RBC launches ETF in support of women’s leadership

Mar 12th, 2018 | By | Category: Equities

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RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) has launched a new ETF in Canada – the RBC Vision Women’s Leadership MSCI Canada Index ETF (RLDR CN).

Judy Cotte, vice-president and head of corporate governance and responsible investment, RBC.

The fund tracks the MSCI Canada IMI Women’s Leadership Select Index, a Canadian equities index which focuses on companies that exhibit a commitment towards women leadership among their board of directors and executive leadership positions.

The index is constructed as a sector-neutral index, so that each GICS sector weight is equal to its weight in the MSCI parent index (the MSCI Canada Index).

Within each sector group, constituents of the index are weighted as per their free float-adjusted market capitalisation.

The index includes all companies from the parent index which meet certain criteria in the following three areas: number of women in leadership positions, percent of women on board, and discrimination & workforce diversity score.

The number of women in leadership positions should be at least 30%: a minimum of three female directors or two female directors and one woman in a current executive leadership role (CEO, Co-CEO, CFO). The percentage of female directors on the company’s board should be greater than the average percentage of female directors on the board of all companies in the parent index. The discrimination & workforce diversity score should be greater than two.

The index is rebalanced on a quarterly basis to coincide with the regular index reviews of the MSCI Global Investable Market Indices.

Financials (37.6%) and energy (20.1%) are the top weightings by sector. There are 95 individual holdings, or which the Royal Bank of Canada (8.3%), Toronto-Dominion Bank (7.5%) and Enbridge (6.4%) are the three largest.

The index has returned 7.2% over one year (as at 31 January 2018), higher than its parent index which has returned 6.4% over the same period.

The fund has begun to trade on the Aequitas NEO Exchange and has a management fee of 0.25%.

“In 2017, RBC GAM joined a coalition of Canada’s largest institutional investors known as the Canadian 30% Club Investor Group,” said Judy Cotte, vice-president and head of corporate governance and responsible investment, RBC.

She went on: “The Group’s objective is to achieve a minimum of 30% women on the boards and at the executive management level of S&P/TSX Composite Index companies by the year 2022. We hope this new ETF will help bring greater focus to the issue of gender diversity at Canadian companies.”

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