13th June 2024

The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1, is under.

You’ll be able to stream and obtain our full dialog, together with any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts in your favourite pod hosts might be discovered right here.


ANNOUNCER: That is Masters in Enterprise with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio.

BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I’ve an additional particular visitor, Jennifer Grancio was there at Barclays when the start of ETFs and passive indexing actually took off on an institutional foundation. She was one of many founding members when BlackRock purchased iShares from Barclays and actually helped drive broad adoption of passive and ETFs within the monetary neighborhood.

At present, she is the CEO of Engine No. 1, which focuses on the fascinating transitions which might be going down in broad strokes throughout the economic system. There are quite a few alternatives in vitality, in local weather, in robotics, in automation, and her agency helps put money into these areas. Not fairly an activist investor, however she has labored with a lot of firms like Exxon and Common Motors and Occidental, the place the enter of Engine No. 1 drove important modifications at these firms.

They’re a longtime investor than a black hat activist the place they’re trying to purchase inventory Forza, an exit of the CEO and promote as soon as the inventory pops, actually fascinating story. I discovered it fairly fascinating and I feel you’ll as nicely.

So with no additional ado, my interview with Engine No. 1’s Jennifer Grancio.

Let’s begin out speaking in regards to the early a part of your profession. I’m actually curious the way you ended up in BlackRock. However earlier than that, you’re working as a guide.

JENNIFER GRANCIO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENGINE NO. 1: Sure. I feel like lots of people in undergrad, I went to Stanford pondering I used to be going to do genetics and science —


GRANCIO: — did an internship, pivoted, ended up doing worldwide relations. Then as you head in direction of the tip of school, you figured you’re going to avoid wasting the world, then I’m going to go work for the World Financial institution. The World Financial institution desires you to take out extra scholar debt and get a grasp’s diploma. So like so many different bright-eyed graduates, I trooped off to, you recognize, one of many conventional skilled companies professions. However what’s type of fascinating for me about consulting was this concept that you simply nearly apprentice with anyone that’s senior, and also you run round and attempt to assist firms and issues. So it looks like a good suggestion at the moment.

RITHOLTZ: At the moment.

GRANCIO: And that’s what I went off to do.

RITHOLTZ: So how do you go from that? How do you find yourself at a spot like BlackRock? iShares appears to have been nearly an unintentional enterprise line from them. Am I remembering accurately, that was a publish monetary disaster Barclays’ buy, one thing alongside these strains?

GRANCIO: Sure, precisely. Yeah. So if you happen to return, so administration consulting, moved again to California and determined I used to be going to be a California individual, not a New Yorker, no offense to New York, spent a whole lot of time right here, all these issues, proper?

RITHOLTZ: Higher climate. The geography is gorgeous. Certain.

GRANCIO: And so I went on the lookout for what I assumed could be one of the best asset administration enterprise, I centered on asset administration inside the consulting house. Like, this concept that in some way if you happen to bought portfolio development and financial savings proper, you assist individuals over time. And so I joined what was Barclays at the moment. The asset administration enterprise of Barclays Financial institution was this little agency known as Barclays International Buyers primarily based in San Francisco.

RITHOLTZ: And that was not such just a little agency at the moment, was it?

GRANCIO: No. It was rising in a short time. And that enterprise was an institutional enterprise. In order an institutional enterprise, we did indexing. We thought indexing was cool. And the iShares and the ETF thought got here from, we simply had a basic perception it was a greater mousetrap. So there’s one thing about an ETF and we might go into that one other time. There’s one thing about an ETF that’s a greater mousetrap than a mutual fund.

And so for Barclays Financial institution, we pitched right here’s an excellent thought. Let’s construct this ETF enterprise within the U.S. And it’s a manner for Barclays to construct in america. And so we launched the enterprise in 2000. So we launched it proper into the dot-com disaster.

RITHOLTZ: So from the dot-com disaster to the worldwide monetary disaster, what have been the circumstances surrounding BlackRock saying to Barclays, yeah, we’ll take that little nugatory enterprise off your palms for a few hours?

GRANCIO: Yeah. And the fascinating factor about an ETF enterprise is that it takes a very long time to construct. And so to your query, round that point, you’re going into 2008, Barclays wanted money. And the index enterprise was beginning to take off within the type of ETFs, or at the very least we thought that, nevertheless it was nonetheless a comparatively small enterprise.

And so who have been the opposite those that in all probability checked out that acquisition included different massive indexers, massive asset managers who weren’t positive, was indexing going to be a factor or not? As a result of bear in mind, on the time, ETFs and index have been synonymous, however Larry, you recognize, was extra forward-looking.

RITHOLTZ: Larry being?

GRANCIO: Larry Fink of BlackRock.

RITHOLTZ: Who arguably, and I do know who Larry is, I simply need the viewers to know, arguably the acquisition of iShares by BlackRock from Barclays might be one of many nice opportunistic distressed purchases in the midst of a disaster ever in financials. What’s iShares to date? Like $four trillion, one thing insanely?

GRANCIO: Monumental.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah. They usually picked it up for a teeny tiny fraction of that. So what was your expertise like when BlackRock took over iShares?

GRANCIO: Yeah. So we constructed the iShares enterprise first inside Barclays. And we have been a, you recognize, small however mighty staff doing ETFs. And the entire thought I bear in mind of ETFs is to go and to problem mutual funds and problem energetic administration. In order that’s a giant factor to tackle.

And in order BlackRock work by way of the acquisition of the entire BGI enterprise, together with iShares, we spent a few years then attending to know BlackRock, as just a little iShares staff, and speaking about ETFs and fee-based recommendation and portfolio development, and all this stuff that we thought have been tendencies we might benefit from and use to construct the enterprise.

However then the enterprise actually simply bought from energy to energy after that acquisition. We got here out of the monetary disaster, few rocky years within the ETF business total. Vanguard determined to get into ETFs in a severe manner. BlackRock and iShares launched that core sequence as a aggressive enterprise. So type of responding to what was occurring available in the market, and the enterprise continued to develop and develop.

