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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ian Monroe

At Etho Capital, co-founder Monroe is bringing ESG to hedge funds by shrinking portfolios’ carbon footprints.

Ian Monroe
Etho Capital

Bringing the battle against greenhouse gas emissions to investors, Ian Monroe, 35, is a breath of clean air for the hedge fund industry. The co–founding president and chief sustainability officer of Etho Capital, a sustainable-investment firm launched last June, has developed a new method for screening companies based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles that will form the basis for a hedge fund to be opened later this year.

San Francisco–based Monroe, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Earth systems from Stanford University, where he teaches courses on sustainability, has dedicated his life to finding solutions to climate change. After finishing his master’s in 2004, he worked as a climate consultant on energy and development projects in more than two dozen countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe with such institutions as the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and the World Bank Group. Monroe thought direct engagement with the public was lacking, so in 2012 he helped to create a gamelike online service called Oroeco that lets people compete with each other to reduce their carbon footprints. That year the Redwood Valley, California, native also began collecting and analyzing data on companies’ greenhouse gas emissions to estimate the amount of pollution associated with Oroeco users’ investment portfolios.

In 2014, Monroe, who still serves as CEO of Oroeco, started Etho Capital with Conor Platt, founder and CIO of Pittsburgh-headquartered hedge fund firm Confluence Capital Management, to bring mathematical rigor to sustainable investing. Last October, drawing on Platt’s investment know-how and Monroe’s models and data, the pair launched the Etho Climate Leadership Index, which tries to identify the most carbon-efficient companies in every industry; the next month they opened an exchange-traded fund that tracks the index. Etho’s hedge fund, which will target 10 to 15 percent annual returns, plans to take long positions in climate leaders while short-selling industry laggards to create an essentially carbon-free portfolio.

Visit the 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ivy League Schools Pave the Way for more.

Hedge Fund Rising Stars of 2016

Jessye Ball
Millennium Mgmt
Sarah Berner
Aristeia Capital
Jenna Bussman-Wise
AIG Investments
Maureen Chang
Point72 Asset Mgmt
Dennis Chenfu
Charles Dufresne Jr.
Sciens Capital Mgmt
William Freda
Graticule Asset Mgmt Asia
Samantha Greenberg
Margate Capital
Mark Gurevich
Ropes & Gray
Tal Gurion
Mariner Glen Oaks
Craig Huie
University of California
Yusef Kassim
Blue Harbour Group
Florian Kronawitter
White Square Capital
Vikram Kumar
TT International
Brandon Levin
Jana Partners
Jonathan Levin
George Weiss Associates
Brett Minarik
Ian Monroe
Etho Capital
Jason Morrow
Utah Retirement Systems
Pierre-Adrien Nicolas
Squarepoint Capital
Jamie Pabst
Green Owl Capital Mgmt
Parag Pande
Blackstone Group
Agata Praczuk
Max Saffian
Fortress Investment Group
Matt Satnick
MSD Partners
Eric Singer
Viex Capital Advisors
Katina Stefanova
Marto Capital
Reginald Tucker
New York State Common Retirement Fund
Michael Wang
Cypress Funds
Sean Wygovsky
Polar Asset Mgmt Partners

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