| July 9
July 9 Investors who want to put money behind
the idea that female leadership helps companies excel will have
a new way to invest on Thursday when Barclays Bank PLC
launches the Barclays Women in Leadership Total Return Index and
The new index will be composed of companies with a female
chief executive officer or women making up at least one-fourth
of the board of directors, Barclays said on Wednesday in
In addition to these requirements, companies will have to
meet specific market capitalization and trading volume
thresholds to be included, the London-based bank said.
The Barclays ETNs will track the index and trade under the
ticker symbol "WIL" on the NYSE Arca Exchange. In connection
with the launch, Barclays executives will ring the opening bell
of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The ETNs are senior unsecured unsubordinated debt.
Barbara Byrne, vice chairman in investment banking at
Barclays, said she believes the ETNs will serve as a
market-based approach to produce change.
"Women are significantly underrepresented in corporate
executive leadership, yet a growing body of third-party research
suggests that gender-diverse leadership may correlate with
relatively stronger corporate performance, as compared to
companies with less gender-diverse leadership," Byrne said in a
The Barclays index and ETNs are the latest in a line of
similar "bets on women" products in personal finance. In the
past year, Sallie Krawcheck, the former president of global
wealth and investment management at Bank of America, has put her
high-profile imprimatur on two more.
Krawcheck has talked about her investments in the "No Glass
Ceilings" thematic index, which tracks around two dozen
companies run by women. In June, she launched the Pax Ellevate
Global Women's Index Fund - co-branded with the
Ellevate professional women's network, formerly known as 85
Broads, a name that was a play on the location of Goldman Sachs'
former New York headquarters. She bought the women's
professional network in 2013.
The Pax Ellevate fund owns the stocks of companies,
including Avon Products Inc and Procter & Gamble Co
, that are viewed as "advancing women's leadership." That
quality is measured by a proprietary analytical tool that takes
into account the proportion of women on the board of directors,
in executive management and in C-level roles, among other
Dave Nadig, chief investment officer of ETF.com, which
provides research and analysis of exchange-traded funds, said
that values-based funds can be hard to sell to investors.
"People usually don't think the same way about their values
when making investment decisions," Nadig said. "They don't put
that filter on when thinking about their portfolios."
(Reporting by Michael Leibel; Additional reporting by Ashley
Lau and Anna Sussman; Editing by Jan Paschal)