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Toronto-based Fidelity Investments Canada ULC has launched three funds to provide investors with the potential to effect positive social change in addition to achieving returns.

Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund is a core U.S. equity strategy focused on investing in gender-diverse companies that aims to achieve strong risk-adjusted returns.

In a release, the firm defined gender-diverse companies as those with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • a woman is a member of the senior management team, including such roles as CEO, president, chairman or CFO;
  • the board of directors is composed of at least 33% women or at least three female directors; and
  • gender-diversity initiatives and human-resources policies are in place.

The fund is managed by Nicole Connolly, head of ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing at FMR Co. Inc., which is part of the collection of companies known as Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity Sustainable World ETF is a global multi-factor equity strategy that invests in companies with favourable ESG characteristics.

The strategy, which is sub-advised by Geode Capital Management, LLC, is designed to offer strong risk-adjusted returns using Geode’s quantitative multi-factor model, the release said.

The model evaluates stocks on more than 40 characteristics, including valuation and growth potential. It gives greater emphasis to stocks with the strongest fundamental characteristics and seeks to construct a portfolio that has a more favourable ESG profile than the broader market, the release said.

The fund begins trading on the NEO Exchange today, June 6. A mutual fund version of the ETF has also been launched: the Fidelity Sustainable World ETF Fund.

Fidelity is also introducing systematic currency hedged versions of six U.S. equity funds:

  • Fidelity Women’s Leadership Systematic Currency Hedged Fund,
  • Fidelity Small Cap America Systematic Currency Hedged Fund,
  • Fidelity American Equity Systematic Currency Hedged Fund,
  • Fidelity U.S. Dividend Systematic Currency Hedged Fund,
  • Fidelity U.S. Focused Stock Systematic Currency Hedged Fund and
  • Fidelity Insights Systematic Currency Hedged Fund.

The funds use a quantitative model that analyzes market signals to determine an optimal hedge ratio, the release said.