For-profit

Arjuna Capital

Website:

arjuna-capital.com

Formation:

2013

Type:

Investment Capital Firm

Founder:

Farnum Brown

Arjuna Capital LLC is a left-of-center investment firm based in Durham, North Carolina that specializes in activist investment strategies in environmentalist and social justice causes. The firm encourages shareholder activism and leads in the development of financial portfolios that promote left-of-center initiatives including gender pay equity, support for environmentalist energy sources, elimination of conventional fuels, and cracking down on internet hate speech and misinformation. Arjuna capital works with high net-worth families, individuals, foundations, and other accredited investors; notable clients the firm has worked with include the Highlander Research and Education Center (a social justice leadership training school) and former Nirvana band member and FairVote chairman Krist Novoselic. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Arjuna Capital describes its investment approach as a three-step process of divestment, investment, and engagement. Additionally, the firm offers investment options free from conventional energy across all four of its areas of impact in stocks and bonds investment and lending and investing in the “new” environmentalist economy. [5]

Firm History

Arjuna Capital was founded in 2013 by its managing partner and chief strategist Farnum Brown. Arjuna Capital judges investment decisions based on economic benefit, environmental cost, and social justice. The name “Arjuna” itself is meant to refer to the concept of “enlightened engagement in society” and is based on a character in the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic poem. [6]

Activism

Race and Gender Equality

Arjuna Capital is a vocal proponent of companies taking more steps to address both gender and racial pay gaps. In 2019, the firm filed a shareholder proposal to Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. asking the company to publicly disclose its global median gender and racial pay gaps. [7]

Hate Speech and “Fake News”

Arjuna Capital has made calls for technology companies and social media platforms to do more to address the spreading of misinformation and “hateful” content that it claims are a threat to “democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression.” In conjunction with New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D), the firm issued a 2018 press release to call for Facebook to publish a report detailing its policies for governing content as a way for investors to ensure the platform is taking steps to address the spread of “hateful” and “misleading” content. Additionally, in 2018 the firm issued another letter to urge shareholders in Alphabet Inc. to ask the tech conglomerate to release a content governance report of its own to address “investor concerns” over “policy-violating” content on YouTube. [8] [9]

Environmentalism

Arjuna Capital supports an environmentalist agenda that calls for a more “renewable” and “sustainable” economy. In 2019, the firm filed a proxy resolution to ExxonMobil that urged the oil giant to create a new “climate change board committee” for the purpose of ensuring the “existential threats” of climate change were being fully addressed. Additionally, Arjuna Capital actively seeks to use its investment strategies to pressure energy corporations to make environmentally conscious changes and “reallocate investment dollars to climate solutions.”[10] [11]

Funding

According to financial technology company, SmartAsset, Arjuna Capital manages around $204,408,310 in assets between about four advisers. [12]

Leadership

Farnum Brown

Farnum Brown is the chief strategist and founder of Arjuna Capital. Prior to launching the firm, Farnum served as senior vice president, chief strategist, and technical analyst at Trillium Asset Management, another left-of-center activist investment firm. Additionally, Farnum founded the nonprofit Open Media and Information Company Initiative (OpenMIC) that develops and supports progressive campaigns that push for initiatives including the addressment of racial and gender discrimination, more diversity in the workforce, hate speech and media manipulation protections, and “net neutrality” regulations on internet service providers. [13] [14]

Natasha Lamb

Natasha Lamb is a managing partner and director of equity research and shareholder engagement at ArJuna Capital. Additionally, Natasha is a trustee of The Food Project, a non-profit that employs teenagers on farms, and chairman of the Crane Institute of Sustainability, an endowment firm that supports colleges, universities, and other mission-driven tax-exempt organizations that align with the firm’s “sustainable” and environmentalist goals. In 2017, Natasha was notably listed in Businessweek as one of the “Bloomberg 50” most influential people who defined global business and has been written about in Fortune as the women behind “convincing Apple, Starbucks, and Nike to close their gender pay gaps.” [15] [16] [17] [18]

Adam Seitchik

Adam Seitchik is a managing partner and chief investment officer at Arjuna Capital. Prior to working for Arjuna Capital, Adam was the co-CEO and CIO of activist investment specialist Trillium Asset Management. He is additionally the founder of the Sustainable Investment Research Center that’s mission is to “help asset owners and asset managers integrate sustainability into their investment processes to create social, environmental, and financial value.” Adam has notably written about sustainable investing and is the author of two books titled Money Energy and Climate Change from the Investor’s Perspective. [19] [20]

References

  1. Arjuna Capital “About Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/about. ^
  2. Arjuna Capital “Shareholder Engagement Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/impact. ^
  3. “Press Release: Arjuna and NY State ask Facebook to explain plans for governing content.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/press-release-arjuna-and-ny-state-ask-facebook-to-explain-plans-for-governing-content. ^
  4. “Krist Novoselic on Electoral Reforms.” C-SPAN. Accessed July 20, 2019. https://www.c-span.org/video/?309013-5/krist-novoselic-electoral-reforms. ^
  5. Arjuna Capital “Invest Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/invest. ^
  6. Arjuna Capital “About Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/about. ^
  7. “Press Release: Arjuna Capital, Time’s Up Take Fight for Median Gender/Racial Pay Reporting To Alphabet/Google Annual Meeting.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/press-release-arjuna-capital-times-up-take-fight-for-median-gender-racial-pay-reporting-to-alphabet-google-annual-meeting. ^
  8. “Press Release: Arjuna and NY State ask Facebook to explain plans for governing content.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/press-release-arjuna-and-ny-state-ask-facebook-to-explain-plans-for-governing-content. ^
  9. “Alphabet meeting: Investors confront Google, YouTube, on volatile risks from online content, fake news.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 10, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/alphabet-meeting-investors-confront-google-youtube-on-volatile-risks-from-online-content-fake-news. ^
  10. “Shareholder Engagement Update: 1Q19.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/shareholder-engagement-update-1q19. ^
  11. “Press Release: Arjuna Capital: Oil Majors Face “EXISTENTIAL THREAT” From Near Sighted Response To Climate Change.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/news/press-release-arjuna-capital-oil-majors-face-existential-threat-from-near-sighted-response-to-climate-change. ^
  12. SmartAsset Website. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://smartasset.com/financial-advisor/durham-nc-top-financial-advisors#listing-4. ^
  13. OpenMic Website. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://www.openmic.org/reports. ^
  14. Arjuna Capital “About Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/about. ^
  15. Arjuna Capital “About Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/about. ^
  16. The Food Project Website. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://thefoodproject.org/what-we-do. ^
  17. The Crane Institute for Sustainability Website. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://cranesustainability.wordpress.com. ^
  18. Zarya, Valentina. “Meet the Woman Who Convinced Apple, Starbucks, and Nike to Close Their Gender Pay Gaps.” Fortune Magazine. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://fortune.com/2018/04/10/natasha-lamb-gender-pay-gap-change. ^
  19. Arjuna Capital “About Page.” Arjuna Capital. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://arjuna-capital.com/about. ^
  20. The Sustainable Investment Research Center Website. Accessed July 11, 2019. http://sirc.us. ^
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