BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

April 28, 2016 08:30 ET

BMO Launches BMO Women in Leadership Fund: The First Impact Investing Mutual Fund by a Canadian Bank

- The BMO Women in Leadership Fund invests in North American companies that promote gender-diverse leadership

- BMO Investments Inc. has also launched BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund, a socially responsible investment (SRI) strategy that excludes companies primarily involved in the development and infrastructure of fossil fuels

- The two funds provide Canadians with more choice and the opportunity to make investments that reflect their personal principles

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 28, 2016) - To provide Canadians with more choice and the ability to align their investments more closely with their values, BMO Investments Inc. today launched two mutual funds, including Canada's first impact investing mutual fund by a Canadian bank - BMO Women in Leadership Fund.

"BMO is proud to take a lead on impact investing in Canada - especially in support of a cause such as the advancement of women, which is such a big priority for our bank," said Joanna Rotenberg, Head of Personal Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group. "An increasing number of investors are seeking both financial and social returns from their investments. By providing them with the opportunity to invest in organizations with a higher representation of women, we are giving those investors the ability to promote change by rewarding gender-diverse companies."

Impact investing refers to building portfolios with the intention of creating a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. The BMO Women in Leadership Fund offers investors the opportunity to align their investments with their personal principles to address a social challenge - the under-representation of women in corporate executive leadership. The Fund seeks to invest in North American companies that have a female CEO or a board of directors with at least 25 per cent female representation, referencing the Barclays Women in Leadership North America Index.

"This is a unique offering designed to provide investors with both financial and social value," said Kevin Gopaul, Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice-President, BMO Global Asset Management. "Research has shown that diverse leadership in companies translates into better results. Companies with gender-diverse boards tend to outperform those with no women on their boards and indices of companies with mixed-gender boards have outperformed benchmark indices."*

Ms. Rotenberg noted that BMO has a long history of championing the advancement of women in business and, with the introduction of this new fund, is now offering investors the opportunity to show their support.

BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund

BMO Investments Inc. has also introduced BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund, a socially responsible investment (SRI) strategy. The BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund aims to provide long-term growth of capital by investing in a globally diversified portfolio of equity securities that excludes companies primarily involved in the development and infrastructure of fossil fuels.

"Canadians care about the environment and about the potential impact of fossil fuel extraction and dependence," said Mr. Gopaul. "As a global fund that focuses on companies with strong businesses and significant growth potential, BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund provides Canadian investors with the option to have a diversified portfolio while avoiding fossil fuel producers."

For more information on BMO Women in Leadership Fund and BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund, please visit www.bmo.com/gam/ca.

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $699 billion as of January 31, 2016, and close to 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

*Thomson Reuters

BMO Mutual Funds are offered by BMO Investments Inc., a financial services firm and separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the fund facts or prospectus of the mutual fund before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

Barclays Bank PLC and its affiliates ("Barclays") is not the issuer or producer of BMO Women in Leadership Fund (the "Fund") and Barclays has no responsibilities, obligations or duties to investors in the Fund. Barclays Women in Leadership North America Total Return CAD Index (referenced above and in the prospectus as Barclays Women in Leadership North America Index) (the "Index") is a trademark owned by Barclays Bank PLC and licensed for use by BMO Investments Inc. (the "Manager") as Manager of the Fund. Barclays' only relationship to the Manager and the Fund is the licensing of the Index which is determined, composed and calculated by Barclays without regard to the Manager or the Fund. While the Manager may for itself execute transaction(s) with Barclays in or relating to the Index in connection with the Fund that investors acquire from the Manager, investors in the Fund neither acquire any interest in the Index nor enter into any relationship of any kind whatsoever with Barclays upon making an investment in the Fund. the Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Barclays, and Barclays makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) to the owners of the Fund or members of the public regarding the advisability, legality or suitability of the Fund or use of the Index or any data included therein. Barclays shall not be liable in any way to the investors, or to other third parties in respect of the use or accuracy of the Index or any data included therein or in connection with the administration, marketing, purchasing or performance of the Fund.

Barclays and Barclays Women in Leadership North America Total Return CAD Index are trademarks of Barclays Bank PLC or its affiliates and have been licensed for use in connection with the issuance and distribution of the Fund. The Fund is not sponsored by, endorsed, sold or promoted by Barclays, and Barclays makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in them, the suitability of the Fund as an investment, or the accuracy of the information provided.

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