DWS launched a new sustainably investing equity fund on January 17, 2022. DWS Invest ESG Women for Women invests globally in companies that focus on environmental protection, good corporate governance and fair treatment of their employees. The fund pays particular attention to social aspects – to the “S” in “ESG”.
DWS Invest ESG Women for Women is managed exclusively by women and specifically targets the needs of women when selecting their investments. To select companies that perform well in terms of social values and fair working conditions, the 12-strong team of female portfolio managers led by Katharina Seiler, Valerie Schueler and Lilian Haag uses DWS’s Social Commitment Score. This score evaluates companies with regard to five factors: In addition to working conditions along the entire value chain, the topics of equal rights and opportunities, gender distribution at management level, work-life balance and flexibility of the working environment are included in the analysis. “The shortlist for the fund includes companies that are leaders in the “Social Commitment Score” as well as companies where the fund management perceives particularly strong progress,” says Katharina Seiler. The companies also undergo a classic fundamental analysis with a focus on the business model, management and the issues of growth and valuation. The portfolio managers of DWS Invest ESG Women for Women also focus on long-term investment trends such as digitalization, education, renewable energies, infrastructure, health, research and connectivity.
Social factors important for corporate success
With its focus on social factors, the new DWS fund addresses a topic that is increasingly coming to the fore when it comes to investing – not least as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. “Social aspects are an increasingly important success factor for companies. They can have a positive effect on the productivity and profits of companies, which should also be reflected in a positive performance on the stock market in the long term,” explains portfolio manager Valerie Schueler, referring to history: over a period of five years, U.S. companies from the S&P 500 Index that are well positioned in terms of the “S factor” have performed better than the broad market.1
Paving the way for more women to enter the equity market
We want to motivate women to take charge of their wealth accumulation – also in view of the looming pension gap in old age,” says Lilian Haag. In contrast to men, women still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the capital market, says the portfolio manager. Although around 80 percent of women already save regularly, only one in eight invests their money in the equity market.2
1 Source: Bank of America, Credit Suisse Quant; DWS Investment GmbH; As of February 2020, end of December 2021
2 Source: Bank of America, UBS Female Wealth Report 2021, DWS Investment GmbH; As of end of April 2021, end of december 2021