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Monday, October 29, 2007

Pax Snaps Up Women's Equity Fund

News summary by MFWire's editors

Pax World Management Corp. has acquired the assets of FEMMX Financial Company, the investment adviser to the 14-year-old Women's Equity Fund, officials at Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Pax World said Monday. Shareholders of the fund have greenlighted its merger into the Pax World Women's Equity Fund two weeks ago. Evergreen Investments alum Sujatha R. Avutu will manage the Pax World Women's Equity Fund, which seeks to invest in mainly in firms that take steps to attract, retain and promote women, and at the same time, meet Pax World's financial, environmental, social and governance criteria.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pax World Management Corp., investment adviser to Pax World Funds (“Pax”), which launched the nation’s first socially responsible mutual fund in 1971, today announced that it has acquired the assets of FEMMX Financial Company (“FEMMX”), the investment adviser for the Professionally Managed Portfolios’ Women’s Equity Fund. Pax also announced that the shareholders of the Women’s Equity Fund have approved its merger into the Pax World Women’s Equity Fund at a special shareholders meeting held on October 18, 2007.

The Women’s Equity Fund, founded in 1993, was the first mutual fund to focus on evaluating companies according to their policies and practices toward women’s social and economic equality. Similarly, the Pax World Women’s Equity Fund will seek to invest primarily in companies that, in addition to meeting Pax World’s other financial, environmental, social and governance criteria, take affirmative steps to attract, retain and promote women and advance gender equity and women’s empowerment in the workplace and beyond.

“We are so pleased to announce this agreement with Pax World and its approval by our shareholders,” said Linda Pei, President of FEMMX and founder of the Women’s Equity Fund. “We believe the Fund is in very good hands, and that Pax is committed to advancing the social and economic status of women through the collective power of individual and institutional investors.”

The Pax World Women’s Equity Fund will be managed by Sujatha R. Avutu, who is also the portfolio manager for the Pax World Value Fund, launched on September 17, 2007. Ms. Avutu recently joined Pax from Evergreen Investments, where she was a managing director and lead portfolio manager of the Evergreen Equity Income Fund. The Women’s Equity Fund’s investment objective is to seek long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in equity securities.

“To me, this is a dream come true,” said Ms. Avutu. “To be able to manage a mutual fund where investors can focus on women’s concerns, and perhaps make a difference, and hopefully achieve strong financial returns at the same time, is a great privilege. I am very excited about this opportunity.”

The Pax World Women’s Equity Fund will invest in companies that promote gender equality by advancing women to top executive positions, have female representation on the board of directors and in senior management and promote positive images of women in their advertising, promotion and marketing. The Fund will avoid investing in companies involved in the exploitation and trafficking of women, whose products demean women or who use negative stereotypes in their advertising, promotion or marketing, that fail to provide a safe work environment for women by encouraging or tolerating harassment, and that have a history or pattern of discrimination or mistreatment of women.

The Fund will also endeavor to vote shareholder proxies in accordance with its gender criteria, where applicable, and to engage corporate management on issues of concern to women, including sponsoring shareholder resolutions on gender-related issues. “We trust this Fund gives us an opportunity to engage corporations on issues that will benefit both women as well as their financial bottom lines,” said Ms. Avutu.

According to a report recently conducted by Catalyst (www.catalystwomen.org), Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their boards of directors attained significantly higher financial performance on average than those with the lowest representation.

“At Pax, we believe companies that are developing more sustainable business models – including strong environmental, social and governance performance – are better long-term investments,” said Pax President and CEO, Joe Keefe. “This includes progressive policies toward women in the workplace. We hope the Pax World Women’s Equity Fund can help promote gender equality as a core element of corporate social responsibility and a core concern of sustainable investors.”


Pax World mutual funds, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seek to invest in forward-thinking companies with sustainable business models. To identify those companies, Pax combines rigorous financial analysis with equally rigorous environmental, social and governance analysis. The result, it believes, is an increased level of scrutiny that helps it identify better-managed companies that are leaders in their industries; that meet positive standards of corporate responsibility; and that focus on the long term. Pax World avoids investing in companies that are significantly involved in the manufacture of weapons or weapons-related products, manufacture tobacco products, are involved in gambling as a main line of business, or engage in unethical business practices.

Pax World’s primary goal is to produce competitive returns for its investors. By integrating environmental, social and governance criteria – what it calls “sustainability” criteria – into its investment approach, the funds also seek to promote peace, protect the environment, advance equality and foster sustainable development.

For more information, visit www.paxworld.com  

Edited by: Armie Margaret Lee

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