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Value Investing with Legends

Nov 12, 2021

Activist investing is the new frontier for value investors, allowing them to be the agents of their own returns.


Today we’re continuing our examination of the activist style of investing by exploring the intersection of two important trends in the money management industry: activism and environmental, social, and governance investing.


Impactive Capital’s Lauren Taylor Wolfe joins us to share her perspective and Impactive’s unique approach to creatively incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into activism.


Lauren is co-founder and Managing Partner of Impactive Capital, an activist investment management firm that currently has more than 1.5 billion in assets under management.  Prior to founding Impactive, she spent 10 years at Blue Harbour Group where she was a Managing Director and Investing Partner. Lauren earned her M.B.A. from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. magna cum laude from Cornell University. 


In this episode, Lauren, Michael and I discuss her non-linear journey to investing, what she learned from working in different industries, how she became interested in activist investing, what Impactive is doing to improve diversity in the industry, and so much more!


Key Topics:


  • Lauren’s first business endeavors (2:05)
  • Lauren’s work experiences after graduation (3:13)
  • Why Lauren was drawn to value investing early in her career (6:16)
  • How TurboChef raised Lauren’s interest in activist investing (8:57)
  • Why many executives struggle with capital allocation (11:49)
  • Impactive’s focus on business quality and time horizon (14:13)
  • The evolution of activist investing (16:25)
  • Impactive’s approach to working with management (18:21)
  • Idea screening and ESG considerations (20:33)
  • How Impactive values businesses (21:24)
  • Thinking about business resilience (25:13)
  • Portfolio construction and sizing (26:40)
  • Lauren’s thoughts on luck and skill (30:22)
  • Creating a diverse workforce in investment management and our support industries (32:08)
  • Impactive’s approach to idea sourcing and prioritization (34:30)
  • HD Supply’s business background (37:39)
  • HD Supply’s move from Home Depot to private equity and back (40:49)
  • KBR’s transformation into a high quality business (46:16)
  • The opportunities Impactive identified with KBR (49:30)
  • Lauren’s perspective on meme stocks and SPACs  (52:41)
  • Opportunities and risks on the horizon (54:47)
  • Books that Lauren is reading (57:01)
  • And much more!


Mentioned in this Episode:



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