Introducing the Women in Leadership theme basket Introducing the Women in Leadership theme basket Introducing the Women in Leadership theme basket

Introducing the Women in Leadership theme basket

Equities 5 minutes to read
Peter Garnry

Head of Saxo Strats

Summary:  ESG is high on the agenda among companies and investors. Often the focus is only on the E as the environment is a key concern for policy markers due to climate change, but our new equity theme basket is focusing instead on the S (social) through women leadership. We have created a basket consisting of 30 companies with high percentage of women in their leadership team representing $1.1trn in market value. Recent research suggests that companies with a higher degree of gender equality in their leadership team perform better both on fundamentals and in the equity market..

Why women leadership?

Today we are launching our next equity theme basket focusing on women leadership. Why would do we need a women leadership basket? We are currently running an investor theme focus on ESG and the percentage of woman in companies’ executive team is part of the social aspect of companies. Recent research (here and here) also shows that there are mostly positive impact on company performance from having a more gender diversified executive team. This research from S&P Global also show that publicly listed companies with more women in the leadership team performs better.

The histogram below shows the distribution of women in percent of leadership teams among 2,600 companies with a market value above $5bn across North America, Europe, and Asia. The median percentage of women executives is as low as 14.3% with very few companies having gender equality. This figure is arguably very low and shows the big change that will undoubtedly unfold over the coming decades. However, in the meantime there are several companies that already have gender equality in their leadership team and these form the basis of our women leadership basket.

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group

Women leadership basket

The basket consists of 30 companies with 10 companies each from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific (developed countries). Companies with a market value below $5bn have been excluded from the list. The average percentage of women in executive leadership across the three geographical areas is 63.2% (North America), 52.9% (Europe), and 59.7% (Asia Pacific).

The 30 companies represent $1.1trn in market value with JPMorgan Chase being the largest company in the basket. There are few surprising names on the list such as the mining giant BHP Group and oil & gas exploration company Woodside Petroleum. The median revenue growth across these 30 companies is 12.8% which is above the market average and the median ROIC/ROE is 13.6% which is slightly above the global average. So overall, good quality basket. Sell-side analysts have on average a price target that is 20% above the current price and the median 5-year total return has been 138% which is better than the MSCI World Index.

NameMkt Cap (USD mn.)Sales growth (%)ROIC (%)Diff to PT (%)5yr return
JPMorgan Chase & Co429,430-2.018.319.291.6
BHP Group PLC165,02441.733.7-4.9141.7
Investor AB65,187201.339.910.8151.5
Block Inc48,729118.84.2128.2627.0
Lululemon Athletica Inc39,63143.936.542.4358.7
Hang Seng Bank Ltd38,244-15.09.711.520.3
DNB Bank ASA35,632-
Koninklijke DSM NV31,73613.87.020.2199.4
Wolters Kluwer NV25,797-2.416.78.3178.6
CDW Corp/DE24,66512.126.718.6273.4
ViacomCBS Inc20,4599.512.350.8-46.1
Etsy Inc17,69161.720.674.3979.2
Woodside Petroleum Ltd16,862-7.13.516.14.3
Next PLC13,41721.727.215.6133.2
REA Group Ltd13,13413.131.118.0188.0
Xero Ltd11,46119.71.327.8499.3
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp10,9852.418.120.3145.9
FinecoBank Banca Fineco SpA9,8696.020.519.2189.8
CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust9,44476.34.125.628.3
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust8,65912.54.922.751.1
Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC8,30125.63.647.113.0
Tenet Healthcare Corp7,83911.516.226.7300.1
Castellum AB7,833-0.23.518.8114.1
Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc7,1440.74.933.968.3
GDS Holdings Ltd6,82737.41.3115.1361.2
ASR Nederland NV6,42538.614.89.0111.0
Orion Oyj5,623-
Crocs Inc5,51972.862.4121.01,198.9
Minth Group Ltd5,11919.810.334.354.2
Aggregate / median1,103,22312.813.620.2137.5
Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group
* ROIC is used for non-financial companies and ROE is used for financial companies

As the performance below shows our Women in Leadership basket has delivered 250% total return compared to 101% for the MSCI World Index since inception in December 2015, but this obviously reflect a combination of surviourship and selection bias as thus historical performance is not an indicator of future performance. 


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