CalPERS Portfolio Manager Joins Strive, the Anti-Woke Firm Backed by Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman

A clip from Institutional Investor

By Alicia McElhaney, May 23, 2022.

Matt Cole will lead product and investments at the asset manager, which is going after “stakeholder capitalism” at BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street.

An asset management firm that’s pushing back against ESG efforts has poached a longtime CalPERS investment manager to head up its products and investments team.  

Strive Asset Management, which launched earlier this month, has hired Matt Cole, the firm confirmed to Institutional Investor. Cole most recently served as portfolio manager overseeing a roughly $40 billion U.S. treasury portfolio and a $30 billion structured securities portfolio at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to his LinkedIn profile.  

According to a source familiar with the matter, Cole is a young “up-and-comer” in the investment industry. “Where you lose people like this, you cannot replace them,” the source said. 

Cole began his career at CalPERS in 2006, working first as a real estate investments intern before working his way up through the ranks. He went from working in corporate credit research to serving as an investment officer, and then associate portfolio manager. He was promoted to investment manager in 2020.  

Strive, founded by Vivek Ramaswamy and Anson Frericks, is looking to take on the “big three” asset management firms — BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street — which the firm says focus too much on “stakeholder capitalism” in violation of their fiduciary duty. The firm is backed by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman, founder of Pershing Square Capital Management.

Read the full article from Institutional Investor here.