Performance

  • During the first quarter, the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund (the Fund) underperformed the MSCI World Index (World Index).

Investment Strategy

  • A global large cap diversified equity strategy guided by the Impax Gender Score1, the Fund seeks to invest in the highest-rated companies in the world for advancing gender equality and diversity in the workplace. The Fund invests in companies that value gender-diverse leadership teams and promote gender diversity on their boards and in executive management. The Fund’s systematic investment process overweights higher-rated gender leadership companies and manages risk by implementing constraints at the sector, region, country and security levels relative to the World Index.

Asset Class Conditions

  • Global equity markets, as measured by the World Index, fell 5.15%, against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop in the first quarter. Market weakness started in early January as concerns over slower economic growth, Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hikes and Russia-Ukraine tensions evolved. February and March saw these fears materialize and rising inflation, supply chain issues and new COVID-19 variants concerns in China continued to push investor sentiment negative. The Energy sector produced oversized returns relative to all other GICS sectors2 during the quarter, as the rise in oil prices was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Fund’s lower volatility profile benefited performance during the quarter, however the impact of the Fund’s quality-focused holdings provided less refuge.

Gender Score Attribution

  • The Fund utilizes the Impax Gender Score to systematically identify companies that are believed to be well positioned to benefit from the advantages associated with gender diversity. The Fund invests in companies that comprise the Women’s Index3, a market capitalization index, and then overweights the companies, regardless of their market capitalization, to those companies that have the most favorable gender leadership characteristics, or those ranked in the highest quartile of companies, as determined by the Impax Gender Score.
  • This quarter, Fund positioning across gender leadership quartiles detracted from performance, as our investments in the highest-rated quartile of companies, based on the Impax Gender Score, underperformed the other three quartiles, creating a headwind to Fund performance.
  • The Fund’s overweight to the companies with the highest Gender Scores, detracted from performance, as many of the top-rated gender leadership companies like Estee Lauder, Koninklijke DSM, Autodesk and Celenese underperformed. Over the long-term4, the Fund’s overweight to companies with the highest Gender Scores has made the greatest contribution to the Fund’s relative performance, along with the Fund’s significant underweight to the bottom two quartiles of companies with lower Gender Scores.

Stock Specific & Sector Attribution

  • There was dramatic dispersion between GICS sector returns for the World Index for the first quarter, with Energy by far the largest, dominant positive returning sector. The Fund’s lack of exposure to the traditional Energy sector contributed to half of the Fund’s underperformance.
  • Performance was also weak in the Materials sector due to Celanese and Koninklijke DSM’s underperformance. Additionally, the Fund’s underweight to the Metals & Mining sector was a drag to Fund performance, as Metals & Mining, was the second-best performing sector within the World Index for the quarter.
  • Contributing to performance, the Fund benefited from positive results from several companies across multiple sectors. Companies identified as gender leaders, based on the Impax Gender Score within Communications Services, Health Care and Real Estate sectors aided performance.
  • Within Communications, Omnicom Group was the best performing holding for the period, while not owning Meta also boosted performance. Within Healthcare, many gender-diverse leaders, as identified by the Gender Score, within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, like AbbVie, Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson, had positive results from various trials and products during the quarter and their returns added to Fund performance.

Performance

(as of 3/31/22)
1-MonthQuarterYTD1 Year3 Year5 Year10 YearSince Reorg5
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Leadership Fund - Investor Class1.95-7.68-7.683.9111.3510.769.598.55
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Leadership Fund - Institutional Class2.00-7.61-7.614.1711.6411.049.878.82
MSCI World (Net) Index2.74-5.15-5.1510.1214.9812.4210.889.57
Impax Global Women's Leadership (Net) Index2.38-6.58-6.586.9013.0111.51-9.46
Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core Funds Index0.79-7.05-7.053.1112.1110.039.578.00

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 impaxam.com

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

5Since 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 6.07% (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 0.53% and 0.78% respectively as of the 5/1/2021 prospectus.ˆ

Portfolio Characteristics

(as of 3/31/22)
FundBenchmark
Market Cap (weighted avg.)$415,597M$451,152M
Forward Price/Earnings17.9417.66
ROE27.6922.70
Beta
0.971.00
Number of Securities4321,537

Top 10 Holdings

(as of 3/31/22)
Apple, Inc. 4.7%, Microsoft Corp. 4.4%, Amazon.com, Inc. 4.3%, Cisco Systems, Inc. 2.3%, Diageo plc 2.0%, Lululemon Athletica, Inc. 2.0%, American Water Works Co., Inc. 1.9%, Ulta Beauty, Inc. 1.8%, Omnicom Group, Inc. 1.8% and Celanese Corp., Class A 1.8%. Holdings are subject to change.

1The Impax Gender Score broadly seeks to measure a company’s performance on issues related to gender diversity and equality. The Impax Gender Analytics team conducts in-house gender research and assigns the Impax Gender Score, a rating for each company in the MSCI World Index universe, that is based on the following gender leadership criteria: representation of women on boards of directors and in executive management, the hiring, promotion and retention of women, gender pay equity, a company’s ability to proactively issue and/or meet gender goals, or be a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women), as well as a company’s transparency about gender diversity data. These criteria are given different weights, with representation by women on boards and in management receiving the highest weightings. The final gender ranking is calculated by blending the scores over time to capture consistency of gender leadership. Companies are scored from 1-100, and a lower score indicates a higher ranking, with 1 being the highest score and 100 being the lowest score. The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund and the Impax Global Women’s Leadership Strategy are both overweighted toward companies with the most favorable gender leadership characteristics. As such, the Impax Gender Score will drive the under and overweight sectoral and regional positions compared to the MSCI World Index. Sectors and regions comprised of constituents with the highest-ranking companies (or ones with the lowest gender scores) with the strongest gender profiles will be overweight and conversely, the lowest-ranking companies (or ones with the highest gender scores) with the weakest gender profiles, will be underweight relative to the MSCI World Index.

2The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is a widely recognized industry standard for assigning a public company to the economic sector and industry group that best defines its business. It was developed jointly by MSCI and Standard & Poor’s and is used by the MSCI indexes.

3Impax Global Women’s Leadership Index is a customized market capitalization-weighted index created and licensed by Impax Asset Management (“IAM”) consisting of equity securities of issuers organized or operating in countries around the world that demonstrate a commitment to advancing and empowering women through gender diversity on their boards, in management and through other policies and programs, and an understanding of the potential business advantages associated with greater gender diversity, as rated by the IAM Gender Analytics team, with final approval by the IAM Women’s Index Committee. In addition, the companies comprising the Women’s Index meet certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) or sustainability thresholds, as rated by MSCI ESG Research.

4Since the Fund re-organization on 6/4/2014

Disclosures

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.

IMPX1056 (7/22)

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.

Recent Insights

Christine Cappabianca

Portfolio Manager

Christine Cappabianca is Vice President, Portfolio Manager at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Pax World Funds.

She is a Portfolio Manager of the firm’s systematic strategies, including the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, the Pax Global Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, the Pax US Sustainable Economy Fund and the Pax International Sustainable Economy Fund.

Before joining Impax in 2021, Christine spent 14 years with Mellon, where she held several positions, most recently as senior quantitative research analyst and portfolio manager for the firm’s Internet of Things, Blockchain Innovation, US Manufacturing and Smart Cures Innovation thematic strategies. She also served as the ESG data expert on Mellon’s ESG Council.

Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics at Harvard University and a Master of Science in investment management at Boston University. She holds the SASB FSA Credential.

Recent Insights

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