After which I feel from an ETF business perspective, we did some essential work on attempting to guard the class of ETFs. So we did a whole lot of work with the U.S. regulators, European regulators and run the enterprise in Europe for some time as nicely, speaking in regards to the variations between like a passive index fund, for instance, an ETF that’s bought commodity publicity and ETF that’s leveraged or inverse, by way of attempting to guard the car and shield the class. And actually since then, there’s simply been continued explosive development.

RITHOLTZ: In your wildest desires, did you ever think about again from the sleepy early days of passive and ETF at Barclays that may develop as much as be simply the dominant mental power in investing, and attain the dimensions it’s reached? What’s even after this 12 months, BlackRock has one thing like $eight trillion? $9 trillion?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I imply, the numbers are enormous. I feel we did, however perhaps we have been naïve. However our view was, it was a development that was going to occur. And if you happen to might personal the development, and if you happen to might speed up the development, this was a greater approach to make investments. A greater approach to make investments is to have a low value answer on the core of the portfolio, after which rent individuals which might be deeply succesful to ship alpha. So I’d say we thought it might be massive. However you recognize, it’s fairly superb.

RITHOLTZ: So that you discuss accelerating the development. What precisely do you do to assist speed up that development? How do you drive acceptance of each ETFs as a wrapper versus conventional ‘40 Act mutual funds, and passive versus extra conventional inventory selecting market timing, energetic funding?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I feel when the business first began, so going again, you recognize, 20 years now, the 2 issues have been synonymous. However, you recognize, let’s take these one by one. So from a passive perspective, the argument we made as an business promoting passive ETFs was you actually had to try what the portfolio is doing over time, whole value, whole threat publicity. And while you did that, you typically discovered that there was a approach to get higher long-term efficiency and cheaper, by having some index in a portfolio. In order that was the story on indexing.

After which we type of stored driving that into this concept of fashions. So now, you recognize, there’s a mannequin, an enormous amount of cash, you recognize, trillions of {dollars} sit in fashions in U.S. wealth. What does that imply? It means a giant wire home. Your brokerage places a mannequin collectively, this a lot of Europe, this a lot U.S., this a lot small cap. After which you should use index merchandise to fill all these allocations. And in order that was the type of the 20-year construct of how did passive get so massive.

After which ETF as a wrapper, it’s simply a good way to get the value in the intervening time if you happen to’re shopping for into the general public markets, primary. And quantity two, it’s a good way to handle tax, the place if you happen to purchase one thing now and also you promote it in 20 years, and the markets gone up, guess what, now we have to pay tax on that. However the type of annual capital beneficial properties present you get from a whole lot of mutual funds, it may be managed very astutely within the ETF wrapper. And that’s nice. Like, that’s nice for all buyers.

RITHOLTZ: Which means if you happen to’re a mutual fund proprietor who’s not promoting, however anyone else sells and generates a capital achieve, that will get unfold round to the opposite older (ph) —

GRANCIO: Precisely. So even if you happen to’re —

RITHOLTZ: — which doesn’t make sense in any respect.

GRANCIO: I imply, as anyone that’s been doing ETFs for a very long time, I say it doesn’t make any sense, in any respect, as a result of there’s one other approach to do it. And we’re lastly seeing that now. We’re lastly seeing a whole lot of the massive mutual fund firms begin changing into ETFs.

RITHOLTZ: The flows even in a down 12 months like 2022, the flows have all been in direction of passive, in direction of ETFs, in direction of low value. It looks like a significantly better mousetrap.

GRANCIO: I feel it’s.

RITHOLTZ: However I’m not going to get a lot of an argument from you on that. So that you talked about Vanguard, we’re speaking about Black Rock. Let’s discuss just a little bit in regards to the function of brand name on within the business. How essential is that while you’re placing out both a low value passive ETF at three or four BPS, or one thing extra energetic or thematic on the ETF aspect?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I imply, the function of brand name is fairly crucial. And if you concentrate on within the index enterprise, if you happen to’re managing it nicely, there’s not a whole lot of efficiency. It’s are you monitoring the index? Sure or no. And in order that energy of the model is very large. And my commentary on this house is that the typical investor, the typical retail individual that’s going out and investing or speaking to an advisor, they don’t essentially know one product supplier or investor versus one other. However they undoubtedly know who they do enterprise with or who they purchase from. In order that retail brokerage model, their advisory model has a big impact on them.

So to your query on Vanguard, like Vanguard is a brokerage agency, so that you type of know Vanguard. Vanguard does your 401(okay), you’ve heard of Vanguard. And so for different those that enter the business, and that is definitely what we did within the iShares enterprise or what we do now at Engine No. 1, is you actually need to be clear on who’re you and what’s your story as a result of that model issues lots.

RITHOLTZ: So that you talked about brokerage companies, and Vanguard does 401(okay) brokerage. They do all types of clearly mutual funds and ETFs. How do you see among the larger custodians and precise brokers like Schwab and Constancy by way of ETF developments? We all know it’s BlackRock, Vanguard and State Road on the prime. These guys are not any slouches both, are they?

GRANCIO: No. I imply, I’d say if we return and we have a look at the historical past of ETFs and the way they’ve developed, we see State Road, Vanguard and BlackRock. BlackRock iShares could be very dominant, they usually’re going to proceed to be dominant in passive, interval. They’re there. They’re massive. They’re so massive now. And we’ll come again to this later. I personally assume there’s some issues with how massive they’re. However from an ease of shopping for decision-making perspective, they’re massive. They’re dominant.

The brokerages have been late to get within the recreation. So Constancy and Schwab bought in a lot later. They don’t cost charges for these merchandise. And so it makes it more durable for them as a type of a company organism to, you recognize, have that be a giant a part of their enterprise. After which what we’re very enthusiastic about it Engine No. 1, and what you’re seeing with the mutual fund conversions, the massive ones at DFA, at Franklin Templeton, and the record goes on, there are numerous, is that we’re now prepared to maneuver energetic funds into the ETF construction. And that I feel could be very thrilling. However that’s new, that’s very new improvement.

