Fields of Gold? Jana seeks new money, allies with impact hedge fund

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wall Street investor Barry Rosenstein’s new impact investing fund aimed at serving environmental and social causes could, if he plays his cards right, enhance his traditional business of pushing companies to boost earnings.

The founder of JANA Partners has tapped British musician and activist Sting to sit on the new fund’s advisory board and burnish his credentials with green and socially conscious investors he hopes will pledge at least $1 billion.

That amount is a fraction of the billions that have been pulled from Jana since 2015. Its assets have shrunk by more than half to $5 billion since then, as hedge fund investors fled to cheaper, passive products. Still, it gives him an important foothold in the growing arena of “responsible investing”.

Industry watchers said Rosenstein could forge more alliances with institutional investors that could carry over to Jana’s main business: pushing companies to make financial changes that often include recapitalizing or restructuring the business.

“There is a longer game here than just this one fund,” said a hedge fund industry advisor who is not permitted to speak publicly about individual hedge fund firms. “The new fund will create a bridge with other institutional investors which Jana may need in its future activism.”

Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

impact investing