A few weeks ago, we wrote about how Legal & General Investment Management, one of the UK’s biggest money managers was making it a priority to invest in organizations that prioritize diversity. Today we bring you a similar story about a corporation who has been continuously investing in the potential of diversity for years.
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) recently announced that it will “vote in protest against companies which do not explain how they will boost the number of women on their boards, joining growing demands for workplace diversity.” AXA IM is one of Europe’s largest fund managers and follows five years of “unsatisfactory private engagement with firms considered to have too few, if any, female decision-makers.”
The AXA IM announcement comes after the revelation that the company, as of April 30, has logged 25 “oppose” votes in annual shareholder meetings “ranging from votes against the Annual Report and Accounts to the re-election of the chairman or the chairman of the nominations committee.” Last year AXA only voted “oppose” once.
AXA IM’s support of social issues began in 2015 when the company divested 500 million euros away from “companies with a high involvement in coal-related activities” in response to its affect on climate change. In 2016, the firm grew this when it announced “it would ban all new investments in the tobacco industry, which led to a 1.8 billion-euros sell off of tobacco bonds and stocks.”
This was then followed by the launch of the The AXA WF MiX in Perspectives Fund in 2017 to “demonstrate how companies with stronger gender diversity can deliver higher returns.” The Fund is currently targeting the MSCI All Country World Index and looking to outperform the index “by selecting global companies who have at least 20 percent female representation at board and executive level and a broader commitment to achieve gender balance across their workforces.” Currently the Perspectives Fund has delivered a 12.8% return as of March 2018.