Steyer is the founder and former co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital and the co-founder of Onecalifornia Bank, which became (through merger) Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland-based community development bank. Farallon Capital manages $20 billion in capital for institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The firm’s institutional investors include college endowments and foundations. Since 1986, Steyer has been a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco–based $8 billion private equity firm.Read More...
In 2006, Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded OneRoof, a business designed to bring technology to rural India.
In 2007, Steyer and Taylor founded Beneficial State Bank, a community development bank, for the purpose of providing commercial banking services to underserved Bay Areabusinesses, nonprofits and individuals.
Steyer and Taylor put up $22.5 million to start the bank and create the One PacificCoast Foundation to engage in charitable and educational activities, provide lending support, investments and other services for disadvantaged communities and community service organizations in California.
In August 2010, Steyer and his wife signed onto The Giving Pledge, an initiative of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The pledge urges individuals and families to give at least half their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetime.
Steyer and Taylor created the TomKat Ranch in Pescadero, California, near Half Moon Bay. The ranch is meant to research and demonstrate a sustainable way of doing agriculture. The ranch’s activities include underwriting healthy food programs and co-producing an independent film, La Mission, starring Benjamin Bratt, about San Francisco’sMission neighborhood. Around 2011, Steyer joined the board of Next Generation, a non-profit intending to tackle children’s issues and the environment. In 2013, Steyer founded NextGen Climate, an environmental advocacy nonprofit and political action committee.
In August 2015, Steyer launched the Fair Shake Commission on Income Inequality and Middle Class Opportunity, which was intended to advocate policies for promoting income equality.
In 2013, Steyer founded NextGen Climate (now NextGen America), an environmental advocacy nonprofit and political action committee. NextGen Climate provided the environmentalist movement with significant capital and political influence. Steyer spent almost $74 million on the 2014 elections.
In October 2017, NextGen America donated grants totaling $2.3-million to eight national immigration law service organizations, including the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center, the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis School of Law, UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Center for Community Change, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Trump Impeachment Campaign
In October 2017, Steyer spent around $10 million for a television ad campaign advocating the impeachment of President Donald Trump and plans to spend millions more on a digital ad campaign to call for Trump’s impeachment. In the ad Steyer identifies himself only as an “American citizen” and alleges that Trump “brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the FBI and, in direct violation of the Constitution, has taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth.” Trump has responded by calling Steyer “wacky and totally unhinged.” Steyer’s “friend’ and “former neighbor” Nancy Pelosi and other powerful Democrats who claim impeachment is off the table are also at odds against Steyer.
The Need to Impeach campaign had led to speculation that Steyer might campaign for California Governor or California Senator in 2018. In March 2018, Steyer launched a 30-city town hall tour and, going into the fall election season, the campaign had amassed close to 6 million petition signatures.
After holding several conversations in the summer of 2012 with environmental writer Bill McKibben, Steyer decided to focus much of his attention on the Keystone Pipeline.Steyer officially left Farallon in 2012. He was criticized by some Republicans for attacking the pipeline even though he himself held some investments in the fossil-fuel industry, including stock in Kinder Morgan, which had its own pipeline connecting the Canadian bitumin sands to a port on the Pacific, which could be seen as a rival to the Keystone pipeline. Steyer promised to fully unload his holdings there within a year. In September 2013, Steyer appeared in a series of commercials in opposition to the proposed pipeline.
In a November 2015 interview, Steyer described the Obama administration’s decision to reject the Keystone pipeline as “fantastic”.
In 2008, Steyer and Taylor gave $41 million to create the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University. Part of the Precourt Institute of Energy, it is focused on the development of affordable renewable energy technologies, and promotion of public policies to make renewable energy more accessible. Projects included the creation of lighter, less toxic, and more durable batteries, and an analysis of the then-current the power grids’ ability to support future renewable energy technologies.
In October 2013, Steyer launched a bipartisan initiative to combat climate change along with then-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The initiative, called the Risky Business Project, focuses on quantifying and publicizing the economic risks of climate change in the United States. Bloomberg, Paulson, and Steyer serve as co-chairs. The Project has published three reports—a National Report in June 2014, a Midwest Report in January 2015, and a California Report in April 2015.
In 2015, Steyer signed on to Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The goal of the coalition is to jumpstart the demand and availability of green energy sources.
Steyer has received a number of awards and honors for his environmental work, including the Phillip Burton Public Service Award of Consumer Watchdog (2011), the Environmental Leadership Award of the California League of Conservation Voters (2012), the Environmental Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute (2013), the Land Conservation Award of the Open Space Institute (2015), and the Advocate Award of the Environmental Advocates of New York (2016). He received Equality California‘s 2015 Humanitarian Award, “for his work advancing progressive causes that benefit the LGBT community.”