RITHOLTZ: So let’s discuss just a little bit about Engine No. 1. First, how did you get there from Black Rock? What led that transition?

GRANCIO: Yeah. So I left BlackRock very giant. I wished to perform a little bit extra innovation. And I feel typically the most important companies are nice, however they will’t at all times lead from an innovation or change perspective.


GRANCIO: So I spent a few years, I constructed an advisory agency, and took a pair years to resolve on, you recognize, what was the following transfer? And I did some nice work with a lot of giant wealth and IRA companies that have been going by way of an M&A or promoting themselves course of, did some work on influence investing, truly led me to Ethic and joined the MannKind board, however determined I used to be undoubtedly going to be a builder, that there was this chance to do one thing completely different than conventional mutual fund and passive ETF. And so I began on the lookout for what could be the factor I wished to construct with companions, after which I met Chris James.

RITHOLTZ: And did you launch Engine No. 1, or did you be a part of him when it was already present?

GRANCIO: We launched it collectively. Going again, you recognize, earlier than we began the agency, so Chris James is our founder at Engine No. 1. And Chris’ background is hedge fund and personal fund investments. And what he’s actually recognized for, he’s recognized for taking an especially lengthy view on one thing and doing the work to let’s say, the place is the chance as you undergo an enormous transformation or transition?

So Chris was exhausting at work on this and wished to achieve into the wealth house. So moderately than simply doing merchandise that have been personal and you could possibly assist establishments make investments, what might we do this was broad and into the wealth house? So I joined him to collaborate, given my background on that aspect of the enterprise.

And the thought of Engine No. 1 is simply to assist individuals profit from these enormous transitions and transformations which might be very a lot not the backwards-looking. Look, Google and Amazon bought nice. You recognize, our portfolios have a whole lot of development in tech, nice. There’s some huge cash to be made within the vitality transition, transportation, agriculture. And so actually, the thought of the agency is to have the ability to look ahead, discover mispricing, and earn a living as we undergo these enormous modifications.

RITHOLTZ: The agency’s identify is intriguing. The place does Engine No. 1 come from?

GRANCIO: The primary firehouse in San Francisco is definitely a few blocks from our workplace. And in speaking about what we have been attempting to do, which is perhaps it’s grandiose, but when you concentrate on it like capitalism works. And what we have been agitated about is we noticed the market, you have got ESG over right here, very small. We expect old-fashioned ESG doesn’t work. Now we have a robust view on that. We’ll come again to that.

Indexing, too many shares are locked up in indexes. Index don’t vote their shares. After which perhaps most essential of all, we’re going to wish a Common Motors and Ford to truly be capable to do that enormous transition from inside combustion to battery electrical autos. And so, you recognize, truly, the firehouse is the middle of the neighborhood, proper.

And if you concentrate on how a neighborhood survives, the firehouse is the middle of the neighborhood. It takes care of itself. A well-run enterprise actually must be so simple as kind of taking good care of the atmosphere, it’s in being conscious of it. And in public markets, meaning you even have to have the ability to adapt and handle their change.

RITHOLTZ: So inform us just a little bit in regards to the methods you guys make use of. What are your key focuses? How do you deploy capital?

GRANCIO: Yeah. As a enterprise, we run an alts enterprise, after which we run the ETF platform. So if you concentrate on it very merely, these enormous concepts about transition and transformation and methods to earn a living are quite common throughout what we do. However now we have two companies. And the massive concepts are these transitions and transformations, and the way do you’re taking benefit.

And so after we have a look at public firms, we have a look at each single firm, and we have a look at what their path is thru time. So I feel this is likely one of the issues with a whole lot of funding methods proper now’s they’re trying to brief time period. After which we construct the influence or externality information, we simply construct it into the monetary mannequin, proper? As a result of the info is on the market notably on governance, notably on environmental points.

And after we do this, within the sectors which might be in transition, let’s take vitality, for instance. Should you’re an oil and gasoline firm, and also you don’t account for the emissions that you simply’re coping with and also you don’t lower them over time, you’re going to have an issue. And we noticed this after we began constructing the enterprise that a whole lot of these firms have been heading in direction of zero terminal worth. So let’s take Exxon, for instance —


GRANCIO: — the place if you happen to take Exxon, and Exxon retains doing long-dated fossil gasoline initiatives, and has no plan to scale back emissions at any cut-off date, and has no plans to develop a inexperienced enterprise. Properly, that’s not excellent for Exxon inventory after we get to 7 or 10 years out. And so we see a whole lot of these alternatives the place prefer it’s simply math. The capitalist system is meant to have the corporate govern itself, in order that it’s getting cash by way of time. It has an extended length of enterprise, and it has a better worth. And that’s the type of the way in which that we work in every thing that we do.

RITHOLTZ: So that you talked about environmental points and influence. You talked about governance. This sounds lots like two-thirds of ESG.

GRANCIO: Yeah. We expect the way in which individuals use that label is just a little bit problematic. So individuals typically use that label wanting backwards.

RITHOLTZ: Flash that out just a little extra —

GRANCIO: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: — as a result of once I hear somebody mentions ESG, I sometimes consider an investor and for probably the most half, as we undergo this generational wealth switch, you do surveys of buyers, husband handed away, the spouse tends to be rather more empathetic with problems with equality and environmental considerations. And the following era is rather more involved. So it looks like there’s a want to precise these beliefs of their portfolios. Why does that not work with ESG?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I imply, I assume our view on that may be, you possibly can at all times specific values in a portfolio. However if you happen to’re going to precise values in a portfolio, say that I’m expressing my values within the portfolio, which is completely different than the core idea of managing cash over time typically, for the person who’s doing the managing is to be a fiduciary —


GRANCIO: — and drive good outcomes and powerful returns. And typically, for the investor, is to drive returns over time. And so the way in which we give it some thought is, actually, you are able to do that. And any enterprise that’s going to outlive over time needs to be sustainable, has to deal with or mainly cowl their impacts, proper, after the price of capital in order that they are often worthwhile over time.

