Strive Asset Management bills itself as a “depoliticized investment option” despite being cofounded in 2022 by Vivek Ramaswamy and Anson Frericks, and receiving financial backing from Peter Thiel and J.D. Vance. Strive sees itself as the primary anti-ESG challenger to the “Big Three” financial asset managers: BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. As of early 2023, it had eight exchange-traded funds (EFTs) and also provided proxy advisory services.
Before announcing his 2024 GOP run for president, Ramaswamy served as executive chairman, with Frericks—previously of the Anheuser Busch monopoly—serving as president. The two attended the same private, Jesuit high school in Cincinnati. Justin Danhof, formerly of the National Center for Public Policy Research, is Strive’s head of corporate governance. Matt Cole, its head of products and investments, is the former investment manager of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Other staff include investment bankers, former State Street executives, and former presidential appointees who worked in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations.
In addition to Thiel and Vance, other Strive investors include Howard Lutnick, the billionaire chief executive of trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald who hosted a big-money fundraiser for Trump in 2019; Joe Lonsdale, who cofounded Palantir with Thiel and was the first known funder of Bari Weiss’s anti-woke “university;” musician D.A. Wallach; and billionaire Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management.
Strive Executive Vice President Rob Melton appears to be selling its products to SFOF members, as an email obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) to West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore indicates.
In early 2023, Ramaswamy told The New Republic that Strive is “actively seeking out new pension fund clients, trying to compete with BlackRock and ‘go after the same distribution channels.’”
In January 2023, Strive added proxy advisory services to its offerings, intending to “disrupt [the] historic… duopoly” of proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis by launching Strive Proxy Voting and Strive Outsourced Shareholder Engagement & Proxy Voting Consulting Services.
“No major proxy advisory service until now votes shares and engages in stewardship in a strictly pro-fiduciary manner, instead of advancing progressive social and political agendas with which many individual investors disagree,” Strive claimed in its press release.
- Head of Corporate Governance Justin Danhof
- Cofounder and president Anson Frericks
- Marketing and Communications Associate Alicia Lang
- Executive Vice President Rob Melton
- Chief Operating Officer Ben Pham
- Cofouncer and Executive Chairman Vivek Ramaswamy
- Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman
- QOL Medical CEO Derick Cooper
- Flex Capital
- Founders Fund
- The Dorado Group Chairman William Kappaz
- Palantir Co-founder Joe Lonsdale
- Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman and CEO Howard Lutnick
- Narya Capital
- Emory University School of Medicine Professor Raymond Schinazi
- Managing Partner of Founders Fund Peter Thiel
- Rock Musician and Venture Capitalist D.A. Wallach