Krawcheck's fund makes bet on women, but lags market

Former Citigroup CFO Sallie Krawcheck is behind a mutual fund which only invests in companies where women have a big presence.

Some investors take a top-down approach to buying stocks. Others simply look at the charts.

But one Wall Street heavyweight has found another method of investing: gender.

Former Citigroup Chief Financial Officer Sallie Krawcheck, who's now chair of the Ellevate Network, has been putting her muscle behind the Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund. The fund only invests in companies where women have a clear leadership presence.

"Those companies that have greater gender diversity and leadership tend to have higher ROEs (return on equity), lower risk, greater innovation, greater client focus, greater long-term focus-that coming together of the different types." Krawcheck said Thursday on CNBC's " Fast Money " from the Morningstar Conference.

The fund, which has $80.1 million in assets under management, is up about 2 percent so far this year. That's in line with the performance of the S&P 500. The fund's top holdings include Aetna , Microsoft , Lockheed Martin and KeyCorp .

However, over the past couple of years, the fund has actually trailed the broader market by a wide margin-posting a three-year return of 32 percent while the S&P 500 has returned 59 percent.

Still, Krawcheck sees benefits to this approach which extends beyond the bottom line.

"It's not woman is better than man or man is better than woman," she said. "It's the diversity that really makes the difference."

JefferiesAnd the Best Place to Work in the global financial markets 2018 is...

Register for HITC Business News