Q2 2021 Review

Gender Lens Investing Q2 2021 Review examines the second quarter 2021 performance and composition of gender lens equity funds, expands our coverage of diversity, equity, & inclusion funds, offers an update on gender lens fixed income activity and explores the dynamics shaping publicly available gender lens investing.

Including A Country Analysis.

Key Findings

  • Publicly traded gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) totaled US$3.47 billion in AUM as of June 30, 2021. AUM grew 8% during the second quarter, for funds in our coverage universe as of March 31, 2021.
  • There are 10 global equity funds and 17 regional equity funds available to individual investors. These are domiciled in the U.S., Canada, the E.U., South Korea, and Japan.
  • AUM-weighted country allocations remain dominated by the U.S. at 60%. France, Canada, the U.K., and Australia round out the top five. Financials and Information Technology remain the top sectors of these equity funds.
  • Within the growing range of gender lens fixed income offerings, four gender bonds were issued during the quarter in emerging Asia, Colombia, and Mexico. We spotlight a recent UN call for the first sovereign gender bond.
  • Gender lens fixed income AUM was US$7.71 billion as of June 30, 2021. This reflects a 20% increase from March 31, 2021. Vehicles include U.S. and emerging markets funds, private financial institution bond issues, development finance institution (DFI)-backed bonds, U.S. notes and certificates, and a lending platform.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) funds totaled US$154 million in AUM as of June 30, 2021. This growing group of funds focus on investing in companies with robust DEI policies.
  • The report provides a comparative analysis of gender lens investing, top-ranked gender equality countries, equity market size, and women-in-leadership metrics.
  • We define a proposed investment-in-women metric and issue a call to action for its incorporation in country rankings of gender equality.

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

Figure B: Top GLEF Performers. Along with the broader market, the group of 27 gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) generally turned in single-digit gains for the three-month period ended June 30, 2021.  A full discussion of performance and composition of the GLEF group is included in the report.