The third most popular GOP presidential candidate has built his name fighting “wokeness”—and that reputation is paying off for his asset management company.
- Ohio-based Strive Asset Management is an anti-activism fund company that promises investors higher-quality returns and investments.
- It was partly founded by Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman to rival investors at environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-friendly firms.
- On Tuesday, the firm announced that its accumulated assets now exceed $1 billion, slightly more than a year after it launched in 2022.
- The company is also currently facing lawsuits from two former employees arguing that it mistreats staff and engages in securities violations.
Why It’s Important
The success of Strive has coincided with a general cooling of markets surrounding the issue of ESG. The popular form of socially minded investing strategies has come under heavy scrutiny in the past year from Republican politicians and asset managers, who argue that investing in ESG indexes is a recipe for underperforming returns and waste. Some analysts claim that ESG has a limited impact on helping the environment.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink previously took the lead in the push for ESG, arguing that the concept is necessary in a changing global economy where issues like climate change and poverty are rampant and believing that investing in solutions creates opportunities. He has since backed away from the term “ESG” due to it being too politically unpalatable.
Strive has benefitted from market disinterest in ESG. The company initially earned attention for its pro-oil drilling and fracking ETF DRLL, which is currently worth $369 million. Recent analysis from Morningstar Investor also finds that anti-ESG indexes have performed very well in the past year.
“It is a rare feat for any indie issuer to hit $1 billion in first year, let alone one that is largely a pushback to ESG as many of those ETFs have flopped. Ramaswamy’s wealthy backers helped a lot, and running for president probably can’t hurt either. That is some unchartered territory when it comes to ETF marketing,” says Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas.
Backing Up A Bit
As we previously reported, Ramaswamy is a rising voice in Republican politics. He only emerged as a presidential candidate in February but has ascended to the top of the field through his aggressive campaigning and debate performance. He garnered significant attention during the last GOP debate and could become President Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate.