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Blair duQuesnay One of FA Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch

ThirtyNorth CIO Blair duQuesnay was recently named one of FA Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch. The article states:

“Still in her 30s, Blair DuQuesnay has carved out a role as thought leader in her CIO and partner role at New Orleans’ ThirtyNorth Investments, a firm with $135 million in assets. She’s written papers on everything, questioning how cheap ETFs really are to showing the stock performance risks companies take when they have no females on their boards.”

Read the rest of her profile on the FA Magazine website by clicking here.




ThirtyNorth Investments Celebrates Women Impact Strategy’s One-Year Anniversary

Media Contact:
Erica Dilk Communications Strategy Group

ThirtyNorth Investments Celebrates Women Impact Strategy’s One-Year Anniversary
Portfolio outperforms, exceeds benchmark by 3.5 percent

New Orleans – May 10, 2017 – ThirtyNorth Investments, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm founded in 1997, announced today the one-year anniversary of and performance for its Women Impact Strategy. The Women Impact Strategy, launched in April 2016, aims to capture the social and financial benefits of investing in companies with women represented on the board and in senior leadership.

The Women Impact Strategy gained 20.79 percent, net of fees, in the year since its inception, compared to its benchmark, the Russell 3000 Index, which returned 17.28 percent during the same timeframe. On its anniversary date, April 7, the Women Impact Strategy outperformed the Russell 3000 Index in 2017 to date, returning 6.07 percent net of fees, compared to 5.36 percent, respectively.

“We are excited to celebrate this milestone and are proud of the performance, which confirms our core belief that that financial rewards need not take a back seat to gender equality,” said Suzanne T. Mestayer, CIMA®, managing principal at ThirtyNorth. “We look forward to growing the Women Impact Strategy and urge all investors to consider gender-lens investing as an important and up-and-coming subset of impact investing.”

“Board gender diversity was clearly linked to higher stock performance in our research, and we believe investors and their advisors should pay closer attention to gender-lens investing,” said Blair duQuesnay, CFA®, CFP®, principal and chief investment officer at ThirtyNorth. “While the causality of the link between stock performance and board gender diversity remains unanswered, it’s clear that including women as board members and executives is more than a societal benefit – it makes good business sense as well.”

In addition to tallying performance, ThirtyNorth completed the annual rebalance of the portfolio in April. The rebalancing process entails in-depth analysis, ranking companies by sector on performance criteria and board membership. The portfolio is comprised of fifty stocks, purchased at equal weight, and mirrors the sector weighting of the Russell 3000 Index. These companies have a minimum of 20 percent female board members and at least one woman in the executive suite. The portfolio average is 30.4 percent female board members and 26.0 percent female executives. Four of the companies are run by female CEOs and seven have a female Chairman of the Board.

Visit ThirtyNorth’s recently updated website, www.ThirtyNorth.com for more information, and read the whitepaper, Impact of Women in Corporate Leadership, for detailed findings and research.

About ThirtyNorth Investments
For two decades ThirtyNorth Investments, LLC has provided high net-worth individuals and their families, retirement plan sponsors, and non-profit endowments and foundations with objective investment guidance. With its hands on the pulse of the capital markets and a nuanced understanding of the needs of diverse individual and institutional investors, ThirtyNorth leverages deep industry expertise to help its clients navigate the extraordinarily complex marketplace of investment opportunities.
Founded in 1997, ThirtyNorth is a registered investment advisory firm with offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is independent, employee-owned, and unaffiliated with any parent company. Being located outside of a major money center translates to more than just physical distance; it provides another layer of perspective and embeds independence into who we are at ThirtyNorth. The Firm does not receive commissions for the recommendation or sale of investment products to its clients, thus its driving motivation is to put clients’ goals first by providing objective investment advice.



ThirtyNorth Investments, LLC, is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC and only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the advisor has attained a particular level of skill or ability.

• All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment or strategy will be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.

• Performance results are presented net-of-fees and reflect the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains. Short-term results are much less reliable than returns generated over a longer time frame.

• Historical performance results for the Russell 3000 Index do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges or the deduction of an investment-management fee, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results. There are no assurances that an investor’s portfolio will match or outperform any particular benchmark.


Financial Planning: “Gender equality and financial success: Not mutually exclusive?”

ThirtyNorth Investment’s Managing Principle Suzanne Mestayer was recently featured in Financial Planning following a presentation she delivered at the annual IMCA Conference in San Diego on gender lens investing:

Here’s an excerpt:


Women hold only a fraction of roles in corporate leadership. Your clients probably notice.

