Hedge funds: Man’s green stand starts to pay off
Man is the world’s largest hedge fund group, with more than $65 billion in assets. It also claims to be the greenest hedge fund. CEO Peter Clarke tells Helen Avery how alternative investment firms can offer the returns investors want and play a positive role in preventing climate change.
IF YOU NEED evidence of Man Group’s commitment to combating climate change, try organizing an interview with CEO Peter Clarke. When Euromoney proposes to fly from New York to London to speak to Clarke, it is gently suggested: "How about doing this on a video conference call from our Rockefeller office in mid-town instead? We’ve upgraded our video conferencing capabilities. We’re trying to do as much as we can to reduce the need to fly people around the world. It will save on carbon emissions."
The focus on becoming an environment-friendly organization was championed by Stanley Fink, CEO of Man Group from 2000 until March 2007, when he stepped aside to become non-executive deputy. Thanks to Fink and other trailblazers in the company, says Clarke, "we were early along the curve at seeing the compelling signs of the likely economic impact of global warming as well as the social impact. There are clear adverse GDP consequences of global warming, and the scale of what needs to be done to slow it down is daunting."
Under Fink and Clarke’s tutelage (Clarke was formerly Man’s deputy CEO), the firm has taken several initiatives to make the company greener.