So as an alternative of pondering ESG means it’s values primarily based, I don’t like the corporate, they’re dangerous, I’m going to display them out of my portfolio. We don’t assume that’s a good way to handle your core portfolio over time. We expect the higher manner is you merely have to have interaction with the businesses to make it possible for their most materials impacts that’s monetary information, proper? That’s threat information if you happen to don’t handle your emissions as an oil and gasoline firm.

And so let’s construct that into simply investing to make returns versus this particular class, which, you recognize, it devalues base and ESG tends to type of infer worth over efficiency, proper, or divesting from firms that you simply don’t like. And we don’t assume that’s a good way to speculate.

RITHOLTZ: So let me push again just a little bit on the low carbon technique. It looks like it’s half of the financial equation as a result of individuals appear to be approaching entities like ExxonMobil and others, the suppliers of the carbon-based gasoline. What’s that doing if you happen to’re ignoring the opposite half, the shoppers? So each different firm that isn’t a carbon vitality producer is more likely to be a carbon vitality client. They’re operating factories. They’re delivery items. They’re having places of work. Why deal with one half of the equation and never the opposite?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I imply, I feel that’s the best query. And we deal with each. And so let’s take for a minute the vitality business, after which the transportation or auto business. That’s an instance of that type of handshake or handlock, proper?

So within the case of the automobile firms, that’s consumption. So if we’re shoppers and we’re driving vehicles, which we nonetheless do and individuals are planning on doing sooner or later, the automobile firm can swap from encouraging the habits of driving inside combustion engines, which have very excessive emissions, or the automobile firm can know that the buyer demand is shifting just a little bit they usually can construct a automobile that’s an superior battery electrical, moderately priced car. After which they will seize that shift in demand. And that’s actually good for the automobile firm.

So truly, we 100% imagine that this has to primarily be pushed on the buyer demand aspect and on my first piece of that. So if I’m a client, I purchase a automobile, you’ve bought to start out with the automobile firm. Nonetheless, if you happen to have a look at world emissions, you recognize, 34 p.c of that right this moment comes from the vitality firms. So on the identical time in parallel, there’s nonetheless a possibility to work with these firms on, as battery electrical comes up, as fossil gasoline comes down, how do these firms make some huge cash 9 or 10 years from now as we undergo that transition?

RITHOLTZ: Clarify that 34 p.c. As a result of, once more, it’s that somebody is a purchaser, somebody is a vendor. They’re not burning 34 p.c of the fossil fuels, they’re promoting it to shoppers —

GRANCIO: That’s proper.

RITHOLTZ: — who have been burning it. Like, there are some low carbon ETFs. I simply don’t perceive. It’s why the battle on medication failed, if you happen to’re solely going to interdict the provision however ignore the calls for, you’re not going to achieve success.

GRANCIO: Yeah, that’s proper. I imply, and we expect from an funding perspective, if you wish to resolve this downside on how do you’re taking emissions down, we expect that downside might be solved and you can also make cash by proudly owning the individuals which might be going to win. So that you requested earlier than, like, what can we do? What methods can we run within the ETF enterprise? Our energetic staff, it’s successfully hedge fund buyers. So that they’re very concentrated portfolios.

We imagine we’re proper. There’s a handful of names, like underneath 30 names right this moment within the portfolio. Ticker is NETZ, Rework Local weather (NETZ), and what that portfolio holds is it holds firms which have emissions. However we imagine that the businesses within the portfolio are the businesses which have the best technique to, if I’m an vitality firm, I’m producing vitality. There’s demand for vitality, that’s what I do. However I’ll let you know my emissions, I’ll do methane third-party monitoring. I’ll do all the best issues. In order that from a social license to function perspective, I’m on the prime of my peer group.

And in all instances, they’ve a method whereas fossil gasoline demand declines, not right this moment, however in 7, 10 years, they’ve a method to truly earn a living and nonetheless have worth. So we’re selecting the highest finest performing vitality firms. We’re not saying vitality is dangerous. Vitality is important, and we want that vitality within the transition. And the portfolio then additionally holds the automobile firms that we expect win.

RITHOLTZ: So let’s discuss a few names. So a few vitality names from NETZ and a few core firms from NETZ.

GRANCIO: Yeah. And so one of many names we had within the portfolio, which is definitely so extremely valued, it goes out and in, relying on if it’s overvalued —


GRANCIO: — it’s an energetic fund, is Occidental (OXY). And that’s an instance, they have been actually the chief within the house. So they’d began to develop greener companies in order that as fossil use comes down, they’ve one other enterprise they usually’re aggressive. That’s nice for long-term worth of the corporate. And —

RITHOLTZ: What are their inexperienced companies? Issues like photo voltaic and wind or —

GRANCIO: They’ve a variety of issues that they do in that house, however consider it as committing early to seek out methods to earn a living, having these individuals on employees, on the board that know methods to run inexperienced companies. After which from an emissions perspective, additionally, they have been very early on telling us, being very clear on Scope 1 and a couple of, and agreeing to grease, gasoline, methane partnership emissions with third-party monitoring of emissions, which we expect is crucial as a result of once more, methane emissions leaking, that’s in all probability the most important factor.

RITHOLTZ: Particularly with pure gasoline. However with fairly any type of automobile being —

GRANCIO: That’s proper.

RITHOLTZ: — seize, your carbon elimination from the bottom, that’s a giant threat. Methane is even worse than CO2 within the ambiance, proper?

GRANCIO: That’s proper. And that’s proper, and that’s among the energetic possession work we did on that portfolio, the place Conoco and Devon are firms that we labored with, to affix the methane third-party verification partnership this previous summer time. And that’s after we discuss Engine No. 1 as energetic homeowners, it’s not at all times, you recognize, the black hat activist. We truly haven’t achieved that aside from Exxon. However the capacity to essentially perceive their enterprise and go in and work with them. And truly, having them methane verified is a giant deal, as a result of then individuals perceive what you’re doing in that a part of the enterprise. And it offers you license to function as a result of we want that vitality supply.

