MiB: Brian Deese, Blackrock’s Global Head of Sustainable Investing

This week, we speak with Brian Deese, Global head of Sustainable Investing for Blackrock. The firm manages over $7 trillion in assets. He helps the firm use ESG as a risk measure across all of their holdings.

He worked in the White House under President Obama where he was the President’s senior advisor for climate and energy policy, helping to negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement and other national and international initiatives. He was one of the key architects of the rescue plans for Chrysler and GM. He also served as deputy director of the National Economic Council and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget

Deese notes that Blackrock has $1.8 trillion in active mandates across all geographies; the firm uses ESG as a way to evaluate investment risk, separate from an investors’ personal values. Over the past few years, it has also operated as a source of Alpha, generating a positive return above market indices. Whether this is driven by a heavy weighting in technology stocks or is a function of how are so green

We discuss how Solar and Wind have become the fast growing sustainable energy source in the USA. Renewables (including Hydro and Nuclear) now account for 40% of the US energy production. The biggest changes coming in energy include efficiency improvements, decarbonization, and electrifying transportation.

His favorite books can be seen here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunesOvercastSpotifyGoogleBloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Next week, we speak with Danielle DiMartino Booth, founder of Quill Intelligence, a research and analytics firm, and author of Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.




Brian Deese’s Favorite Books

Uncommon Carriers by John A. McPhee

The Overstory by Richard Powers


Books Barry Mentioned 

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

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