Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"SHE Power: State Street Launches Gender Diversity ETF"

My first thought on seeing the headline was "The near-mythical lady lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest"!*
From Barron's:
State Street Global Advisors on Tuesday launched an exchange-traded fund invested in shares of companies that promote women into positions of leadership, the latest in a string of social responsibility-themed offerings.

The SPDR Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE) tracks an index of large-cap U.S. stocks ranked by “the presence of women at the CEO, board or senior leadership levels.” Its index is the first created in-house by SSGA and applied to an ETF, says Jim Ross, global head of State Street’s ETF business.
The project was created in conjunction with a large pension fund: California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS. Initially, Ross says that CalSTRS had approached State Street about developing a private account based on research that shows higher return-on-equity metrics at gender-inclusive companies. Ultimately, the two decided to launch an ETF that makes the strategy available to all investors, Ross told Barron’s.

Top holdings in the 140-stock ETF out of the gate are Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B ), Home Depot (HD) and Oracle (ORCL). The ETF’s expense ratio is 0.2%, competitive in the context of non-conventional index ETFs....MORE
*We do have an abiding interest in timber as an asset class. And there are women in the roughneck end of the business. The Daily Mail in particular has written about les femmes de la forêt.
Additionally, Business Insider looked at an anthropological angle but missed a trick in their link-post by not expanding on the patriarchy-bias of The Atlantic's Paul Bunyanesque hipster naturalist lumbersexuality.
On a more amusing note, CalPERS sold off 20% of their timber holdings last year.
They should have sold in 2007 or held for eternity.