RITHOLTZ: What are the automobile firms which might be in NETZ?

GRANCIO: Common Motors is in NETZ. Ford has been, it goes out and in of the portfolio, primarily based on how they’re doing, managing a few of their provide chain constraint points. After which Tesla is within the portfolio. However GM is at a a lot bigger weight than Tesla. After which Tesla went out of the portfolio for governance causes.

RITHOLTZ: As a result of? Give me extra particular.

GRANCIO: Twitter. Due to Twitter. So the way in which that we handle that portfolio, mainly what NETZ is, is you’re holding among the greatest emitters, and also you’re holding this 1.eight metric tons of emissions a 12 months, so not low carbon, excessive carbon. After which what we anticipate is that these firms are going to take that quantity all the way down to lower than half inside a decade. And so if you happen to care about influence or sustainability, yeah, that’s nice. That’s an enormous win. You’re holding the businesses, watching them. They’re taking emissions down.

However if you wish to earn a living, you’re holding the businesses which might be offering vitality, however doing it in a manner that they’ve a social license to function. After which kind of come again to your Tesla instance, all of this begins with governance. And so if a public firm goes to earn a living over years and years, it’s all about governance. And do you perceive your markets? Do you perceive how issues change? And so if you happen to’re operating Tesla and you’ve got an enormous job to do by way of scaling that enterprise, however you’re additionally doing different issues on the identical time —


GRANCIO: — and saying you don’t have time to run Tesla, nicely, that’s type of a governance difficulty.

RITHOLTZ: So once I seemed on the acquisition of Twitter which began out as a lark, $44 billion, the market drops, wild overpayment. The larger difficulty is that if you concentrate on who’s Tesla patrons, they appear to not be the individuals who Elon is taking part in to on Twitter. And in reality, as a lot as there are a whole lot of fanboys and I feel you need to give Elon full credit score for shifting your entire auto business to EVs, I feel all of the legacy-makers checked out him and mentioned, we are able to’t let Elon do to us what Bezos did to the ebook business and the booksellers and a dozen different industries. But it surely looks like he’s alienating that core center left, all these liberals we’re going to personal on Twitter. He appears to be chasing away a whole lot of his future patrons of Tesla’s.

GRANCIO: He could also be. That’s excellent news for GM NASA. We’re okay. We’re lined on that one.

RITHOLTZ: And to say nothing about valuation points and different assorted issues —

GRANCIO: Proper.

RITHOLTZ: — I’m assuming that is in strictly an ESG guidelines. You seemed on the typical —

GRANCIO: By no means. Yeah, we seemed on the typical issues and that’s perhaps our most important level, which is the individuals get in our business particularly. They get caught in previous frameworks, proper? An ETF is an index fund. An activist is anyone that is available in brief time period and fires the CEO. So I feel we must be cautious of these kind of brief methods and shorthand methods of pondering in investments.

Our perspective is that there’s a whole lot of information out there now. Now we have an enormous quantity of knowledge. Take the local weather and environmental-related points. Now we have a whole lot of information on carbon, and we are able to estimate carbon costs. And so in a primary basic monetary mannequin, you can begin together with your previous conventional monetary mannequin. However you possibly can add in, we do that, we are able to add within the monetization of these emissions.

After which as you construct out your monetary mannequin, you possibly can have a look at how the corporate reduces them over time. And we see these as purely monetary metrics, proper? That enormous externality for an organization is a threat or monetary measure. It’s not some separate ESG dot bubble score system. It’s simply their numbers, it’s math. It ought to go into the long-term valuation of the enterprise.

RITHOLTZ: Let’s discuss in regards to the Exxon scenario. You accrued a comparatively small variety of shares, after which reached out to administration. Inform us in regards to the course of and the way they reacted to your overtures.

GRANCIO: Yeah. So from a staff perspective, we began by making an financial case. So we did the work on right here’s what we might do in a different way, right here’s how we expect the worth of the enterprise wouldn’t be increased if we did this. And the options on what we might do in a different way included disclosure of emissions. It included higher capital allocation selections between this kind of short-term vitality transition interval. And we don’t know when it’s going to be, because of, you recognize, Putin and the Ukraine, longer than we thought a 12 months in the past.

RITHOLTZ: Proper. Proper.

GRANCIO: However in some unspecified time in the future, we’re going to begin to actually pivot into an vitality transition. And so what’s your finest pondering, Exxon as an organization, on what your corporation appears to be like like, and your functionality at a board degree to increase the length of the enterprise, do issues that could be renewable, or no matter they might be. What’s it that you are able to do that’s in that space? And so these have been the issues that we requested.

RITHOLTZ: They have been receptive to that?

GRANCIO: They weren’t receptive to that. However these are the issues that we requested, which is normally how this stuff begin.

RITHOLTZ: So .02 p.c of excellent shares doesn’t precisely put the concern of God into them. Why a toe within the water and never a extra substantial stake?

GRANCIO: Exxon, going again to after we began the proxy marketing campaign —

RITHOLTZ: They have been big, proper?

GRANCIO: They have been big, but in addition they have been an enormous by way of the massive asset managers had not been in a position to get them to pivot from a governance perspective. So there have been recognized considerations about governance. Quite a lot of the massive buyers take a slower method to work with administration, not trigger an excessive amount of change, request modifications. And there simply hadn’t been any progress on this case.

So we have been in a position to have conversations. And the staff did an enormous quantity of labor with buyers and passive buyers, and energetic buyers, strolling by way of our financial case. If this stuff occur, higher governance, higher financial efficiency, and that, we expect, is what allowed us to rally help. And as we have been rallying help, as you see on this scenario, I’m positive Exxon was speaking to a few of these buyers as nicely. And in order we went by way of the marketing campaign course of, we noticed a few of these modifications, modifications in capital allocation selections, and intention to launch a inexperienced enterprise. So a few of these modifications began even earlier than the proxy vote the place new administrators have been elected onto the board.

