Bain Capital's Greg Shell Says He's Galvanized by This Moment

Bloomberg Markets|August - September 2020

Bain Capital's Greg Shell Says He's Galvanized by This Moment
GREG SHELL SEEMS to have been preordained for a life of finance and civic duty.
KAREN TOULON

Born on Tax Day 45 years ago, he attended a school in his hometown of New Bedford, Mass., that was named after William H. Carney, who received a Medal of Honor in 1900 for his service in the all-Black 54th Regiment depicted in the Civil War movie Glory.

A graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, Shell was a portfolio manager at Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co. when Bain Capital LP called in 2016 with an offer to join its new Double Impact fund. “When I got the call a little over four years ago to consider this new strategy Bain Capital was starting, it filled me with a sense of purpose because it integrated all of who I am,” Shell says.

The fund, launched by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, has invested in 12 companies in its areas of focus—health and wellness, sustainability, and education and workforce development. The fund tripled its money on the sale of its first holding, Impact Fitness. Shell spoke with Bloomberg Markets in early July about his investing priorities, recruitment strategies, and life philosophy.

KAREN TOULON: What led you to this career path?

GREG SHELL: I can remember a seminal moment in my life when I got tapped to be a part of the talented and gifted program in my elementary school, after the fourth grade. There’s no doubt that message about what I could achieve was quite important. But I had [and still have] this real nagging sense that I’m no more talented or gifted than any of my classmates. And the message that they got—that they were not talented and gifted—probably was a more enduring message. I’ve been so bothered by that, I’ve really worked my heart out on behalf of civic causes of many different types to ensure that human capital in all its forms is given a real opportunity to expand and elevate and self-actualize.

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August - September 2020