Three hedge fund industry veterans, including former Jana Partners portfolio manager Charles Penner, are launching a new investment firm that will focus on socially responsible investing.
Chris James, the co-founder of technology-focused Andor Capital, teamed up with Penner and Jennifer Garcio, founder of BlackRock’s iShares business, to launch Engine No. 1 with an initial $250 million in capital. The firm expects to raise more from institutional investors and retail investors.
“Framing the debate as ‘shareholder capitalism versus stakeholder capitalism’ does both parties a disservice. Over the long-term, shareholder and stakeholder interests align, and companies that invest in their stakeholders are better, stronger companies as a result,” James said in a statement.
“Through active ownership, we will seek to leverage our long-duration capital and operational expertise to build long-term value by focusing on where we can have a positive impact,” he added.
Penner had been a long-time Jana partner and in 2018 was named co-portfolio manager of the fund’s impact investing fund called Jana Impact Capital along with Dan Hanson, who had managed socially responsible funds at BlackRock. Hanson left Jana in May 2019 and is currently chief investment officer at Ivy Investments, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Activist investors have been increasingly active in the impact investing area. Just recently, Gianluca Ferrari, a former analyst at Shareholder Value Management, launched an ESG fund. ValueAct Capital founder Jeffrey Ubben left the multibillion-dollar firm earlier this year to focus on impact investing.