Performance and Portfolio Update

  • In the first quarter, the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund Institutional share class (PXWIX)1 slightly underperformed the MSCI World Index (World Index).
  • During the quarter, global equity markets declined as COVID-19 fears contributed to market and economic uncertainty. Over the first two months of the quarter, the Fund produced strong relative results in the down market compared to the MSCI World Index.2 However, during the extremely volatile markets in March, the Fund trailed the benchmark as the full impact of the crisis came into better view and certain areas of the portfolio with acute COVID-19 implications struggled, particularly Financials and Consumer Discretionary holdings. The World Index declined by -21.1% in the first quarter, producing its worse quarterly result since the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The Fund’s high quality and low risk orientation, a consistent byproduct of its gender leadership focus, benefited performance during the quarter. However, this benefit was overshadowed by weak relative performance from allocations in three sectors (Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Heath Care) and one country (Japan).
  • Due to strong gender leadership characteristics, the Fund is overweight the Financials and Consumer Discretionary sectors which hurt performance this quarter due to COVID-19 implications. Financials detracted the most from relative performance due to a large overweight and because it was the second worst performing sector during the quarter, declining by -31.8% in the World index.3 Several highly-rated gender leaders in Consumer Discretionary detracted from performance including companies in Specialty Retail (Best Buy and Ulta Beauty) and Textiles Apparel & Luxury Goods (Capri Holdings and Kering). Notably, relative performance was hurt by no allocation to strong performer Amazon, which falls outside the top 400 in the world based on gender leadership criteria.
  • The Fund’s underweight to Heath Care and Japan, which lag on gender leadership characteristics, detracted from performance because those areas of the market performed relatively well in the downturn. In Health Care, the Fund’s large underweights to Pharma and Biotech and poor results from Quest Diagnostics hurt relative performance. The Fund does not own any holdings in Japan, which detracted during the quarter but has positively influenced the Fund’s long-term relative performance.
  • Contributing to relative performance during the quarter were the Fund’s zero allocation to Energy and Weapon companies, and an underweight to real estate investment trusts (REITs).
  • In addition, a few notable outperformers in the Utilities and Materials sectors contributed to Fund performance, including American Water Works, Fortis and Koninklijke DSM. An overweight to Utilities and underweight to Materials, particularly Metals & Mining, also benefited performance.
  • As markets continue to grapple with the economic and earnings implications of the COVID-19 crisis, we expect continued volatility and a potential market recovery. Historically, the Fund has been resilient in both declining and advancing markets. This is evidenced by the Fund’s 6% lower downside capture, positive alpha and 24% higher Sharpe ratio compared to the World Index over the last 5-year period ending 3/31/20.4 Over that same time period, the Fund has outperformed 93% of its global equity peers (7th percentile rank out of 102 funds) within the Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core category.5
  • In line with the numerous research studies that indicate companies with greater gender diversity outperform over the long-term, we expect that the Fund’s focus on overweighting the highest-rated gender leadership companies in the world will continue to provide strong long term risk-adjusted performance. In fact, since June 2014 when the Fund adopted a strategic beta strategy, the Fund has outperformed the MSCI World Index. A closer look at performance attribution over this time period, illustrated in the chart below, indicates that the Fund’s overweight to the highest-rated quartile of companies within the World Index based on gender-diverse leadership has made the greatest contribution to the Fund’s relative outperformance, along with the Fund’s significant underweight to the bottom two quartiles of companies with less gender-diverse leadership.


(as of 3/31/20)
1-MonthQuarterYTD1 Year3 Year5 Year10 YearSince Reorg6
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund - Investor Class-14.38-21.26-21.26-11.582.183.425.773.41
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund - Institutional Class-14.38-21.22-21.22-11.362.433.676.033.67
Impax Global Women's Leadership (Net) Index-12.69-19.91-19.91-8.732.934.56-4.38
MSCI World (Net) Index-13.23-21.05-21.05-10.391.923.256.573.26
Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core Funds Index-14.80-22.50-22.50-13.69-0.401.955.891.94

Performance data quoted represent past performance, which does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. To obtain performance for the most recent month-end, call 800.767.1729 or visit

Figures include reinvested dividends, capital gains distributions and changes in principal value.

6Since Reorganization date is 6/4/2014.

Inception of Institutional Class shares is April 19, 2006. The performance information shown for Institutional Class shares represents the performance of the Retail Class shares of the earlier acquired Women’s Equity Fund shares for the period prior to Institutional Class inception. Expenses have not been adjusted to reflect the expenses allocable to Institutional Class shares or to reflect any differences in expenses between the earlier acquired Women’s Equity Fund and the Fund. If such expense adjustments and allocable expenses were reflected, the returns would be higher than those shown. Institutional Class inception date return since April 19, 2006, is 3.57% (annualized).

Total annual Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund operating expenses, gross of any fee waivers or reimbursements, for Institutional Class and Investor Class shares are 0.56% and 0.81% respectively as of the 5/1/2019 prospectus. The management fee is a unified fee that includes all of the operating costs and expenses of the Fund (other than taxes, charges of governmental agencies, interest, brokerage commissions incurred in connection with portfolio transactions, distribution and/or service fees payable under a plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and extraordinary expenses), including accounting expenses, administrator, transfer agent and custodian fees, Fund legal fees and other expenses. (For this purpose, Impax Asset Management LLC does not consider acquired fund fees and expenses to be operating costs and expenses of the Fund.)