RITHOLTZ: So we discuss lots about particular firms. How do you have a look at the macro atmosphere and geopolitics? You talked about Putin’s invasion or the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Arguably, that’s going to speed up the greening of Europe particularly, and the transfer to different vitality sources, not depending on Russia, which is all carbon.

GRANCIO: Yeah. And I feel to some extent, you possibly can’t management what’s the second in time the place the vitality transition occurs, proper? Nonetheless —

RITHOLTZ: Proper now. Proper. Aren’t we kind of within the midst of this right this moment?

GRANCIO: We’re within the transition. Completely. However we expect that if you happen to wished to not use fossil or carbon intensive now, it wouldn’t probably work.


GRANCIO: We’re not able to be transitioned. We’re within the transition. And so the way in which we give it some thought is now we have to be very savvy about the place do you have got a brown enterprise? The place can that brown enterprise be grey? The place does it begin to use inexperienced methods?

Pure gasoline is a superb instance. We’d like pure gasoline. So how do you progress pure gasoline in a manner the place you’re taking a look at methane. You don’t have methane leaks. You’re utilizing inexperienced vitality and electrical sources to course of the pure gasoline. There are a whole lot of issues we are able to do even whereas we’re utilizing fossil to be cleaner, nd to place the individuals which might be cleaner and doing fossil in a greater place to promote versus their competitor, as a result of we’re seeing these modifications. And we do have lots of people taking a look at carbon footprint as they’re shopping for or investing in firms.

RITHOLTZ: So my colleague, Matt Levine talked about your win. And now says, after they see you coming, you’re not presenting as a scrappy, small startup. You’re bringing some receipts to the desk. Hey, Exxon knuckled down. Now, you and I’ve a dialog. How has that modified since that win?

GRANCIO: Yeah. We began with Exxon successfully. And so I wouldn’t say the following day, it was a sea change in a constructive manner. I’d say it’s difficult, as a result of after you’ve achieved that, the board and the CEO are just a little bit fearful about what our intentions are and it takes time to construct these relationships. And Chris does a whole lot of this work straight with the CEOs and the businesses which might be within the portfolios. And it takes time to construct belief.

However our relationship with them is mainly having modeled their enterprise ourselves and modeled all their competitor companies, and have gone to type of up and down the provision chains. And as soon as we get to know one another, we’re giving them what they discover is definitely some very useful perspective on if I like your corporation, I feel this, you recognize, client demand goes to flip sooner, you’re going to overlook it, or how organized are you on provide chain? What are your bottlenecks? And so it’s turn out to be actually very constructive with a whole lot of the businesses that we work with.

RITHOLTZ: It appears like your early coaching within the guide world wasn’t for naught. That is nearly a hybrid between activist investing and consultants.

GRANCIO: And simply investing, proper, prime quality investing means you actually have to grasp what an organization technique is and what are the bottlenecks, what are the locations the place they might miss. Should you perceive these, you can also make these quicker, shorter, higher, much less threat. Then that’s actually constructive for being extra positive that the corporate will increase in worth.

RITHOLTZ: So let’s discuss just a little bit about your toolbox. You talked about proxy voting, you talked about modeling. What else does Engine No. 1 deliver to the desk as methods to get administration to see the world out of your perspective?

GRANCIO: Yeah. And a part of it’s the information science work that we do across the sizing of emissions, comparative emissions, monetization of emissions, so name that our whole worth method to wanting on the externalities of those firms. So we deliver that. We’ve achieved the modeling all the elemental work that we do. After which it’s very energetic engagement, the place we wish to keep engaged. That’s a part of the place the alts enterprise got here from. If there’s one thing within the personal markets that would work in a different way to assist a giant public firm transfer, can we make connections? Can we assist that transfer alongside?

After which proxy voting is essential. So most of what we do is this type of very intense energetic engagement. And we’re energetic homeowners of the corporate, not at all times an activist in a conventional that means. We additionally launched an index product. So you recognize, our view is that you simply actually have to carry these firms if you wish to personal the winners over time. And if you wish to drive change, you even have to carry the businesses, you possibly can’t divest.

An issue within the dominance of the present index suppliers is that they’re massive and it’s difficult to vote shares, as a result of you have got individuals on completely different sides of each difficulty. So whereas we’re at it, put a brand new index product out in the marketplace, that ticker is VOTE, which is fairly easy. It’s actually an index. We vote the shares consistent with our financial outcomes, and we publish them as quickly as we vote. So just a little choice for those who nonetheless wish to use index as an alternative of energetic.

RITHOLTZ: That’s actually fascinating. We’ve talked about Exxon thus far, and Tesla and Ford. Inform us about your involvement in Common Motors, what attracted you to the corporate, and what kind of positioning do you have got with it.

GRANCIO: Yeah. And Common Motors, it’s going to take a while, proper? So Common Motors has been within the portfolio since we launched NETZ and nonetheless is, and has stayed there. And after we work with Common Motors, a whole lot of our work has been about how can we speed up the transition to battery electrical autos for them as a producer, and never for an ideological motive, purely as a result of we expect the buyer demand is shifting extra rapidly.

RITHOLTZ: That’s the place the market goes.

GRANCIO: Proper. That’s the place the market goes.

RITHOLTZ: That’s the place the buyer demand is shifting.

GRANCIO: Once more, that is an financial argument for us in working with Common Motors, that the quicker you get to all battery electrical, which suggests you must construct the battery crops, you must construct them larger, you must construct them quicker, you want provide agreements locked up for the uncommon metals, after which you must work on bringing the price of batteries down.

As a result of as all of that occurs, GM makes eight to 9 million vehicles a 12 months. And so if these vehicles are all battery electrical autos and the battery value comes down, you recognize, what’s Tesla’s a number of, proper? They’ve the chance to go from the place the GM a number of is right this moment, which could be very low, very depressed worth inventory, all the way in which as much as what producing BEVs at scale goes to appear to be. And that’s an enormous worth creation alternative.

RITHOLTZ: Let’s discuss what’s occurring on the planet of ESG and greenwashing and wokeism. There’s so many issues occurring right here and I feel individuals don’t actually use these buzzwords appropriately. Let’s begin out with greenwashing. Inform us your view of it and why it’s problematic.

