Performance and Portfolio Update

  • During the fourth quarter, the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund Institutional share class (PXWIX)1 underperformed the MSCI World Index (World Index).
  • During the quarter, global equity markets rapidly increased on positive vaccine news, producing a return of 13.96% for the World Index — its second highest quarterly return over the last five years. Most of the Fund’s underperformance can be attributed to the Fund’s lower risk and higher sustainability profile. High beta stocks dominated market performance on expectations of a fuller reopening of the economy, which created a headwind given the Fund’s higher quality orientation. Also, several market segments with high sustainability risk, which had been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, produced strong results following the announcement of Pfizer’s vaccine.2
  • Within the Materials sector, the Fund’s lower allocation to Metals & Mining and poor results from Newmont, Koninklijke DSM and Air Liquide, detracted the most from Fund performance during the quarter.
  • Avoiding companies that manufacture weapons and no allocation to the Energy sector based on the Fund’s fossil fuel-free approach, also detracted from relative return.
  • Conversely, several holdings across multiple sectors helped performance during the quarter. Strong results from Autodesk and Twilio in Information Technology, Walt Disney in Communication Services, as well as Starbucks and Amazon in Consumer Discretionary, aided performance. Notably, Amazon is a new addition to our gender leadership universe as of November 30, 2020 due to its continued improvement in gender diversity.
  • The Financials sector had a strong rebound during the fourth quarter, and the Fund’s overweight positioning, along with strong results from Voya, Principal Financial, and Hang Seng Bank, added the most to performance during the quarter. Also, an underweight allocation in Real Estate, a poor performing sector during the quarter, helped performance.
  • The Fund has outperformed the MSCI World Index for the Since Reorganization June 4, 2014 period — when the Fund adopted its current investment strategy — ended December 31, 2020. 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.

Performance

(as of 12/31/20)
1-MonthQuarterYTD1 Year3 Year5 Year10 YearSince Reorg3
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Leadership Fund - Investor Class3.5212.7413.6713.679.8311.898.958.93
Pax Ellevate Global Women's Leadership Fund - Institutional Class3.5212.8513.9413.9410.1112.179.229.19
Impax Global Women's Leadership (Net) Index4.1212.8213.4613.4610.4611.96-9.51
MSCI World (Net) Index4.2413.9615.9015.9010.5412.199.879.06
Lipper Global Multi-Cap Core Funds Index5.0715.3715.2515.258.5011.159.148.04

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.

3Since 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 6.00% (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 as of the 5/1/2020 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 12/31/20)
Average Weight (%) vs. MSCI World Index
Since Re-Org (78 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 and etc. The total cumulative gross return for the fund was 86.67% vs. 74.26% for MSCI World. Other not rated securities and cash were excluded from both charts: Fund weight 4.53% vs. World Index weight: 0.43% and Fund’s gross relative return: -1.56%.

Portfolio Characteristics

(as of 12/31/20)
FundBenchmark
Market Cap (weighted avg.)$259,060M$329,678M
Forward Price/Earnings23.1323.16
ROE20.4020.09
Beta
0.971.00
Number of Securities4221,582

Top 10 Holdings

(as of 12/31/20)
Microsoft Corp. 5.1%, Amazon.com, Inc. 4.7%, Estee Lauder Cos, Inc., The, Class A 2.1%, Starbucks Corp. 2.1%, American Water Works Co., Inc. 2.1%, Principal Financial Group, Inc. 2.1%, Autodesk, Inc. 1.8%, Coca-Cola Co., The 1.7%, Koninklijke DSM N.V. 1.6% and Johnson & Johnson 1.6%. Holdings are subject to change.

1 The minimum investment needed for investment in PXWIX is $250,000.
2Source FactSet attribution: Q4 2020 MSCI World Index Energy Sector return of 26.75% and MSCI World Index Metals & Mining Industry return of 18.21%.

Definitions

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.

IMPX0027 (4/21)

Scott LaBreche

Vice President & Portfolio Manager

Scott LaBreche is Vice President and Portfolio Manager 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®

Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Barbara Browning is Vice President 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 Gender Lens Strategies, which include the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund. Barbara is also co-portfolio manager of the U.S. 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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