23 min

Episode 5: Gender Diversity Funds with Evolve’s Raj Lala The Frontier

    • Business

Prior to founding Evolve ETFs, Mr. Lala served as Head of WisdomTree Canada – a division of WisdomTree Investments Inc., one of the world’s largest ETF issuers. Prior to this, Mr. Lala was Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Markets for Fiera Capital Corporation, a prominent Canadian investment management firm with over $100 billion in assets under management. Mr. Lala co-founded and served as President and CEO of Propel Capital Corporation (which was acquired by Fiera Capital Corporation in September 2014). Propel raised approximately $1 Billion in structured products in its five years of operation. Prior to Propel, Mr. Lala worked with Jovian Capital. Mr. Lala held several roles at Jovian including President of JovFunds Inc., an asset management division of Jovian Capital. Mr. Lala holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Toronto (1994).

02:04 Opening
02:05 Why did you want to get in to the ETF?
04:31 How do you define gender diversity?
06:12 How many companies fit this definition?
06:57 What is the trend in gender diversity? Are more companies achieving it, or is it remaining stagnant? What factors are behind this trend?
09:16 At Evolve, you’ve created a number of specialized ETFs. Specifically, I’m interested to ask you about the Evolve North American Gender Diversity ETF. How did you create this fund? How is it structured?
12:02 As a male who started a Gender diversity ETF, why did you choose to do it and have you received any push back?
12:56 Are there other gender diversity products on the market?
14:32 To play the Devil’s advocate, I’ve read some of the criticisms of gender diversity. One of the main issues critics raise is that firms can become preoccupied chasing gender diversity, and can miss potential hazards or opportunities. In your research, have you found any validity to this “onboarding” time? If not, what are the main criticisms of companies’ focus on attaining gender diversity?
15:42 In the long run, if all companies embrace gender-diversity, like any innovation, the first-mover advantage could dissipate, reducing its benefits. Within this context: Do you believe that the advantage of gender-diversity will be limited once it is more widely achieved?
18:55 Describe the ideal investor for a gender diversity fund in your mind.
20:11 What are some of the challenges facing retail equity investors in the current markets?

Prior to founding Evolve ETFs, Mr. Lala served as Head of WisdomTree Canada – a division of WisdomTree Investments Inc., one of the world’s largest ETF issuers. Prior to this, Mr. Lala was Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Markets for Fiera Capital Corporation, a prominent Canadian investment management firm with over $100 billion in assets under management. Mr. Lala co-founded and served as President and CEO of Propel Capital Corporation (which was acquired by Fiera Capital Corporation in September 2014). Propel raised approximately $1 Billion in structured products in its five years of operation. Prior to Propel, Mr. Lala worked with Jovian Capital. Mr. Lala held several roles at Jovian including President of JovFunds Inc., an asset management division of Jovian Capital. Mr. Lala holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Toronto (1994).

02:04 Opening
02:05 Why did you want to get in to the ETF?
04:31 How do you define gender diversity?
06:12 How many companies fit this definition?
06:57 What is the trend in gender diversity? Are more companies achieving it, or is it remaining stagnant? What factors are behind this trend?
09:16 At Evolve, you’ve created a number of specialized ETFs. Specifically, I’m interested to ask you about the Evolve North American Gender Diversity ETF. How did you create this fund? How is it structured?
12:02 As a male who started a Gender diversity ETF, why did you choose to do it and have you received any push back?
12:56 Are there other gender diversity products on the market?
14:32 To play the Devil’s advocate, I’ve read some of the criticisms of gender diversity. One of the main issues critics raise is that firms can become preoccupied chasing gender diversity, and can miss potential hazards or opportunities. In your research, have you found any validity to this “onboarding” time? If not, what are the main criticisms of companies’ focus on attaining gender diversity?
15:42 In the long run, if all companies embrace gender-diversity, like any innovation, the first-mover advantage could dissipate, reducing its benefits. Within this context: Do you believe that the advantage of gender-diversity will be limited once it is more widely achieved?
18:55 Describe the ideal investor for a gender diversity fund in your mind.
20:11 What are some of the challenges facing retail equity investors in the current markets?

23 min

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