– Thomas Mellon, CEO of Astor Asset Management, has moved the needle after announcing yesterday the newest bold move for the firm. Astor Asset Management has leaped into a new decade with a set of strategies that sets the financial firm apart from the competition. Mellon announced today that he would launch an impact investment partnership initiative with China and Saudi Arabia. The move comes as a next phase step and launches as part of the Alternative Energy division.
The Impact Investment Partnership launch seeks to partner with sustainable communities and green technologies partners while contributing to positive impact investments. The move is a supplement to the client-focused groups and their collective continued financial success. The impact sector of the alternative energy division is the philanthropic wing. However, Mellon has stood firm that the division is partnering with Saudi Arabian company Desert Technologies and intends to expand in the Shenzhen region of China. It is strategic in as much as it is philanthropic. The world is changing, and consumers are demanding responsibility on the part of corporations. Mellon has always been forward-thinking.
This instance is no exception.
According to an article on CNBC.com, titled 5 Changes to Watch for in Shopping as Major Retailers Innovate to go ‘Green,’ consumers expect more in a post-pandemic era. As the article states, “Innovating more environmentally conscious business solutions is increasingly a way to drive profit. Fred Wilson, a partner at New York City investment house Union Square Ventures, says in a 2021 look-ahead blog post that investing in climate-related innovation will be incredibly profitable in the next decade.
‘At USV, we have begun that reallocation of capital, and we will be investing heavily in companies and technologies that can help the world address this existential threat,’ Wilson wrote in a blog post published Friday. ‘I believe that many of our colleagues in the venture capital world will do the same. It will generate fantastic returns too. Climate will be to this decade what cloud was to the last one.’
Sustainability has taken on new meaning for companies since the onset of Covid-19,’ the report’s author, Rachel Binder, a Senior Intelligence Analyst at CB Insights, tells CNBC Make It.”
Thomas Mellon, CEO at Astor Asset Management, has confirmed that he is in talks to partner, both regionally and globally, with several key partners, including Trane Technologies, to lead an initiative that will extend the alternative energy platform. The final launch is the culmination of an initiative launched in 2020 with benchmark goals for 2021. Mellon says the firm is on target to reach all the benchmarks. His ultimate plan is to increase strategic impact investments. While positive regarding sustainable investing and investments in mission-based businesses, he will also expand opportunities for clients and investors. Oliver Hawthorne, Director of Marketing, has been very concise in his statements regarding green energy impact partnerships and investments. The plan is two-fold. The impact is significant, but never more than clients and profits.
Hawthorne stated, “Our impact partnerships with an expanded network of impact managers will expand the vast opportunities available to our clients and increase exclusive access to expanded opportunities in health, energy, and real estate investing for all the investment management teams. We are mindful of impact, but never at the expense of our client’s wealth. But I believe the two entities can co-exist, and they have.”
An article written a few years ago saw the trend for impact partnerships growing, while the fear of profit loss or being seen as “not as profitable” was real. The consensus was that social impact investing had a positive effect on profits, not a negative one.
Hawthorne said it well when he asserted that impact investment and profitability could co-exist. In an article in Collective Sun, titled Impact Investing Yields Solid Returns, the truth is in the numbers. After siting a study mounted by CASE of Duke University, Insight at Pacific Community Ventures, and ImpactAssets, sustainability and profitability can work in tandem without loss in profits. The study concluded:
“Non-profits are interested in changing the world. Investors are usually interested in making a profit. But when we look at impact investing and its results in the last several years, we find that the two are far from mutually exclusive.”
CEO Mellon has never been tenuous about preferring Astor Asset Management’s leadership role rather than blending in with the competition. He enjoys the reputation that he has built and hopes to maintain it into 2025 and beyond.
Astor Asset Management Group has led the way in alternative investing, tech, and AI investing, setting the pace far ahead of its competitors. Strategic planning and the willingness to stand alone, even mid-pandemic, may move the financial firm to the head of the pack, namely ahead of JP Morgan in Hong Kong. Mellon has set a goal to move into the next decade with more stellar growth than the entire sum of the previous five years. It’s a lofty goal. But although the notable CEO has made a habit of setting his sights high, he typically delivers on promises.
In an article in The World Economic Forum, President and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Elizabeth Littlefield, states the need for investors to lead the way on impact investing:
“There seems to be powerful but latent demand among retail investors for impact investments. But many investors are waiting for their clients to ask for it. My guess is if you build it, they will come.”
Hawthorne reiterated the ‘build it, and they will come’ sentiment. When he was asked about the latest announcement and its impact on the prestigious global institution over the next decade, he responded with characteristic enthusiasm. Hawthorne stated, “We are excited to continue our work in partnering
with green companies. We have always soldiered at the front lines regarding the cause of impact investments and impact investment partnerships. Astor Asset Management has always been a leader in the financial sector. We have broken the rules, in a good way, and we continue to break boundaries and grow while increasingly expanding opportunities for our elite private banking clients.”