Saturday, May 28, 2022

Bill Ackman, Peter Thiel back investment firm to ‘wake up’ capitalism

Pershing Square Capital boss Bill Ackman and tech billionaire Peter Thiel are among investors who are backing an upstart fund that aims to spearhead a movement against politically swayed “stakeholder capitalism.”

Dubbed Strive Asset Management, the fund was founded by pharmaceutical investor Vivek Ramaswamy—who also wrote a best-selling book called “Voc, Inc.” which was published last year.

The Ohio-based firm has raised more than $20 million from investors to pursue a “politics focused on excellence” asset management strategy.

Ramaswamy said, “Americans want iconic American brands like Disney, Coca-Cola and Exxon and American tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google to deliver high-quality products that make our lives better, not controversial political ones.” Ideologies that divide us.” a statement.

Ramaswamy launched the fund during a period of increasing scrutiny from corporations choosing to take positions during political debates.

Vivek Ramaswamy
Vivek Ramaswamy is the author of the bestseller “Voc, Inc”.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The most notable example occurred over the past few weeks, when Disney publicly criticized Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law after facing heavy pressure from progressive-minded activists.

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Disney’s move sparked a public dispute with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who led the effort to repeal the company’s special tax status within the state.

Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel invested in Strive both personally and through his Founders Fund.
Getty Images

Ramaswamy said his firm would strive to compete directly with asset management giants such as BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street.

Ramaswamy said, “The Big 3 Asset Managers have fueled this polarizing new trend in Corporate America, and so we are going to compete with them to refocus American companies on their shared pursuit of excellence over politics. “

Representatives for BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bill Ackman
Vivek Ramaswamy’s firm has raised more than $20 million from Ackman (pictured) and others.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink defended “stakeholder capitalism” from criticism in his annual letter to the CEO published in January – arguing that the concept was “not about politics” or “awake”, but rather for long-term financial success. was a necessity.

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“This is capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers and communities on which your company depends,” Fink said in his letter. “This is the power of capitalism.”

Fink said businesses should not succumb to political pressure when considering policies, despite efforts by activists to “hijack their brands to advance their own agenda.”

In addition to Ackman and Thiel, Strive Asset Management secured funding from large venture capital firms such as Founders Fund — where Thiel is a partner — and Flex Capital as well as from other individual investors such as Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.

Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, has become increasingly focused on politics in recent years. The billionaire is stepping down from the board of Facebook parent Meta and reportedly devoting his time to supporting Republican candidates before the 2022 midterms.

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Nation World News Desk
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