Pax World relaunches Women's Equity Fund with higher standards

Firm is also launching its first ETFs, including two on Wednesday

May 24, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

By Jessica Toonkel Marquez

Pax World Management LLC has reconfigured and relaunched its Women's Equity Fund, making it more global and imposing higher standards.

The Global Women's Equality Fund Ticker:(PXWEX) seeks to invest in the best companies for women, rather than just screen out those companies that don't meet certain criteria, said Joe Keefe, Pax's chief executive said.

“We think there is a market of high-net-worth women who care about these issues, and we thought it was better to have a fund that invests in the leaders rather than one that just tries to avoid the laggards,” he said.

The fund became available May 1.

Additionally, Pax is launching its first exchange-traded funds.

Last Wednesday, the firm launched the ESG Shares North America Sustainability Index ETF (NASI), and it will roll out the ESG Shares FTSE Environmental Technologies Index ETF (ETFY) and the ESG Shares Europe Asia Pacific Sustainability Index ETF (EAPS) this week.

The firm will see how these ETFs do in terms of bringing in assets before filing for additional ETFs, but it is looking at possibilities in the fixed-income and the emerging-markets areas, Mr. Keefe said.

“For a fixed-income ETF, we would first need someone to develop a sustainable investing index,” he said.

The company plans to wait until next year before it decides if it wants to launch additional ETFs.

Pax, which has $2.4 billion in assets, has been on a product development frenzy the past several months. During the past two and a half years, the firm has launched 11 funds.

Pax is discussing filling holes in its product line with additional fixed-income and emerging-markets mutual fund launches, though no timetable for the launches has been set, Mr. Keefe said.

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