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Companies that embrace LGBT diversity beat the market

“Companies with openly LGBT management, companies voted in a recent survey as a leading LGBT company, or companies whose employees are openly members of local LGBT business networks, outperformed global stocks outperformed global stocks…”

This is pretty simple: companies with LGBT diversity beat the broader market.

A report from Credit Suisse out Friday examines the impact that a focus on LGBT diversity had on corporate performance.

The results showed that companies with openly LGBT management, companies voted in a recent survey as a leading LGBT company, or companies whose employees are openly members of local LGBT business networks, outperformed global stocks as well as a custom Credit Suisse index that included just companies based in the US, Europe, and Australia.

“On a sector adjusted basis, our LGBT 270 index has outperformed MSCI ACWI by an excess 3% per annum over the past six years returning, 6.4% on average each year,” Credit Suisse writes.

“Compared to a customised index including companies just in North America, Europe and Australia, these LGBT 270 companies have outperformed by [1.4%] annually.”

Now, Credit Suisse — which back in 2014 conducted a similar survey that found companies with boards that have at least one female member outperform companies with all-male boards — said that at this stage, “we cannot prove causality, simply correlation.”

Which for less statistically-inclined readers means this research doesn’t suggest embracing LGBT diversity will lead to a company beating the market, only that companies which have embraced diversity have also beat the market in the past.

But the research is getting there, with Credit Suisse adding, “Nevertheless, the growing wealth of research—including our own research on gender and sexual diversity—points to diversity being a positive contribution to corporate performance.”

April 15 COTD 2016

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