Gender Lens Investing Q3 2023

Gender Lens Investing Q3 2023 examines second-quarter performance and composition of gender lens equity funds and provides updates on gender lens fixed income, DEI equity funds, and women in the workplace and economy. The review also includes:

A spotlight on Women in Global Asset Management.

Key Findings

  • Publicly traded gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) totaled $3.95 billion in AUM as of September 30, 2023.
  • There are 21 global equity funds and 22 regional equity funds available to individual investors. These are domiciled in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Korea, and Japan. Four new funds have been launched in the last year.
  • Gender lens fixed income AUM was $14.60 billion as of September 30, 2023. Year-to-date AUM growth was 27.8%, driven by new gender bond issuances.
  • There were new gender bond issues announced during the quarter, including the first gender bond in Pakistan, the second gender bonds in Mongolia and Argentina, and a government agency issuance in Mexico.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) funds totaled $1.68 billion in AUM as of September 30, 2023. This growing group of funds focuses on investing in companies with robust DEI policies or social justice track records.
  • The report provides comprehensive women-in-leadership data and an analysis of diversity-focused proxy voting guidelines for the 25 largest global asset management firms.
  • The report also includes content collaboration with GemmaQ, a research firm that provides monthly ratings of Fortune 500 companies on gender diversity in leadership.

Figure A: 12 Largest GLEFs by AUM (in $ millions)

As of September 30, 2023; Source: Fund fact sheets

Figure B: GLEF Top Absolute Performers. Along with the broader market, the gender lens equity funds generally turned in single-digit losses for the three-month period ended September 30, 2023. Figure B shows the top absolute performers for the quarter (in base currencies), as well as their weights in the top two sectors for the GLEF asset class. Relative performance was mixed, with more funds outperforming a broad market index in the 12-month period than for the quarter and eight funds in line with the market for the quarter.  A full discussion of performance and composition of the GLEF group is included in the report.