Tau Investment Management, LLC

Correcting market failures: re-valuing human and natural resources

Global supply chains are in crisis. Decades of outsourcing and offshoring have reduced costs for leading corporations, but have also brought calamitous risks and inefficiencies. In the "race to the bottom," a garment factory collapse kills hundreds of workers and throws an entire industry into turmoil; toxins in Chinese baby formula, or oil spills in American waters, grossly undermine public trust in brands and result in harsh regulation. Quality suffers, productivity stagnates, and workers and natural environments are degraded or even destroyed. These failures have a moral color, but their effect is also to sap profits and siphon value. Modern production systems are teeming with turnaround opportunities, but to date, investors have not seized upon them.

Tau changes that. Tau invests directly in unsustainable suppliers, bringing the capital and expertise required to turn them into the leading sustainable competitors operating at scale in their industries. The firm then slots these transformed suppliers into the supply chains of major global brands, creating improved transparency and performance across the supply chain.

Amongst our guiding principles:

  • Manage human and natural resources for long-term mutual benefit rather than short-term exploitation.
  • Integrate best-in-class operational and financial approaches, to turn our portfolio companies into leading resilient and adaptive entities.
  • Leverage compliance and transparency into sources of strategic advantage; Win by leading a "race to the top."
Capitalist Solutions to Capitalism's Failures

News and Releases

Press Release - 03.27.14:


Former Vice-President, Global Procurement of ExxonMobil and CEO of SYF Group Will Provide Operational Expertise and Extend Tau's Executive Oversight of Future Portfolio Companies

Today, Tau Investment Management announced that Dr. Jean Baderschneider, former Vice-President, Global Procurement at ExxonMobil, and M. Osman Yousuf, President and CEO of SYF Group, will join Tau as Operating Partners. Both leading industry executives, Dr. Baderschneider and Mr. Yousuf will contribute their respective expertise to guide the strategic development and growth of Tau’s future portfolio companies.

Tau's Operating Partner Program (TOPP) leverages a network of accomplished and strategically connected senior professionals with deep ties to industries and geographies of significance to Tau operations. Bringing vast industry knowledge, management expertise, and regional networks to the firm, Operating Partners may assess investment opportunities, build and manage critical relationships, or serve on boards or in interim executive positions within portfolio companies.

Read the full press release here

Article - 01.24.14:

Ethical standards make you a better capitalist (FT)

"Usually when nobody has done it before and there is a lot of money to be made, it is either a stupid idea or a very good idea," says Oliver Niedermaier, chief executive of Tau Investments, which offers "capitalist solutions to capitalism's failures"

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Video - 1.26.14:

Oliver Niedermaier Speaking at The Deal Economy: Predictions and Perspectives for 2014

Video - 1.24.14:

Benjamin Skinner Speaking at the 2013 Trust Women Conference

Article - 01.24.14:

$1 billion Soros-backed fund seeks to change the global supply chain (CNBC)

Like many of his cohorts attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oliver Niedermaier is among thousands of political and economic leaders who believe they can change the world. But Niedermaier, CEO of New York-based Tau Investment Management, is one of the few who think they can do it by tackling inefficiencies in the global supply chain.

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Article - 01.14.14:

Major backing for textile factory turnaround model (Ecotextile News)

Tau Investment Management, a US-based private investment firm which is looking to drive capital into textile factories in the likes of Bangladesh to sort out their social, environmental and efficiency issues, has announced the investment backing of two new partners - Alexander Soros and The Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM).

Read the full article here

Press Release - 01.13.14:


Anchor Investors to Drive Value for Stakeholders and Bring Social and Environmental Transformation to the Garment and Textile Industries

Today, Tau Investment Management announced the investments of two key partners - Alexander Soros and The Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM) - in Tau's initiative to transform global supply chains, starting with the apparel and textile industries. Their investments will help Tau to turn around and grow companies currently undervalued due to social, environmental and operational challenges. Globally, such challenges have siphoned billions of dollars in value from the manufacturing sector.

"Our new allies send a strong message to the investment community that there are credible opportunities to create value through the reformation of supply chains," said Oliver Niedermaier, Founder and CEO of Tau. "Mr. Soros's and GEM's participation in Tau is further validation that our model - centered on turning around underperforming entities in global supply chains - can yield superior returns for investors."