GRANCIO: Properly, I feel if you happen to might do every thing from scratch, I get this lots from those that run giant asset administration firms, they’re like, gosh, I want I might simply begin every thing from scratch once more on this atmosphere. So I feel the truth is, if you happen to’re operating a method and also you don’t care, otherwise you don’t have threat metrics on, let’s say, the atmosphere and your technique, it’s very exhausting to suit them on prime. And I feel lots of people get caught in that from a greenwashing perspective.

What we do is we begin from scratch. We take into consideration these materials influence issues as monetary information, and it’s simply a part of our course of. And so there’s no greenwashing there. However for those who have been investing in one thing and now wish to benefit from a second in time, or individuals which might be investing and truly don’t actually perceive how environmental threat issue into the portfolio, I do assume you simply need to take a timeout and return to fundamentals and higher articulate what the technique is and what you’re truly doing to the market. And if it’s not a inexperienced technique, you type of need to say that.

RITHOLTZ: It looks like a whole lot of this has simply been on the new buzzword of the day.

GRANCIO: Properly, a whole lot of our society proper now has been on the buzzword of the day. So I feel we must be very cautious about that on the subject of investing.

RITHOLTZ: So let’s discuss wokeism. You’re describing ESG as kind of a threat administration software to filter out sure potential issues down the street. But when I decide up the Wall Road Journal or the New York Put up and flip it to the editorial part, all I hear is woke capitalism and that is what Disney is doing, and that is what Apple is doing, and that is what Nike is doing. Is that this actually woke capitalism? Inform us what’s occurring in that house.

GRANCIO: Yeah, I feel now we have to recollect what capitalism is. After which I’m unsure what we imply by woke, which is a part of the issue. So your capitalism is supposed to be you in public markets type of, you recognize, put that within the personal markets as nicely. It’s meant to be you have got a set of monetary shareholders, you have got different stakeholders. You’re getting cash for the shareholders over time. That’s the definition of capitalism. It’s actually exhausting to earn a living for shareholders, the monetary shareholders over time if you happen to don’t deal with your staff nicely otherwise you destroy the neighborhood through which you reside. That’s simply type of good enterprise or doing enterprise the best manner.

I feel we typically get confused after we discuss values or practices, and you may’t hyperlink it straight again to monetary returns. So, hear, on the subject of local weather, we really feel like we are able to do a reasonably good job with the info on the market, to hyperlink how an organization handles local weather and atmosphere with how they carry out as a inventory over time.

You recognize, there’s not sufficient information on the social aspect. The analysis is spotty. I actually hope there’s higher information. I hope the analysis will get higher. I hope now we have causality there. However I feel as buyers, now we have to watch out what we’re speaking about. If the corporate has much less emissions, they get credit score for attempting to do the best factor and the inventory value goes up. That’s capitalism. The place from a values-based perspective, we wish to ask an organization to do one thing, that’s just a little bit completely different. So I feel that distinction is de facto essential.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s fairly sturdy then on governance, if you happen to —

GRANCIO: Sure, it did.

RITHOLTZ: — elevate ladies to senior members, when you’ve got individuals in your board which might be numerous. These firms traditionally have outperformed the businesses that haven’t.

GRANCIO: Yeah. And the board, for a minute, is one other one which’s very exhausting to scale back into one stat. So if you concentrate on all of the analysis that’s been achieved on boards, in Engine No. 1, we do a whole lot of work with teachers. So we’re at all times attempting to search for these locations the place we’ve bought information and causality, and we are able to hyperlink it to financial outcomes.

And on the subject of boards, what a whole lot of the analysis would inform us is that if a board is deeply non-diverse, that first, if you happen to add one numerous individual or thinker, they might even have worse efficiency. But when a board begins to have a number of types of variety, and the board listens to the varied factors of view, these are the boards the place we get the true outperformance.

After which bear in mind, it’s a board. So it’s not simply variety of thought, it needs to be variety of functionality. As a result of as these firms undergo change, you recognize, you want different CEOs which have been profitable by way of change. You recognize, if you happen to’re an old style media firm, you want individuals on the board which might be profitable with the place the puck goes. So I feel now we have to search for each of these sorts of variety. And boards that hear to one another, have variety and have that essential variety of functionality, completely, these are going to be the very best performing ones.

RITHOLTZ: So we talked about Exxon. We talked about GM, and Ford, and Tesla. What different firms are you taking a look at as being on the slicing fringe of change to benefit from this transitional second?

GRANCIO: Yeah. I imply, one of many issues we’re enthusiastic about, I can’t discuss in regards to the product as a result of we’re not by way of the SEC with it but —


GRANCIO: — though it’s in submitting. However from a theme perspective, we’re tremendous excited for the U.S., from a U.S. competitiveness perspective. What occurred throughout COVID is provide chains have been too world, too fragile, they usually broke.


GRANCIO: And so what we’re already seeing, and we’re going to see much more of this within the subsequent few years, is we’re seeing an enormous resurgence of producing jobs within the U.S. and it’s going to be nice for lots of those communities. So we see semiconductor crops. We see battery crops, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky.

RITHOLTZ: Arizona is beginning a giant chip —

GRANCIO: — Texas. Precisely. So it’s occurring already. There’s an enormous improve in manufacturing. After which as that occurs, if you happen to construct a producing plant, there’s an enormous job multiplier. You have got individuals are available in to construct the plant, and other people work within the plant, and other people work to maneuver items out and in of a plant.

And we’re going to see an enormous development, we imagine, in railroads. So if you happen to’re going to extend manufacturing within the North America, guess what, you don’t must ship issues abroad. You want higher, simpler railroad, persevering with to strengthen the strains and the motion of products across the U.S.

After which automation, so good and dangerous is, you recognize, now we have much less birthrate and fewer individuals coming to the U.S. And we’re going to have an enormous variety of high quality jobs. And so firms like Rockwell Automation, that top high quality jobs and model new factories, with automation to help within the manufacturing. It’s going to be fairly superior from an funding staff perspective.

