveraging our expertise and philanthropic efforts to help the world achieve gender equality and empower women and girls all around the world.” 
 
UBS writes that appetite for investing in the ETF highlights investors’ increasing awareness of the social and economic benefits of gender equality. In 2017, total asset flows to investments focused on women and girls eclipsed USD2.2 billion, compared to USD100 million in 2014. This remarkable growth is a powerful sign that investors are looking for more ways to mobilise capital for the benefit of women worldwide.
 
UBS has been channelling 5 per cent of the ETF’s management fees into philanthropic projects, via the UBS Optimus Foundation, which support UN SDG 5. As a result, the Foundation has been able to deliver vital infrastructure to health clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa so that frontline health workers can make birthing safer for women and their newborns.
 
In the most recent ranking the top-scored company, in the Index was L’Oreal, where women represent 46 per cent of board members. Other companies include Westpac, which was one of the first publicly-listed companies to provide paid parental leave in 1995, and Diageo, which has directly empowered more than 300,000 women worldwide.

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