ValueAct’s Jeff Ubben was somewhat sour on the world of hedge fund activists at a conference Wednesday evening — but his posture changed when speaking about sustainable investing.
“These guys don’t know anything about shareholder value,” Ubben said during a panel discussion, referring to what he called certain “wise guy” hedge funds that make short-term bets on companies while doing little research.
But when the conversation switched to investing in companies with a more sustainable focus, or companies that try to align their business practices with good environmental and social policies, Ubben perked up.
For sustainable investing to grow, “it’s going to take an activist,” Ubben told The Post admitting that its an area he’s recently starting to think more about.
“But you’ve got to make money doing it,” he noted.
Meanwhile, one of Ubben’s best recent plays has been in Morgan Stanley. ValueAct made a $1.1 billion investment in the investment bank in late August and the stock has soared nearly 60 percent since then — largely due to the post-election rally in financial stocks.
“I got lucky with Trump,” Ubben said during the panel, referring to his Morgan Stanley bet.
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