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Indexing Change: Understanding MSCI Thematic Indexes

Thematic investing is a top-down approach that has become increasingly popular with both institutional and retail investors, whether in terms of investment philosophy or product development. In this paper, we review the concept of thematic investing and discuss the differences between it and the factor and ESG investment processes. We then lay out how we model various themes in order to build a rule-based index methodology that represents the performance of companies exposed to a certain trend.

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