Guest Interaction with Mr. Collin Leduc

  • 2014-09-04_1 2014-09-04_1
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IHS senior school students had the privilege to meet Mr. Collin Leduc, head of private equity at Generation Investment Management. This private investment fund manages $11 Billion for institutional investors around the globe from its headquarters in London, UK. Mr. Leduc brought to life for us, how Generation Investment uses the power of capitalism and financial markets to create an environmentally sustainable future.

For most of us, renewable energy and efficient energy management until that point had only been a mundane concept propagated by leaflets, posters and our text books. “Generation investment” Mr. Leduc told us, “is a company that was founded by the former Vice-President of the United States, Mr. Al Gore, whose aim was to reduce carbon emissions to make this world a more sustainable place.” Capitalism, for a long-time, has been running on the false premise that the Earth’s resources are infinite and can be exploited forever. Generation was making a difference by raising a significant amount of money from large pension funds and investing their capital in “sustainable businesses.”

Well, of course, the question arose in my mind, what makes a “sustainable business?” Before any of us could ask him that question, we were awe-struck at the passion with which he talked about his job, especially the thrill of meeting new entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Many of these entrepreneurs would make a difference in the environmental effort through their cutting-edge technologies. As Mr. Leduc described, these technologies remove carbon emissions from the existing eco-system and thereby reduce the effects of global warming. Any company which creates such products would be considered as a “sustainable business” and would be a viable candidate for investment from Generation.

While a financial institution like Generation is only a small part of the gigantic financial system which allocates trillions of dollars of capital throughout the world, it is seeding the idea of conscious capitalism. As Mr. Leduc pointed out, investing in businesses that create a sustainable world is the most powerful way to slowly put brakes on the effects of global warming. Otherwise, humanity is playing a big experiment which may result in a natural disasters that cripple life on Earth for future generations.