Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Exclusive-Engine No. 1 partner leaves hedge fund after successful challenge of Exxon

Stock MarketsNov 15, 2021 05:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters.

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) -Engine No. 1's head of active engagement Charlie Penner, who conceived and quarterbacked this year's successful board challenge at Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) that stunned the corporate world, is leaving the sustainability-focused hedge fund.

Penner, a partner at Engine No. 1, has informed the firm that he is resigning, the company said, confirming a Reuters report based on information from two sources familiar with the decision. He plans to continue running activist campaigns while collaborating with other large investors.

"We appreciate the tremendously valuable work Charlie put in at Engine No. 1, especially on the Exxon campaign, and we wish him well in his future endeavors," an Engine No. 1 spokesman said in a statement.

Engine No. 1, which had only $250 million in assets when it opened for business less than a year ago, made a big splash in May when shareholders elected three of the four directors the hedge fund nominated to the U.S. oil company's board.

The hedge fund made an initial investment of $40 million and argued that Exxon, which is now valued at $270 billion, needed new blood in light of its poor financial performance and lack of a broad plan to address climate change. It spent $12.5 million on the campaign.

Penner joined Engine No. 1 in October 2020 as a partner and brought the idea of battling Exxon to the fund.

He ran the campaign with a team, selecting director nominees, speaking with Exxon's board, and presenting the hedge fund's case to top Exxon shareholders including Vanguard, BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) and State Street (NYSE:STT).

He moved to the new firm, founded by Chris James, after 15 years at Barry Rosenstein's activist firm Jana Partners.

Other Engine No. 1 investments include Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Square Inc (NYSE:SQ). In June the firm rolled out an exchange traded fund, betting that Main Street investors want portfolios to back environmental, social and governance proposals (ESG) on the heels of its Exxon win.

Penner has worked on activist campaigns for more than a decade and is credited with having launched the first ever ESG focused activist campaign in 2018. Jana Partners pushed Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to take steps to address the growing addiction of young people to its iPhones. Pension fund California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) backed both the Apple and Exxon campaigns.

In 2019 Penner privately pressured McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD), also while cooperating with CalSTRS, to sell plant-based burgers in order to help address declining guest traffic, according to people familiar with the matter.

Exclusive-Engine No. 1 partner leaves hedge fund after successful challenge of Exxon

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Franc Fil
Franc Fil Nov 16, 2021 12:32AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
A blown engine is what it is!
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email