Sweden's Avanza licenses gender equality index for tracker

Jonathan Boyd
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Sweden's Avanza licenses gender equality index for tracker

Avanza, the Swedish online stock broker and fund services provider, has licensed use of the Equileap European Gender Equality 75 index to support the launch of its AVA Gender Equality Tracker - an exchange traded note listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

The index is one of five indices calculated for Equileap by Solactive. It tracks 75 European companies out of 3,000 globally that are included in Equileap's database. To be included in the index, companies must pass gender screening that ranks them according to the proprietary Equileap Gender Equality Scorecard. This considers 19 criteria, including gender balance at all levels of the company, the gender pay gap, parental leave, work-life balance, and policies promoting gender equality. The screening also excludes those deriving the majority of revenues from weapons, gambling and tobacco as well as those on the Norwegian Ethics Council List.

Diana van Maasdijk, CEO Equileap, said: "Our latest collaboration with Avanza means gender equality investment is now readily available to anybody in Sweden, without even having to go through a banker."

Karin Forseke, chair Föreningen Storasyster and Advisory Board Equileap, said: "Through years of research and analysis of thousands of businesses, Equileap has developed a global measure to provide real insight into how corporates behave when it comes to gender equality. This in turn is imperative to business performance. This tracker provides us with a benchmark for gender based investing. Sweden is finally catching up with other countries that already offer this market intelligence."

Equileap data and indices have been used as the basis for other launches in recent months, including the ELLE ETF from Lyxor, a QBE bond, and Global Gender Equality Ucits ETF from UBS.

Jonathan Boyd
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Jonathan Boyd

Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope.