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Hillsdale and CFA Society Toronto Announce Winner of 2021 Canadian Investment Research Award

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Hillsdale Investment Management – CFA Society Toronto Research Award. This year’s award-winning research paper is 
Board Gender Diversity and Firm Performance: The Role of Firm Size by Dr. Sana Mohsni, PhD, Associate Professor, Finance and co-author, Alia Shata, a student of Dr. Mohsni at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business.

“This paper adds to the growing body of ESG knowledge by investigating the empirical evidence linking financial performance to better governance metrics such as board gender diversity with a specific emphasis on the impact of firm size. The study helps to explain some of the conflicting results found in much of the literature on diversity and firm performance.” said Chris Guthrie, CFA, President & CEO, CIO, portfolio manager, and founding partner of Hillsdale Investment Management Inc.

Download a copy of the winning paper here

The Hillsdale Investment Management – CFA Society Toronto Research Award is open to global researchers conducting research related to Canadian capital markets including both academics (e.g. professors and students) and practitioners. Research papers are reviewed by a panel of CFA charterholding experts to ensure they are in line with the rigorous values and standards embodied in the CFA designation.

"At its root, Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. believes in and supports applied investment research and the need to continuously invest in our process for the benefit of our clients. Teaming up with CFA Society Toronto to advance such research efforts is natural for us," said Harry Marmer, CFA, Executive Vice President, and partner of Hillsdale Investment Management Inc.

Learn more about the award

Research Paper Abstract
“We examine the moderating effect of firm size on the relationship between board gender diversity and performance in firms listed on the TSX index over the period 2010-2019. We find that board gender diversity is positively related to firm performance and that firm size negatively moderates such relationship, implying that smaller firms benefit the most from gender diversity within their boards. We examine how the Ontario Securities Commission gender diversity rule affects the moderating role of firm size and find that the gender diversity rule negatively affects the relationship between women on boards and firm performance, and that the moderating effect of firm size continues to hold after the implementation of the policy. We also analyze board gender diversity and firm size effects across key industries and the results show that the board gender diversity effect on performance is positive and strongest in Consumer Staples, Utilities and Real Estate, and that it is negative and significant in Industrials. The moderating effect of firm size is at play in most industries. Our results are robust to the use of different measures of gender diversity and firm performance and to the correction of endogeneity issues. In addition, they can help explain some of the inconsistent results on the effect of board gender diversity currently observed in the literature.”

Click here to read more about the award-winning research paper. 

About Hillsdale Investment Management Inc.
Celebrating over a quarter of a century of investment excellence, Hillsdale Investment Management is an independent, employee-owned and client-aligned investment boutique managing over $4 billion on behalf of a select group of institutional and private wealth investors. Hillsdale engages in disciplined active investment management, specializing in equities, alternatives, ESG and customized mandates. Hillsdale is recognized for both investment and service excellence – a reflection of its relentless pursuit of research and development and the dedication of its partners and employees. For more information, please refer to

About CFA Society Toronto
Founded in 1936, CFA Society Toronto is part of the worldwide network of CFA Institute member societies that lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. CFA Society Toronto represents the interests of approximately 11,000 investment professionals in the Greater Toronto Area through advocacy, education, events, and professional development.  For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @cfatoronto and on LinkedIn CFA Society Toronto.