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Opinion
Matt Levine

Krawcheck Proves Everything's an Index Fund Now

Eventually managers will be managing to the MSCI Index of Companies That I'm Thinking About but Haven't Mentioned to Anyone.

Here is a story about the marketing of financial products. Sallie Krawcheck is doing some stuff with the women's network that she bought last year, changing its name from 85 Broads to Ellevate, and using it to offer "an index fund focused on companies where women make up a significant portion of officers and directors":

Now, notice that name change. From "Pax World" to "Pax Ellevate," for the joint venture, sure. But also from "Global Women's Equality Fund" to "Global Women's Index Fund." Now an "equality fund" is not a technical term, but an "index fund" is. Actively managed mutual funds pick stocks to invest in, and then invest in them, hoping to beat some benchmark. Index funds just invest in all of the stocks in an index, hoping to match the performance of the index.