Asset manager Blackrock and Thomson Reuters have joined forces to launch an exchange traded fund (ETF), which will invest in companies promoting diversity and inclusion policies.

Dubbed iShares Thomson Reuters Inclusion & Diversity UCITS ETF, the new vehicle tracks an index that lists the top 100 companies with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces from more than 2,000 publicly-traded companies across the globe.

The index measures companies based on diversity, inclusion, news and controversies, as well as people development.

The index was developed by Thomson Reuters’ Financial and Risk arm, in which American private equity firm Blackstone Group agreed to purchase a majority stake. The Financial and Risk unit will be rebranded as Refinitiv upon deal completion.

Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk managing director of customer proposition Debra Walton said: “We established this Diversity and Inclusion index three years ago in response to the growing demand for data in support of ESG investment mandates. It leverages our rich ESG data and our index calculation capabilities.”

The new strategy has a total expense ratio of 25 basis points.

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BlackRock head of EMEA Rachel Lord said: “We are launching this Fund at a time when a spotlight is firmly on companies to show what they are doing to improve diversity of their workforce, and as investors demand new funds to express specific preferences within their portfolios.

“It is a significant step forward in the evolution of products that harness the power of social change to deliver long-term investment outcomes.”