BMO launches Women in Leadership and Fossil Fuel Free funds

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BMO Investments launched two new mutual funds for people looking to invest in companies that closely align with their own values — the BMO Women in Leadership Fund, and the Fossil Fuel Free fund.

“Research has shown that diverse leadership in companies translates into better results. Companies with gender-diverse boards tend to outperform those with no women on their boards and indices of companies with mixed-gender boards have outperformed benchmark indices,” said Kevin Gopaul, chief investment officer and senior vice-president of BMO Global Asset Management.

The launch of the Women in Leadership Fund marks Canada’s first impact investing mutual fund by a Canadian bank, and invests in North American companies that promote gender-diverse leadership; the fund will invest in North American companies that have a female CEO or a board of directors with at least 25 percent female representation, referencing the Barclays Women in Leadership North America Index.

“An increasing number of investors are seeking both financial and social returns from their investments,” said Joanna Rotenberg, head of personal wealth management, BMO Financial Group. “By providing them with the opportunity to invest in organizations with a higher representation of women, we are giving those investors the ability to promote change by rewarding gender-diverse companies.”

BMO’s Fossil Fuel Free Fund will invest in a globally diversified portfolio of equity securities that excludes companies primarily involved in the development and infrastructure of fossil fuels.

“Canadians care about the environment and about the potential impact of fossil fuel extraction and dependence,” said Gopaul. “As a global fund that focuses on companies with strong businesses and significant growth potential, BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund provides Canadian investors with the option to have a diversified portfolio while avoiding fossil fuel producers.”

Related: Wealthsimple launches responsible investment portfolio to attract socially-conscious millennials