Case Synopsis

This case focuses on the creation of a Gender Diversity Index ETF, which was launched by SSGA on March 8, 2016, to mark International Women’s Day (Ticker: SHE). SSGA is the investment arm of State Street Corporation, a global leader in asset management. One of its clients, a large pension fund, provided the impetus for the launch of SHE, with the construction of the ETF proving to be a challenge due to lack of data availability. The purpose of the index was to track large cap companies whilst also promoting gender diversity in corporate America (board of directors and senior leadership positions). Sonya Park was tasked with leading the development of SHE and was now finding herself having to attract greater capital in the ETF after its launch.

Learning Objectives

1.Identify factors driving the Gender equality and diversity agenda, with a focus on gender diversity in corporate leadership.

2.Examine ESG investing and investing for Impact in light of the creation of a Gender Diversity Index.

3.Evaluate whether Gender Lens investing provides superior returns whilst promoting social change.

4.Determine the role of various stakeholders, including Institutional Investors in driving the change towards a more gender diverse workforce.

5.Understand the role of an ETF in Impact and Gender lens investing.

Key questions for consideration

1.Why did the pension fund request the creation of a Gender Diversity Index? What are the objectives of the pension fund in doing so? For eg. Is their motivation social (gender diversity), financial or both?

2.How did SSGA go about creating this index? What were the key considerations and challenges it faced?

3.What outcomes are achieved through this index? What are its advantages and limitations/drawbacks?

4.Does the objective of a Gender Diversity Index have to be achieved through an ETF? What other alternatives could SSGA have considered? Discuss the pros and cons of the ETF vs some of these alternatives. (suggestion: examine leading competitors of SSGA in this investing space).

6.How can Park attract more funds into SHE? Suggest a marketing strategy for her to ensure the viability of this product.

Sample template

Identify and address key points facts and problems:

  1. What are the problems and the key issues that arise?
  2. Address key discussion points or questions
  3. Conclusions and recommendations
  4. Do Not use a Q and A answer format : make this a business type briefing.Avoid simply restating what is already in the case.

    Note: Key questions for consideration are given to guide your analysis-they are not meant to be answered one by one (refer back to comment above re Q&A format). Back your arguments with evidence/research, not mere opinion.

    Submission Case 7: State Street

    The growth and development of SHE

  • You may study in groups but you must document and submit your report individually:
  • Penalties will apply if we spot collusion
  • You must document:
  • The assumptions you have made, if any, that are not in the case.
  • Show calculations and results as an appendix (not always required).
  • Formatting: 1.5 spacing, 12 point font, 700 words maximum.