Paul Tudor Jones II, founder of antipoverty charity the Robin Hood Foundation, thinks he can make the world a better place. The hedge fund tycoon has enlisted his friends Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra to help him. Their target: corporations.
But this is no hedge fund activism campaign. In March, Jones gave a TED talk in Vancouver. In it the founder of Greenwich, Connecticutbased Tudor Investment Corp. unveiled a radical proposal: that companies act responsibly, with assistance from the public. Jones, whose personal net worth is estimated at more than $4.6 billion, suggested that this kind of crowdsourcing corporate governance could help tackle the income gap and reduce the divide between the haves and have-nots. To road-test the idea, Jones has launched a foundation called JUSTCapital.
Over the past 50 years, we as a society have come to view our companies and corporations in a very narrow, almost monomaniacal fashion with regard to how we value them, and we have put so much emphasis on profits, on short-term quarterly earnings and share prices, at the exclusion of all else, Jones, 60, said in his talk. Its like weve ripped the humanity out of our companies.
In response, Jones explained, he and some friends started JUSTCapital, which aims to help businesses learn how to behave more justly. Incorporated in 2013, the New Yorkbased nonprofit will produce research and reports on corporate governance, with the goal of producing a rating system. According to the foundations 990 report to the Internal Revenue Service, the JUSTCapital system will distinguish itself from the many existing ratings of this kind by defining corporate responsibility according to the standards of the people of the United States, as discerned through research regarding broad trends and opinions among the general public regarding the importance of certain issues in the context of corporate behavior. The foundation has hired Martin Whittaker, founder of a private office network focused on impact investing, to be its CEO.
But the more interesting network might be Joness own. Besides Jones the foundations board members include Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and Chopra, the Indian-American holistic health and wellness advocate.
Chopra also chairs his own Chopra Foundation. JustCAPITAL directors Paul Scialla, founder of Delos Living, a New Yorkbased wellness real estate firm, and Alan Fleischmann, CEO of communications firm Laurel Strategies, serve on Chopras board too, as does Joness wife, Sonia Jones, who describes herself as a wellness advocate and impact philanthropist.
It would be quite a coincidence if JUSTCapitals research were to find that wellness is at the heart of building better companies.