Performance Attribution

Gender Rank Quartiles:

(as of 3/31/20)
Average Weight (%) vs. MSCI World Index
Since Re-Org (69 Months)
Cumulative Gross Relative Return (%) vs. MSCI World Index

A lower Impax gender rank indicates a higher ranking — 1 is highest and 100 is lowest. Attribution is based on daily gross holdings-based results, which does not include fund expenses, trading costs, etc. The total cumulative gross return for the fund was 28.02% vs. 18.64% for MSCI World. Other not-rated securities and cash were excluded from both charts: Fund weight 4.73% vs. World Index weight: 0.19% and Fund’s gross relative return: -0.62%. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Portfolio Characteristics

(as of 3/31/20)
Market Cap (weighted avg.)$127,629M$193,810M
Forward Price/Earnings14.7915.41
Number of Securities4071,640

Top 10 Holdings

(as of 3/31/20)
Microsoft Corp. 4.9%, Wolters Kluwer NV 2.2%, Starbucks Corp. 2.1%, Texas Instruments, Inc. 2.1%, Johnson & Johnson 2.0%, Estee Lauder Cos, Inc., The, Class A 2.0%, Lululemon Athletica, Inc. 2.0%, Fortis, Inc. 1.9%, American Water Works Co., Inc. 1.9% and Principal Financial Group, Inc. 1.9%. Holdings are subject to change.

1 The minimum investment needed for investment in PXWIX is $250,000.
2 PXWIX vs. the MSCI World Index: January 2020 – PXWIX return -0.29% vs -0.61% World index return, relative 0.31%; February 2020 – PXWIX return -7.72% vs -8.45% World index return, relative return 0.73%.
3 Source FactSet attribution: Q1 2020 MSCI World Index Financials Sector return of -31.82% and Q1 2020 MSCI World Index Energy Sector return of -44.79%.
4PXWIX 5 year Downside Capture is 94.48 vs. MSCI World 100.00; PXWIX 5 year Alpha 0.05 vs. MSCI World 0; PXWIX 5 year Sharpe Ratio is 0.20 vs. MSCI World of 0.16, percent difference calculation is +24%.
5Data shown represents rankings for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund – Institutional Class (PXWIX) in the Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core category based on average annual returns. Lipper rankings are based on total returns (not including sales charges) for the periods indicated and compare total return performance with that of other funds in the category. The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund – Institutional Class (PXWIX) 1-year 24th percentile rank out of 143 funds, 3-year 19th percentile rank out of 121 funds, 5-year 7th percentile rank out of 102 funds, since re-org (06/04/14) 12th percentile rank out of 95 funds and 10-year 26th percentile rank out of 63 funds.


ƒWeighted Average is an average in which each quantity to be averaged is assigned a weight. These weightings determine the relative importance of each quantity on the average.
Forward Price-Earnings Ratio or P/E FY1 ratio is a ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative to its per-share earnings over the next 12 months.
Return on equity (ROE) is a ratio that provides investors’ insight into how efficiently a company (or, more specifically, its management team) is managing the equity that shareholders have contributed to the company.
A historical Beta is used for funds with greater than two years of performance history under the same mandate. 5 Year, Beta is used. Beta reflects the sensitivity of a fund’s return to fluctuations in its benchmark; a beta for a benchmark is 1.00: A beta greater than 1.00 indicates above-average volatility and risk.

The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of this report. All information is historical and not indicative of future results and subject to change. This information is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
PEX000915 (7/20)

Scott LaBreche

Portfolio Manager

Scott LaBreche is Portfolio Manager & VP, Portfolio Analytics, at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Pax World Funds.

Scott is a Portfolio Manager of the Global Women’s Leadership Strategy, which includes the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund. He is also a Portfolio Manager of the Pax International Sustainable Economy Fund, the Pax Global Sustainable Infrastructure Fund and the Pax U.S. Sustainable Economy Fund.

He is responsible for portfolio management of systematic strategies, portfolio analytics and risk oversight, and quantitative ESG research.

Before joining Impax in 2007, Scott was a Securities Fund Analyst at Lincoln Financial Group. He has been in the investment management industry since 1999.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Business Administration with advanced certificate in finance from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Barbara Browning, Pax World Funds

Barbara Browning, CFA®

Portfolio Manager

Barbara Browning is a Portfolio Manager at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Pax World Funds.

Barbara is a Portfolio Manager of the US Large Cap Strategy, which includes the Pax Large Cap Fund.

Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Barbara was Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at RBC Global Asset Management, Inc., where she co-managed Diversified Core, Concentrated Core and Diversified Large Cap Value Equity funds. Prior to that, Barbara was a Senior Portfolio Manager and Investment Officer at National City Bank, a Senior Research Analyst at Banc One Investment Advisors Corporation and held various equity research positions.

Barbara has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from The Ohio State University, where she graduated cum laude. She is also a CFA® charterholder.

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