Does greater female representation in corporate boardrooms increase a company’s performance?

Eve Ellis, a financial advisor with the Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, is convinced it does.

“It does make a difference,” she said in a telephone interview. She pointed to research from a slew of organizations – Deloitte, McKinsey & Co., Ernst & Young and the Committee for Economic Development, to name a few – that showed that companies with significant female representation on boards and in senior leadership positions have stronger financials than those that do not. The difference shows up in profits margins, return on equity and a variety of other financial measures, according to the research findings, she said.

Ellis, who describes herself as a feminist in a recent New York Times article, will elaborate on the research at the Women Advisors Forum in New York City on Wednesday. She emphasized that key statistics and findings would be covered during her presentation, “Why Parity Matters to Investors.”

Ellis stressed it’s good business for companies to strive for parity on their boards and bemoaned the fact that only 16.9% of S&P board members are women.

During her talk, Ellis will also discuss ways in which advisors can make a difference in “moving the needle toward parity in corporate America.”

Her commitment to gender parity in corporate boardrooms is no secret. Ellis is so convinced of women’s positive impact on corporate performance that she and her colleague Nikolay Djibankov started a new portfolio that invests in companies committed to including women on their corporate boards. The Parity Portfolio invests in companies that have a minimum of three female board members. It requires a minimum investment of $250,000, Ellis said.

The Matterhorn Group describes the portfolio as a “discretionary portfolio management gender lens investment strategy with a focus on ultra-high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients seeking financial returns and social impact.”

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