By William Alden

The lack of women on corporate boards has been a hot topic in financial circles recently, especially after a debate in Europe last year over imposing quotas.

Now, Wall Street is offering a free-market approach to the issue.

A team within Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division is starting a new portfolio which seeks to invest in companies that have demonstrated a commitment to including women on their corporate boards. The strategy, known as the parity portfolio, is scheduled to get going on April 1.

In a report last summer, Credit Suisse’s research institute found that over a six-year period, companies with “at least some” women on their boards did better, in terms of share price, than those with none.

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