One way to effect positive change is by helping clients engage in responsible investing through a gender lens, Suzanne Mestayer, managing principal at ThirtyNorth Investments told an audience during her presentation on women executives at the IMCA annual conference in San Diego.

“Why should gender lens investing be important to advisers?” Mestayer asked the audience. “It should be important to you because investors are genuinely interested in this topic.”

She says many investors learn they can effect change this way through unexpected sources.

“People are learning from what they’re reading, their friends and family ― they’re not hearing about it from their financial advisers.”

Mestayer, whose RIA has offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says it’s time to move away from the assumption that making decisions based on the desire to do good deeds isn’t necessarily financially viable.

“We just assume ourselves that it’s not financially the best investment,” she says.
“It may be great for social causes but financially? Is that the best thing I can do for my client?”

Check out the full article by reporter Maddy Perkins here.


Women Impact Strategy – Year End Performance

The Women Impact Strategy finished 2016 strong, outperforming the Russell 3000 Index by 1.88% net of fees since the strategy’s inception on April 7, 2016. As we look forward to our 1-year anniversary in the strategy, we are quite excited by this early performance.

The portfolio is comprised of fifty stocks, purchased at equal weight, and mirrors the sector weighting of the Russell 3000 Index. These companies have a minimum of 20% female board members and at least one woman in the executive suite. The portfolio average is 30.4% female board members and 26.0% female executives. Four of the companies are run by female CEOs and seven have a female Chairman of the Board.

In addition to screening for gender diversity, we look to buy companies we believe can outperform the market. We evaluate companies based on their size, value, and profitability. The Women Impact Strategy offers a potential first-movers advantage and is intended to provide the benefit of social impact with competitive returns.

View the 4th Quarter Fact Sheet for the Women Impact Strategy:



Impact of Women in Corporate Leadership

Despite a plethora of academic research on the benefits of gender diversity in groups, corporations are painfully slow in adding women to their boards. The main question for investors, however, is whether the presence of women on boards improves stock performance. In order to answer this question, we evaluated the companies in the S&P500 Index in 2006 and tracked their performance for 10 years.

We looked at the gender makeup of the boards of companies in the S&P500 Index and tracked their stock performance over a ten-year period. We then divided the stocks into portfolios with zero women, one or more women, and more than 25% women on their boards. The results are fascinating, although not necessarily surprising given the breadth academic research on the benefits of cognitive diversity in teams.

These results do not imply that one gender is superior to the other, but that the combination of both genders has the potential to unlock value in publicly traded stocks.

To read our whitepaper – Impact of Women in Corporate Leadership: The Relative Stock Performance of Gender Diverse Boards, click this link below:

Impact of Women in Corporate Leadership

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It’s Smart to Use Common Sense

Just as you wonder when the bad news cycle or political campaign season will ever end, something is announced which encourages you to think positively about the future.

Recent business news included the release of Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance, www.governanceprinciples.org . Before you quickly conclude that I need a real vacation (yes, it’s scheduled), let me explain why the contents of this release are important to all of us as investors.

Everyone invested in the stock market, through individual stock holdings, mutual funds or ETFs, relies on the quality and competency of the leadership of the corporations in which they invest. This leadership comes from both boards and management, but the focus of these principles is with board leadership.

The Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance were offered by a group of corporate leaders and institutional investors, including Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, Jeff Immelt of GE, Larry Fink of Blackrock and Bill McNabb of Vanguard to name a few. The hope of the authors is that “our effort will be the beginning of a continuing dialogue that will benefit millions of Americans by promoting trust in our nation’s public companies. “

When something goes terribly wrong at a publicly held company, how often do you hear the question “Where was the board?”   Too often there is concern (sometimes justified, oftentimes not) that boards are just cronies of top management, unwilling to ask the challenging questions or overlooking their responsibilities as fiduciaries of shareholders. This sort of thinking erodes trust in the very corporations that provide economic growth and employment in our country.

The letter from the authors of the principles states “truly independent corporate boards are vital to effective governance”. The principles cover best practices in a wide variety of areas from board composition to responsibilities to the public.  It’s a virtual handbook of good governance, and much of it is applicable to private, governmental and non-profit entities as well as public companies. It even addresses diversity on boards, stating that “diverse boards make better decisions, so every board should have members with complementary and diverse skills, backgrounds and experiences”.

As an investor, I find the work of this group encouraging and applaud the leaders who participated. With the adoption of these guiding principles, we should all feel more confident of the actions of our corporate boards. How commonsense is that!