Barclays Bank PLC announced today the launch of the Barclays Women in Leadership Exchange Traded Notes (“ETNs”) on the NYSE Arca Exchange under the ticker symbol WIL. The ETNs will begin trading tomorrow, July 10, 2014. To celebrate the launch of the Women in Leadership index family and ETNs, Barclays will also ring the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on July 10, 2014.
The ETNs, which track the Barclays Women in Leadership Total Return Index (“the Index”), are designed to provide investors with exposure to US companies with gender-diverse executive leadership and governance. The Index, which uses data compiled by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), is designed to provide exposure to U.S.-based listed companies that have gender-diverse leadership and which meet market capitalization and trading volume thresholds. To be included in the Index, a company must, among other things, have a female CEO and/or at least 25% female members on the board of directors.
An investment in the ETNs involves significant risks, including possible loss of principal, and may not be suitable for all investors. The ETNs are riskier than ordinary unsecured debt securities and have no principal protection. The ETNs are also subject to certain investor fees, which will have a negative effect on the value of the ETNs. The ETNs are speculative and may exhibit high volatility. Owning the ETNs is not the same as owning interests in the companies included in the Index.
“Women are significantly underrepresented in corporate executive leadership, yet a growing body of third-party research suggests that gender-diverse leadership may correlate with relatively stronger corporate performance, as compared to companies with less gender-diverse leadership,” said Barbara Byrne, Vice Chairman in Investment Banking. “We believe that providing ETNs and indices that enable investors to allocate capital to this theme will provide a market-based approach to help catalyze change.”