Barclays Bank PLC announced today the launch of the Barclays Return on Disability Exchange Traded Notes (“ETNs”). Barclays plans to list the ETNs on the NYSE Arca Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RODI, to begin trading on September 11, 2014. To celebrate the launch of the ETNs, Barclays will ring the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on September 12, 2014.
The ETNs are linked to the performance of the Return on Disability US LargeCap ETN Total Return USD Index (“the Index”) and are designed to provide investors with exposure to US-based companies that have acted to attract and serve people with disabilities – and their friends and family – as customers and employees. The Index uses a quantitative ranking methodology to measure a company’s publicly observable activities relating to people with disabilities across three key areas: talent, customer and productivity. This ranking methodology focuses on elements that have the potential to increase shareholder value in a company, such as using best practices for attracting and hiring candidates with disabilities, focusing on ‘ease of use’ features in products and services, and implementing productivity-focused process improvements driven by people with disabilities.
The Index notionally tracks the returns that may be available from investing in a basket of up to 100 stocks that are selected pursuant to the Return on Disability® Binary Ranking, created by The Return on Disability Group (an affiliate of the Donovan Group LLC), and meet certain market capitalization, trading volume and financial viability thresholds. Donovan Group LLC is the index sponsor.
An investment in the ETNs involves significant risks, including possible loss of principal, and may not be suitable for all investors. The ETNs are riskier than ordinary unsecured debt securities and have no principal protection. The ETNs are also subject to certain investor fees, which will have a negative effect on the value of the ETNs. The ETNs are speculative and may exhibit high volatility. Because the Index was created in September 2014, extremely limited historical performance data for the Index exists. Owning the ETNs is not the same as owning interests in the companies included in the Index.
The Barclays Return on Disability ETNs are Barclays’ second investment product in the socially-responsible investing space. Barclays launched the Barclays Women in Leadership Index and ETNs in July 2014.
“Approximately 57 million people in the US have a disability – that’s 19% of the population. Companies that invest in targeting and empowering this group offer advantages over the companies that don’t,” said Sue Meirs, Director in Equities and Funds Structured Markets, and Americas co-chair of Barclays’s disability employee network, REACH. “Investors are increasingly looking for ways to invest in socially-responsible themes, and therefore these products provide a market-based approach to help catalyze change.”