Who is on the board of the companies you invest in? Is there a good mix of industry experience and outsider perspective? Are there enough women and people from diverse backgrounds? Don't know? Don't worry, because even the most sophisticated investors don't know either -- nor do they seem to care.
Numerous studies suggest that the presence of women in corporate leadership positions correlates with improved firm performance, and yet, it appears to be something that really isn't a concern for major investors: hedge funds, endowments, activists, global investment management firms and others.
TheStreet recently identified seven S&P 500 companies, dubbed "The Misogynist 7," with no women on their boards of directors: Discovery Communications (DISCA) , Garmin (GRMN) , Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) , Linear Technology (LLTC) , Qorvo (QRVO) , Concho Resources (CXO) and Dentsply Sirona (XRAY) . In addition to being behind the curve on a major social issue, these companies have tended to underperform the market and their peers.
We reached out to over 30 institutional investors that, according to data from Bloomberg, have positions in one or more of these companies to find out why they are invested in entities with such a gaping hole in their boards and that are performance laggards. Nobody wanted to talk about it, and many of the largest investors in the country seemed not to have the issue on the radar at all.