Investing & Finance

"An investment isn't an investment if it destroys our planet"   — Greenpeace

Principled private-sector capital is sustainability's cornerstone

Sustainability is my “why.” Sustainable investing and finance is my “what.” I believe that responsible private-sector capital is sustainability’s cornerstone. I say that having witnessed — up close and personal from the “other side” — the power of capital to do both good and bad. My mission as an independent consultant is twofold:

  1. Facilitating SRI/ESG Investing: This ranges from helping institutional investors with custom data-centric ESG research and analysis to empowering individuals via retail-oriented research (e.g., SRI/ESG mutual funds) and advisor education.
  2. Promoting Responsible Finance: A parallel goal is fostering a more ESG-minded corporate finance culture, especially in investment banking areas directly affecting SRI/ESG investing such as securities underwriting and corporate mergers.

Prior to consulting — i.e., when I was in a larger company setting with different priorities and resources — I was involved in more diverse aspects of SRI/ESG investing and sustainable finance. For example, I:

  • Engineered ESG assessment and benchmarking systems and integrating them with financial/valuation models
  • Identified relationships between ESG and business risk, credit quality, cost of capital, and risk-adjusted returns
  • Launched a family of equity indexes (e.g., sustainability, ESG, low-carbon) with Standard & Poors and Bloomberg
  • Designed ESG/TBL-based M&A consequence analysis models; evaluated and critiqued impacts of $60bn in deals
  • Contributed to the Kellogg School of Management’s MBA-level “Impact Investing” course (FINC-946) curriculum

The above couldn’t have been accomplished on passion alone. SRI/ESG investing is, first and foremost, investing. Passion must be grounded in a fiduciary mindset and backed by experience. Yet another reason I’m grateful for those early years and the rounded foundation in investing and finance they provided:

Securities Research

Equity and debt analyst, founder/head of J.P. Morgan's Global Energy Research Group, previously credit analyst at Fitch Ratings

  • Institutional Investor and Wall Street Journal All-Star equity analyst
  • Advised value, income, total return, growth, momentum strategies
  • Also covered high-yield debt and equity-linked convertible issues

Capital Markets

Equity Capital Markets analyst (J.P. Morgan) pre-Equity Research, continued involvement afterwards as lead analyst on deals

  • Led large IPOs, spin-offs, secondaries, private placements, and ELIs
  • Purview included high-yield debt; assisted with investment grade
  • Organized management roadshows and investor due-diligence trips

Investment Banking

Worked with J.P. Morgan's Power and Utilities industry group and M&A team prior to Capital Markets and Equity Research

  • Advised on large domestic and cross-border energy/utility mergers
  • Cultivated client relationships (energy and power/utilities sectors)
  • Liaised with issuers and various capital markets origination groups

Strategic Advisory

President/Co-Founder of FINRA broker-dealer and energy sector boutique providing transaction advice and support services

  • Advised asset owners, investors, banks, creditors, lawyers, others
  • Principal member of Workout Group (bankruptcies, reorganizations)
  • Executed buy-side due diligence for foreign private equity investors

Investing and finance are data-intensive to begin with. Throw ESG into the mix and they are data-intensive and data-complicated. It’s not just more data; it’s more data with new layers of complexity and a list of challenges.

Enter data science and technology.