Performance and Portfolio Update
- The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund outperformed the MSCI World Index (World Index) in the fourth quarter.
- Global equities, as measured by the MSCI World Index, posted a -13.42% return, its worst quarterly result since the third quarter of 2011,‡ as concerns over declining global growth, US and China tariffs and the prospects of slowing earnings growth influenced investor sentiment during the period.
- The Fund’s overweight positioning and stock selection within defensive sectors, notably Consumer Staples and Utilities, added to relative return. Strong results from Procter & Gamble, Estee Lauder, Pepsi, American Water Works and Canadian Utilities Limited drove returns in these sectors.
- In addition, stock selection in the Information Technology sector added to relative return during the quarter, led by strong results from Texas Instruments and Cisco Systems. Also, the Fund’s relative performance benefited from not investing in two underperforming companies during the period, Apple and Nvidia, which do not rank in the top 400 companies in the world based on our gender leadership criteria.
- Conversely, stock selection in the Consumer Discretionary sector detracted the most during the quarter, after producing strong relative results in the third quarter. This sector’s underperformance was driven by poor results from Capri Holdings, Best Buy, Target and Tapestry. In addition, the stock selection in Financials detracted from relative return during the quarter, led by poor results from Principal Financial Group, AMP Limited and Voya Financial.
- On a regional basis, the Fund’s European, North American and Pacific holdings contributed to relative performance. In Europe, stocks within Sweden, Germany and the UK added the most to relative performance. In the North American region, Canada added the most to relative performance, and within the Pacific region, the Fund’s significant underweight to Japan — no Japanese companies rank in the top 400 companies in the world based on our gender leadership criteria — helped relative performance.
- Investing in companies with the highest ratings for gender leadership is the Fund’s strategy for generating long-term outperformance. Since June 2014, when the Fund adopted a strategic beta strategy, 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. Performance attribution by the Impax Gender Leadership Score is available below.
Performance(as of 12/31/18)
|1-Month||Quarter||YTD||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year||10 Year||Since Inception1|
|Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund - Investor Class||-7.99||-12.87||-7.74||-7.74||6.88||5.06||8.60||6.29|
|Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund - Institutional Class||-7.97||-12.86||-7.51||-7.51||7.15||5.31||8.86||6.43|
|Impax Global Women's Leadership (Net) Index||-7.13||-11.47||-6.20||-6.20||6.99||--||--|
|MSCI World (Net) Index||-7.60||-13.42||-8.71||-8.71||6.30||4.56||9.67|
|Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core Funds Index||-7.26||-12.98||-10.76||-10.76||5.83||3.78||9.58|
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 paxstaging.wpengine.com
Figures include reinvested dividends, capital gains distributions and changes in principal value.
1The inception date for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund Institutional Class is April 19, 2006, and the Investor Class inception date is October 1, 1993.
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 3.93% (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 0.55% and 0.80%, respectively, and 0.55% and 0.80% net of fee waivers, as of the 5/1/18 prospectus supplement. 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.) The investment adviser has contractually agreed to waive its management fees in excess of 0.55% of the Fund’s net assets through March 1, 2019. This waiver may not be modified or terminated prior to that date without the approval of the Board of Trustees.
Gender Rank Quartiles:
(as of 12/31/18)
Average Weight (%) vs. MSCI World Index
|Since Re-org (54-Months)
Cumulative Gross Relative Return (%) vs. MSCI World Index
A lower Pax 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 27.41% vs. 17.61% for MSCI World. Other not-rated securities and cash were excluded from both charts: Fund weight 4.19% vs. World Index weight: 0.13% and Fund’s gross relative return: -0.27%. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Portfolio Characteristics(as of 12/31/18)
|Market Cap (weighted avg.)∱||$95,764M||$138,763M|
|Number of Securities||414||1,629|
Top 10 Holdings
(as of 12/31/18)
Microsoft Corp. 4.0%, Canadian Utilities, Ltd., Class A 2.1%, American Water Works Co., Inc. 2.1%, Texas Instruments, Inc. 2.0%, Wolters Kluwer NV 2.0%, Intuit, Inc. 2.0%, Swedbank AB, Class A 2.0%, Estee Lauder Cos, Inc., Class A 1.9%, Cisco Systems, Inc. 1.9% and Johnson & Johnson 1.9%. Holdings are subject to change.
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. Since re-org, 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.