Performance and Portfolio Update

  • The Fund underperformed the benchmark Russell 1000 Index in the first quarter. The main drivers of the return difference were the style factors used in the strategy construction which lagged substantially in the strong equity market rally.
  • The tilt toward companies with higher dividend yield had a small positive impact on returns.
  • The tilt toward dividend sustainability factors detracted from relative performance.Particularly, the Fund’s exposure to companies with higher profitability hurt relative performance. Exposure to companies with higher earnings quality weighed on relative results as well.
  • Weighting the portfolio toward companies with stronger ESG characteristics is one of the five factors used in this smart beta strategy, which is designed to deliver strong long-term investment performance. On a short-term basis, however, ESG and other factors can negatively affect returns. During the quarter, companies with weaker ESG profiles, particularly those in the bottom quartile as measured by the Impax Sustainability Score, outperformed companies with stronger ESG profiles. The Fund’s underweight to these ESG laggards, which performed well in the high beta first quarter rally, detracted from relative performance.
  • Industry exposures, which are driven by the factor and ESG tilts, did not materially contribute to relative returns for the quarter.

Performance

(as of 3/31/19)
Returns (%)Average Annual Returns (%)
1-MonthQuarterYTD1 Year3 Year5 Year10 YearSince Inception1
ESG Beta Dividend Fund - Investor Class1.7912.4112.419.58---11.13
ESG Beta Dividend Fund - Institutional Class1.8712.4812.489.87---11.43
Russell 1000 Index1.7414.0014.009.30---12.59
Lipper Equity Income Funds Index1.1211.5011.506.94---8.55

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 ESG Beta Dividend Fund Institutional Class and the Investor Class is December 16, 2016.ˆ

Total annual Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund operating expenses, gross of any fee waivers or reimbursements, for Investor Class and Institutional Class shares are 0.90% and 0.65%, respectively, as of 5/1/2018 prospectus.ˆ

Factors


(as of 3/31/19)
Factor Exposure
Total Relative Factor
Contribution (%)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
2Dividend Yield – Purpose: Captures differences in stock returns attributable to stock’s historical and predicted dividend-to-price ratios.
Descriptors: Dividend-to-Price, Predicted Dividend-to-Price

Portfolio Characteristics

(as of 3/31/19)
FundBenchmark
Market Cap (weighted avg.)$189,921M$209,282M
Forward Price/Earnings16.9617.34
ROE25.3419.69
Beta
0.951.00
Number of Securities162977

Top 10 Holdings

(as of 3/31/19)
Microsoft Corp. 3.3%, Amazon.com, Inc. 3.0%, Cisco Systems, Inc. 3.0%, Apple, Inc. 3.0%, Johnson & Johnson 2.9%, 3M Co. 2.4%, Texas Instruments, Inc. 2.3%, PepsiCo, Inc. 2.0%, Home Depot, Inc., The 1.9% and Verizon Communications, Inc. 1.8%. Holdings are subject to change.

xThe Impax Sustainability Score is a proprietary ranking of companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance developed by Impax’s Sustainability Research Team. The scoring framework is shaped by the team’s collective experience and insights on how sustainability impacts financial performance. Learn more about the Impax Sustainability Score here.

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: The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders’ equity. Return on equity measures a corporations’ profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.
An Ex-Ante Beta is used for Funds with less than two years of performance history under its new mandate. The Ex-Ante Beta is calculated using a multi-factor risk model. Beta explains common variations in stock returns due to different stock sensitivities to the market relative to its underlying benchmark for the current period, not historical. 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 authors 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.

PAX008533 (7/19)

Ran Leshem

Aperio Group, Portfolio Manager, Pax ESG Beta® Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta® Dividend Fund

Ran Leshem is a member of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund portfolio management team. At Aperio Group LLC (Aperio), subadviser of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund, Ran is Chief Investment Officer. He oversees the portfolio management and operations of Aperio’s US, foreign, and global products.

Ran has extensive experience in applying quantitative techniques and information technology to complex operational problems. Prior to joining Aperio in 2006, Ran was a Manager, Operating Strategy, at the Gap, Inc.

With Aperio co-authors Lisa Goldberg and Patrick Geddes, Ran was awarded a Harry M. Markowitz Distinction Award by the Journal of Investment Management for “Restoring Value to Minimum Variance” in 2014. He also co-authored “Optimizing Value” with Lisa Goldberg and Alan Cummings, which was published in The Journal of Portfolio Management in 2016. Along with Lisa Goldberg and Michael Branch, he wrote “Factoring Probability,” published in Risk-Based and Factor Investing in 2015.

Ran received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Canada, where he received the Hewlett Packard Award for academic excellence. He received his MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.

ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Aperio Group, LLC.

Recent blog posts

Michael Branch, CFA®

Aperio Group, Portfolio Manager, Pax ESG Beta® Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta® Dividend Fund

Michael Branch is a Portfolio Research, Trading, and Analytics Associate at Aperio Group LLC (Aperio) and is a member of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund portfolio management team. Aperio serves as subadvisor of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund.

Prior to joining Aperio, Michael was a Fund Operations Specialist for California Investment Trust, a mutual fund company.

Michael co-authored “Factoring Probability” with Lisa Goldberg and Ran Leshem; it was published in Risk-Based and Factor Investing in 2015. He was the sole author of “The Case for Global Stock Portfolios,” published in the Journal of Indexes in 2011.

Michael received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Arizona. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA® Society of San Francisco.

CFA® is a trademark owned by the CFA Institute.

ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Aperio Group, LLC.

Recent blog posts

Robert Tymoczko

Aperio Group, Portfolio Manager, Pax ESG Beta® Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta® Dividend Fund

Robert Tymoczko is a member of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend portfolio management team. At Aperio Group LLC (Aperio), subadviser of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund Robert is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day portfolio management and strategy implementation of all investment products.

Prior to joining Aperio, Robert was a Managing Partner at AlphaStream Capital Management, LLC, where he was responsible for quantitative research and portfolio management. Before AlphaStream, Robert was Lead Portfolio Manager and Co-Head of U.S. Quantitative Equity Products at Zurich Scudder Investments.

Robert received his Bachelor of Arts in Quantitative Economics from Stanford University and his MBA with concentrations in Finance and Econometrics from the University of Chicago.

ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Aperio Group, LLC.

Recent blog posts

Annie Tan

Aperio Group, Portfolio Manager, Pax ESG Beta® Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta® Dividend Fund

Annie Tan is an Associate Portfolio Manager at Aperio Group LLC (Aperio) and a member of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund portfolio management team.

Aperio serves as subadviser of the Pax ESG Beta Quality Fund and Pax ESG Beta Dividend Fund. At Aperio, Annie is responsible for providing analytical support in the research, portfolio management, and trading of client portfolios.

Prior to Aperio, Annie was an investment analyst at Dragon Financial Group. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Davis and her Master of Science in Financial Analysis from the University of San Francisco.

ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Aperio Group, LLC.

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