Read the full press release here

Article - 01.13.14:

New Venture Investment Firm Eyes Supply Chain (Women's Wear Daily)

The global supply chain for the apparel and textile industries is getting a boost from a new venture investment firm that has received the backing of Alexander Soros and Global Emerging Markets. In the wake of recent disasters in Bangladeshi clothing factories, New York-based Tau Investment Management has received unspecified investments from Soros and GEM toward the $1 billion fund it plans to ultimately raise and deploy. Soros, the managing partner of Soros Brothers Investments and a son of billionaire George Soros, will join Tau's advisory board. "Beginning with the apparel trade, there are countless opportunities for revaluing companies within industries that until now have grown fast, grown dirty and are in need of fundamental change," Soros said.

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Article - 12.03.13:

Use the market to clean up supply chains - don't wait for legislation (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Benjamin Skinner, an investigative journalist who is the co-founder and senior vice president of Tau Investment Management, which generates returns for investors by cleaning up supply chains, agreed the market could be a powerful force for change. ... "Governments can take years to pass laws and then never enforce them while a major corporation has the capacity to switch suppliers and can make a market impact and change the lives of millions of individuals by virtue of how they decide to source - this is very exciting," he told the conference.

Read the full article here

Article - 12.02.13:

Clinton Meet: Investment Group to Raise $1B for Garment Factories (India West )

Speaking at CGI, Oliver Niedermaier, founder of Tau Investment, said, "For millions of people, the garment industry is their first step out of poverty. The Rana Plaza tragedy highlighted a broad social and economic failure."

"Only real money, deployed in a structured way, will make a difference," stated Neidermaier, saying that the initiative - named "Sew True" - will begin with 25 factories in Bangladesh, with improvements in skill training and compensation improvement. It will then be implemented in Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

Read the full article here

Magazine Feature - December 2013:

The Cost of Slavery and Searching for Slaves (Discovery Channel Magazine)

The power of information drives global markets. It will also drive a revolution in our defective production systems. Co-founder of Tau Investment Management Benjamin Skinner spent six years travelling the globe, tracking slaves and slave networks under the guise of a prospective buyer. "There are 21 to 29 million slaves in the world today. That's a shocking, staggering number, but it doesn't mean very much - unless you understand what one person's slavery means." Mr. Skinner's intimate understanding of our global supply chains' greatest failure uniquely qualifies Tau as a pioneer in re-engineering consumer society's largest manufacturers.

Read the full article here

Video - 11.5.13:

Oliver Niedermaier speaking at BSR Conference: The Power of Networks

Article - 10.26.13:

Bangladesh's clothing industry: Bursting at the seams (The Economist)

AFTER the Rana Plaza clothing factory near Dhaka collapsed in April, killing at least 1,100 people, the big Western clothing companies that have their garments run up in Bangladesh came under pressure to intervene more forcefully to improve safety and working conditions in the workshops they buy from. Two groups of retailers and fashion brands, one mainly North American and one mainly European, have begun implementing new monitoring schemes. On October 24th Primark, a big British retailer, said it would extend for another three months the aid it is giving to families affected by the disaster, while it works on a long-term compensation scheme.

Meanwhile, the tragedies continue: earlier this month ten people died when another factory in the Bangladeshi capital, used by big foreign clothes retailers, went up in flames. Nevertheless, it has become clearer since Rana Plaza that the clothing firms have little option but to continue sending work to Bangladesh. It will remain Asia's primary production base outside China for cheap clobber, with exports on track to rise by a fifth, to $24 billion, in the current fiscal year.

Read the full article here

Article - 10.25.13:

Rana Plaza victims await compensation (Ecotextile News)

AMSTERDAM - Many victims of the Rana Plaza disaster have yet to receive compensation according to a new report by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).

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Article - 9.27.13:

NY firm sees investment opportunity in garment factories (Reuters)

Outdated, poorly managed factories can be fixed in ways that help workers, the environment and socially conscious investors willing to provide the funding, according to a new firm that plans to invest in Bangladesh and elsewhere.

Oliver Niedermaier, the founder and chief executive of New York-based Tau Investment Management LLC, said he saw a need for equity-style investments in rundown factories including those in the garment industry well before the April collapse of the Rana Plaza factory and the November fire at a Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh.

Read the full article here

Video - 9.26.13:

Tau announces Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Oliver Niedermaier, Founder and CEO of Tau Investment Management, announces Tau's commitment to raise and deploy $1 billion to turnaround supply chains, starting with the global garment industry, at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.

Press release - 9.26.13:

Tau Investment Management to Invest $1 Billion in Transforming Global Supply Chains to Deliver Capitalist Solutions to Capitalism's Worst Failures.

New York, NY - Today, Tau Investment Management announced its commitment to raise and deploy $1 billion to turnaround supply chains, starting with the global garment industry. Over the next three years, as part of their Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, Sew True: Investing to Upgrade the Apparel Supply Chain, Tau will first target textile and apparel manufacturers in frontier and emerging markets, such as Bangladesh and others...

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