Billionaire activist investor and Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman argues that capitalism is “the most powerful source” for solving society’s biggest problems, and advocates for ESG as a path toward that change. This according to a recent article in Yahoo Finance.
“A successful business operating ethically and sustainably can create many thousands of high-paying jobs, deliver high long-term returns for pensioners, log-term savers and other investors, and provide goods and services that materially increase its customers’ quality of life, broadly defined,” Ackman wrote in a recent letter to investors.
The article reports that Ackman now “deploys an ESG lens to evaluate investment opportunities” based on his belief that investors funnel capital away from those companies that score poorly on environmental and social issues and allocated toward firms that “do better for society and the planet.”
Ackman said his team does not apply a uniform set of factors when evaluating ESG, adding that the due diligence process depends on the company and sector.
“We believe that good ESG practices are fundamentally aligned with running a successful business,” Ackman argued, asserting that Pershing’s focus on business quality has helped it “avoid losses and generate profits by identifying great businesses that have contributed to our long-term investment returns, and by avoiding others which would likely have generated losses in the portfolio.”