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GPIF selects  Morningstar Indexes & Equileap for additional Gender Diversity Mandate

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Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN) has announced the launch of the Morningstar Japan ex-REIT Gender Diversity Tilt Index, an addition to its series of global gender diversity indexes. 

The index is powered by the methodology of global index provider Morningstar Indexes and the gender equality scorecard of Equileap, a global provider of data and insights on gender equality for investors.

The firm writes that Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund with approximately USD1.4 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2022, is adding the index as the basis for its Japan-based gender diversity investment strategy. The additional mandate will complement GPIF’s strategy based on the Morningstar Developed Markets ex-Japan Gender Diversity Index (Morningstar GenDi), first implemented in December 2020 and with approximately USD3.4 billion in assets as of March 31, 2022.

The Morningstar Japan ex-REIT Gender Diversity Tilt Index, the newest addition to the Morningstar Gender Diversity Indexes, is designed to provide exposure to Japan-based companies exhibiting strong gender diversity policy and practices. The index emphasises Japanese companies across a range of sectors, such as Sony Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo Co, that have strong diversity policies embedded in their corporate culture. The index screening process, designed by Morningstar Indexes, considers the four categories of the Equileap Gender Equality Scorecard.

Morningstar writes that it continues to develop a broad range of market data, insights, investment tools and research to help a wide spectrum of investors pursue gender diversity and other sustainable investment goals across markets. Investor demand for ESG solutions has increased drastically in the last decade. According to Morningstar research, global sustainable fund assets rose 11.6 per cent in the fourth quarter to close 2022 at USD2.5 trillion.

Ron Bundy, president of Morningstar Indexes, says: “Gender equality, transparency and inclusive leadership practices are incredibly important factors in the success of global companies and investors. Beyond the social aspects of gender equality, inclusive leadership has proven to make companies more competitive over time. We are excited to be able to expand on our collaboration with GPIF and Equileap to provide a more meaningful catalyst to help drive improvement in company practices while helping investors achieve their goals.”

Yu-Tsung Chang, president of Ibbotson Associates Japan (a wholly-owned Morningstar company), says: ”According to most recent Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking from Equileap, Japan has the largest median gender pay gap of the G7 countries. And, while we have made some progress in recent years on gender diversity metrics, there is clearly much more work to be done to raise the level of gender diversity in our corporations. This will improve our competitive standing in global business and, ultimately, contribute to a better society. Indexes and other market data on gender diversity play an important role in benchmarking progress.”

Diana van Maasdijk, CEO of Equileap, says: “Our unique gender equality data and insights help create impactful investment solutions for our clients. We are thrilled to support the GPIF, for the second time, in their efforts to improve gender equality in the workplace.”

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