UBS Group. AG, a Swiss investment bank is “starting an exchange-traded fund that will invest in companies that promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in the workplace.” The new InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETF ticker is PRID and will be run by “Exchange Traded Concepts, a company that specializes in bringing new funds to the market. UBS will instead provide the index the fund tracks — and, crucially, its InsightShares brand.”
UBS is the latest bank to enter the socially conscious ETF market and will have to compete against established players. The socially conscious ETF is a new idea that spawned over the past few years with the purpose of investing in progressive environment, social, and economic opportunities.
According to Investopedia, a few of the top SC ETFs include the following:
- iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI) – DSI tracks 400 companies that seek to make a positive contribution to social and environmental conditions. It uses an index replication approach that invests in the companies included in the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index. The Index excludes companies involved in weapons, tobacco and alcohol, nuclear energy and genetically modified foods.
- SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE) This is a gender-diversity fund. It invests in companies that have a high percentage of women in positions as executives and directors. SHE looks at the 1,000 largest companies in the United States and measures the ratio of women to men that are in significant positions in the company. Only the top 10% of companies ranked this way are included in the fund.
- iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (SUSA) This fund tracks the 100 companies in the MSCI USA ESG (Environmental, social and governance) Select Index. The Index includes U.S. companies screened for high ESG ratings. Companies are weighted based on their ESG rankings with less weight given to companies scoring lower on ESG criteria. Top holdings in the Fund include Microsoft, 3M and Ecolab.
The evolution of investing will only grow and as more money is being earned by socially conscious investment strategies, look for opportunities to increase.