RITHOLTZ: So Rockwell simply isn’t terrifying us with YouTube movies of robots which might be coming to kill jobs (ph)?

GRANCIO: No. The prime quality blue collar, if you’ll, staff and all these new crops, they’re not going to be sufficient of them. They usually’re going to be glad that robots are there to assist them

RITHOLTZ: Actually fairly fascinating. So let’s discuss just a little bit about among the political pushback to the kind of investing you do. Perhaps Florida is one of the best instance, passing legal guidelines to punish a particular firm, Disney, who objected to Florida’s anti-LGBTQ kind of laws. Is the atmosphere altering for this kind of proxy voting and criticism and dealing with firms? Or is Florida simply Florida and you recognize, it’s type of a one-off?

GRANCIO: Hear, I feel firms have shoppers. And so if I’m an organization, if I’m Disney and I’ve shoppers, and I really feel like my firm wants to face for one thing as a result of it permits me to serve my shoppers to say my model has worth, that’s one thing that Disney goes to need to push for.

So I feel, to start with, on the subject of public firms, a few of them have one viewers, a few of them have one other viewers, they usually might must behave in methods to make their viewers really feel good to allow them to be in enterprise and promote their product. And I feel, individually, if we discuss proxy voting, profitable proxy votes must be financial. So again to the type of fiduciary idea we have been speaking about earlier. So if a proxy vote says, you recognize, are you able to please disclose extra details about your workforce? That’s useful to buyers. Nice. That always is sensible to us.

If the proxy vote says, I don’t like this factor you do, please don’t do it. However there’s no financial causality.


GRANCIO: I feel it’s exhausting for that to be a proxy voting difficulty versus a values-based dialog with the corporate. So our perception is proxy votes matter. We must always all use our vote. However proxy voting is a software to drive type of long-term financial efficiency with firms. Generally there are simply value-based points that shouldn’t be tackled by way of proxy votes.

RITHOLTZ: I do know I solely have you ever for a restricted period of time. So let’s soar to our favourite questions that we ask all of our friends beginning with, inform us about your early mentors who helped to form your profession.

GRANCIO: Yeah. It’s humorous, I don’t have a whole lot of mentors the place it was that one guiding mild. I discovered that I picked up little bits and items from completely different individuals. So Condi Rice was a provost once I was at Stanford.

RITHOLTZ: Actually?

GRANCIO: And so it was that inspiration that kind of despatched me off down the worldwide relations path. There was only a degree of smarts and confidence that I actually appreciated, that I picked up from her. After which a professor in enterprise faculty who mentioned ladies can undoubtedly have all of it. However you’re kidding your self if you happen to assume you possibly can have all of it on the identical time. So, like, tempo your self, Like, go after it, however tempo your self. You’ll be able to’t actually do all of it on the identical time, which is nice recommendation.

After which I feel there are lots of people for me, the place I discovered one or two classes from completely different individuals. And now, I do a whole lot of mentoring of different individuals. And that’s my overarching suggestion on that is you bought to ask a whole lot of questions. And also you don’t at all times need to have a lifetime relationship with everybody, however get any nugget you may get and run with it.

RITHOLTZ: I prefer it. Let’s discuss books. What are a few of your favorites and what are you studying at the moment?

GRANCIO: So Maya Angelou is definitely a favourite of mine. I discover it stress-free and it’s so completely different than what I do day-after-day, and type of American and lyrical. Harry Potter, one in all our youngsters is youthful, so working our manner by way of Harry Potter. After which the Daniel Kahneman Considering Quick and Appearing Gradual, I learn that final 12 months. I like that lots since you bought to recollect typically how our brains work. And the truth that we rush to issues and we shortcut, and we group issues. And so I discover that useful typically and simply being calm about how else can we resolve an issue, or why is anyone reacting the way in which that they do.

RITHOLTZ: What kind of recommendation would you give to a latest faculty graduate who’s thinking about a profession in both influence ESG activist, no matter you wish to name it, sort investing, or ETF and passive investing?

GRANCIO: Properly, first, I’d say these are nice areas to enter. You need to go into it. And undoubtedly discover ways to make investments, discover ways to be an investor. Don’t stick to at least one fad or one mousetrap. Should you can discover ways to be an investor, or how buyers assume, that can serve you so nicely in our enterprise.

And I assume to new graduates, I’d say don’t hand over hope. It’s going to be a nasty job market. So take these internships, be just a little bit scrappy, and simply study from no matter that first job is, two years in, since you’ll decide up an exceptional quantity of data. And if it’s not what you’re keen on, nice, then go do one thing else after it. But it surely’s an excellent place to construct a profession.

RITHOLTZ: Actually fascinating. And our last query, what have you learnt in regards to the world of investing right this moment that you simply want you knew 30 or so years in the past?

GRANCIO: I feel it’s that the general portfolio development issues, proper? In order an investor, fascinated with while you construct, like after we construct Engine No. 1, we constructed merchandise or we put methods out into the market, the extra you can also make them balanced and with some length. So if anyone places one thing within the portfolio, they kind of perceive what it’s going to do, and what the return stream appears to be like like and what the danger appears to be like like, as we’re investing after which promoting to different individuals. I feel that capacity to construct merchandise which might be sturdy, and it’s clear what they do is de facto, actually essential. It permits you to construct your model. It permits you to construct belief with the buyers.

RITHOLTZ: Actually fascinating. Thanks, Jennifer, for being so beneficiant together with your time. Now we have been talking with Jennifer Grancio. She is the CEO of Engine No. 1.

Should you take pleasure in this dialog, nicely, try any of our earlier 450 interviews. You will discover these at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you get your favourite podcasts. Join from my day by day reads at ritholtz.com. You’ll be able to comply with me on Twitter @ritholtz. Try the entire Bloomberg podcast @podcast.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank our crack staff who helps put these conversations collectively every week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my challenge supervisor. Sean Russo is my head of Analysis. Paris Wald is my producer.

I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Enterprise on Bloomberg Radio.



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