UK – Former US Vice President Al Gore and former Goldman Sachs Asset Management CEO David Blood have set up a new London-based asset management firm targeting pension funds.
Gore told IPE in an interview that the time was right for him to get involved in such a venture and that he’d been talking to Blood for about a year after being introduced via mutual friends at Goldman Sachs. “It’s the right time for several reasons.”
Gore will chair Generation Investment Management, with Blood as managing partner. The firm aims to be an “independent, employee owned investment management firm focusing initially on long-only global equities”.
Blood said the partners have capitalised the firm to the tune of “multiple millions of dollars”. It would run the partners’ own cash as well as client money.
Mark Ferguson, former co-head of pan-European research at GSAM, will be chief investment officer while ex-GSAM international chief Peter Harris will be chief operating officer.
Former Gore aide Peter Knight would be president of its US arm. Colin le Duc, formerly of Sustainable Asset Management, will be head of research.
Blood said: “Investors are clearly looking for a money management firm dedicated to long-term investing and whose interests are aligned with clients. Generation was founded with these principles in mind.”
It said its research would take into account a broader range of issues than traditional equity analysis. “Generation will invest in companies that will enhance shareholder value by managing the risks and seizing the opportunities that these long-term economic, environmental, social and geopolitical challenges offer.”
Gore said: “The issue of sustainability has always been a passion of mine. Helping to establish the competitive business advantages of sustainability in an investment context with this exceptional team is a very exciting challenge.”
And the non-financial aspects of investing – “these other values” – were now having to be taking into account more. Gore cited events such as China regulating auto emissions more stringently than the US and Russia ratifying the Kyoto climate change treaty. “The business sector is looking to take all these into account.”
“I wanted to get into an area that included integration” between traditional equity research and socially-responsible firms that use techniques such as screening. “We respect those approaches, those companies,” Gore said, but added Generation aims to take it to the next level.