Investment Products and Service Launches

State Street Global Advisors adds 88 firms to Gender Diversity Index, and Morningstar Credit Ratings now ranking financial institutions.

State Street Global Advisors Adds 88 Firms to Gender Diversity Index 

State Street Global Advisors, the asset management arm of State Street Corporation, has added 88 new companies to its Gender Diversity Index. Launched in March 2016, the index tracks U.S. exchange-listed large capitalization companies with the highest levels of gender diversity on their boards of directors and in their senior leadership.

Following an annual rebalance effective after the close of trading on July 15, 2016, the top companies added were Pfizer Inc., PepsiCo, 3M, Mastercard, Starbucks, DuPont, Biogen, Salesforce, Target and The Kroger Co, according to Index weighting.

“We applaud the new additions for their efforts in confronting the gender diversity challenge by hiring and retaining women in senior leadership,” says Ronald O’Hanley, president and chief executive officer of State Street Global Advisors. “As an organization, we are deeply committed to helping to close the gender gap in the workplace, but cannot achieve this goal on our own. We need to work together to strengthen gender diversity and inclusion practices across corporate America.”

The SSGA Gender Diversity Index is rebalanced on an annual basis to ensure the reflection of its ongoing objective of tracking the performance of companies dedicated to advancing women throughout their senior leadership positions, SSGA says.

According to a study by the research firm MSCI, which explored global trends in gender diversity on corporate boards between December 2009 and August 2015, companies with at least three female board members, or companies with a higher percentage of women on the board than its country’s average, performed better as measured by return on equity (10.1% per year versus 7.4% for all other companies).

Despite these findings, American women account for an average of just 16% of the members of executive teams, MSCI reports.  

According to MSCI, the methodology used in its study is different than that of the Index, and as such, the results of the study should not be viewed as indicative of the future performance of the Index.

The full MSCI study can be found online here.

NEXT:Morningstar Credit Ratings Now Ranking Financial Institutions

Morningstar Credit Ratings Now Ranking Financial Institutions

Morningstar Credit Ratings, a Morningstar subsidiary, recently announced the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has authorized it to rate corporate issuers under its Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) registration.

Morningstar’s corporate credit analyst team will continue to provide research, ratings, and analysis for corporate entities. The company will pursue ratings assignments for security-specific corporate debt offerings, unsecured real estate investment trust debt, and financial institutions.

"Morningstar has a long tradition of providing investors with independent and robust research and ratings on all types of investments,” says Vickie Tillman, president of Morningstar Credit Ratings. “Over the past several years, investors have come to rely on our ratings and analysis in the structured finance markets."

She added, "The expansion of our NRSRO registration to corporate issuers and financial institutions allows us to bring transparency and unique forward-looking perspectives to investors and issuers and provides a compelling alternative to the other NRSROs. Investors will also benefit from the ability to use our ratings to satisfy investment guidelines and determine risk-based capital charges on corporate debt securities."

Morningstar launched corporate credit ratings and research in December 2009, issuing entity-level, non-NRSRO ratings and analysis. Morningstar’s 13-member corporate credit analyst team will move to Morningstar Credit Ratings. Morningstar's corporate and financial institution credit ratings is recognized as NRSRO credit ratings, as of Aug. 24, 2016.