Our story
Universal Owner Initiatives is a startup whose mission is to transform investors real-world impact on climate and biodiversity
Beginnings
Universal Owner Initiatives’ founder, Thomas O'Neill, has long seen climate change and biodiversity loss as the primary 'threat multiplier' to human security in the 21st century. In 2015, he co-founded InfluenceMap to produce the world’s first system to aggregate and challenge corporate obstruction of climate change legislation — our most effective collective mechanism to avert the pending crisis. Thomas left InfluenceMap to focus on the finance sector and producing systems risk data that can help investors take financially difficult decisions today in the interests of climate change and the future value of all markets.
Who are universal owners?
​The concept of universal ownership theory, originally developed by James Hawley, recognised that large institutional investors with diversified portfolios effectively own the entire economy and their interests align with the public at large.  

Any investor exposed to a representative slice of the market, can be regarded as a 'universal owner'. We purport therefore that their main interests should not be in the returns of this or that individual company, but in the net growth of the economy through time. 

With the rising prominence of globalised systemic risks such as climate change and biodiversity loss, universal owners are faced with '
unhedgeable risks'. It follows that they have a clear duty and financial incentive to protect the intrinsic value of the economy from these risks. 
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What does the symbol mean?
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The Triskelion symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals is one of the oldest Celtic symbols. It appears on the Newgrange kerbstones, which date to around 3200 BC.  The Triskeles are thought to evoke the Celtic interpretation of the three realms of material existence: earth, water, and sky (and all their interconnections). We believe the symbol resonates with the perspective of the universal owner that sees the preservation of the natural world, the people, and the system as intrinsically intertwined. It is also a personal tribute to lost Irish heritage.