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Learnings From 20+ Years As A CEO, With Lance Uggla

A business needs more than just effective strategies to hit its goals or even go beyond them. Beyond just talking about good practices, a successful team requires a leader with a strong CEO mindset to implement them. Lance Uggla takes pride in his more than two decades of CEO experience and has seen it all. Joining J.R. Lowry, he discusses how he led Markit's and now BeyondNetZero’s diverse teams by accelerating the implementation of an inclusive culture. He explains how he manages his time despite having a hectic schedule, the power of the concept of vitality, and the best approach to improve recruitment processes. Lance also shares how his current venture helps established corporations allocate resources to address the serious effects of climate change.


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Learnings From 20+ Years As A CEO, With Lance Uggla

Founder And CEO Of BeyondNetZero And Former CEO Of IHS Markit

My guest is Lance Uggla, the Founder and CEO of BeyondNetZero, which is General Atlantic's climate growth equity firm focused on supporting and scaling companies that are developing innovative climate solutions. Before joining General Atlantic, he was the chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information analytics and solutions for the world's major industries and economic markets. IHS Markit was acquired by S&P Global in early 2022 in a $44 billion deal. Lance began his career in sales and trading at CIBC World Markets and then moved on to TD Securities where he was the head of Europe and Asia.

He founded Markit in 2003 and ran it, and later the combined IHS Markit, for almost twenty years. Lance earned his Bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master's degree from the London School of Economics. Among his many awards and accolades, he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Risk Magazine and was named EY’s UK Entrepreneur of the Year, both in 2012.

Lance, welcome. It’s great to have you on the show. I appreciate your time.

It's good to be here.

Let's start with your current role. Tell our audience a little bit about what you are doing with BeyondNetZero.

We are about a year into BeyondNetZero and it is General Atlantic's climate venture. We set up BeyondNetZero to allow for a more focused approach to growth climate investing. I say growth because it's not venture and it’s not infrastructure. It's looking for those companies that have a strong climate focus which for us is defined as decarbonization.

You've had a hugely successful career. You founded Markit, merged it with IHS, and sold it to S&P. You could have just ridden off into the sunset. What prompted you to dive in with Lord John Browne in founding this venture?

Both John and the CEO of General Atlantic, Bill Ford, were on my [IHS Markit] board. I have an excellent relationship with both of them going back a number of years. It was quite natural for us to have a discussion about what was next. John and I have been thinking about climate even within the context of the assets we had in IHS Markit. When we came up with the plan to raise a fund, and go out and invest specifically in companies that help with environmental change, Bill was at the table. Together, the three of us talked about where it would be best to set this up. Doing it on General Atlantic's platform is a real win-win.

Before my days in financial services, when I was at McKinsey, one of my big clients was BP when John Browne was running that firm. He was thinking about this very actively even twenty years ago. Some of the projects that I enjoyed most were the ones where we were trying to help them get ahead on the environmental front. He has stayed true to this topic all through his time there and in his time since.

John is quite a visionary. Not many people know that he was so climate focused as an oil and gas executive back in the day. He had a focus on renewable energy and defining a path of change for BP that was before its time. Working together with him as the chair of BeyondNetZero is excellent because he's got an engineering background. He understands energy transition, what the big energy companies can do, and how they can participate [in the transition to a decarbonized world]. He is uniquely curious and interested in new technologies and ventures. It's a great partnership.

That's great to hear. There are some particular themes that you're focused on in terms of your investment strategy, right?

We sat down and said, “What are the big themes that we could invest in?” Four big themes turned into 50 sub-themes. We've got a lot of work within our team going on around the research and development and learning needed to identify great companies and then invest in them. The four themes are (1) emissions management; (2) resource conservation - that's the circular economy; (3) decarbonization, which includes the services, technology, or products that remove carbon; and (4) energy efficiencies, which can be building or house management systems, things that will generate efficiencies in terms of total carbon footprint.

Those are the four themes and [there are] many sub-themes. The team is regularly working with an independent consultancy called Systemic, as well as some others like McKinsey and others. We are digging deep into what we call the deep dives on each of the sub-sectors. There are many home building systems or building systems for commercial buildings. We would look for those companies with exceptional growth and amazing entrepreneurs, somebody that you can back and help execute their business against what we expect to be a big TAM [total addressable market].

How much have you invested so far and what are the things that you are particularly excited about?

We are coming up to the first year close of the fund. We've made five investments. The average investment size for us is circa $150 million to $200 million. We'll end the year shy of $1 billion invested out of $3.5 billion to invest. We have invested in a company that does solar as a service in Africa called Sun King. We've invested in a supply chain technology company in the US called o9 Solutions and a sustainability rating company in Europe called EcoVadis.

The remaining two are a vertical farm called 80 Acres, which is now building out its 2nd and 3rd farms, and finally, a waste management solutions company called RoadRunner. We have invested 1 in Europe, 1 in Africa, and 3 in the US. We are all about identifying the great entrepreneur to back in a company that's growing strong double digits with a good sight on its gross margins and profitability.

You've got your fund in place as you mentioned. What's ahead for you and the team?

It's quite different from running a company. I'm assisting entrepreneurs to run their companies and that's where I add value to the equation. It's helping with sales strategy and technology choices, leveraging their information or data sets, and building out global infrastructure and best-cost locations. There are a lot of things like going public and setting up a board. Lots of things that I either did well or I did poorly, and so I learned from them. Where I help the investing team is working with the entrepreneurs.

As a team, we take a scientific approach to those four themes. We have [divided] them into sub-themes. We then work with strategic partners, whether they are banks or consulting firms. We work with all the VC funds and look for those companies that are at the appropriate stage in their growth stage for growth capital or for that next stage of capital to get them from A to B.

These are companies that don't have concept risk. They are not trying to figure out their products still. They have strong revenue growth and gross margin. Two out of our five companies are already profitable. We need that [line of sight to profitability] and a vision for the company in the TAM [in which] it operates. Right now, we have in our database over 1,000 companies. It's a lot. We have a team of seventeen investment professionals. We are part of GA. We are the GA climate strategy. We have the sourcing and business acceleration teams of GA working with us.

Out of that 1,000 companies, there are about 75 companies that we have identified that fit our guardrails. From that, over the next three years, we need to make another 4 to 6 investments a year of around that same size. To give you an idea, those 75 companies have growth rates of over 50% on average. A third of them have revenues of more than $100 million. They all have gross margins, and about a third of them are already profitable. It gives you an idea of the types of companies. These aren't startups. These are companies that have proven their early stages of growth with great entrepreneurs and teams. We'll take a minority stake and then help them be even better.

What's the timing of the fund itself?

We expect to invest the fund over about a four-year period, and then the sale of those companies can happen over the following 4 or 5 years. It's generally accepted that a PE fund is going to have a life of at least ten years by the time everything is monetized. We underwrite to a private equity framework. We don't expect that because of its climate, it should have a lower return.

Let's go back a bit to your Markit days. You'd been at CIBC and TD. How did the founding of Markit come about? What problem for the industry were you focused on solving at that point?

It was interesting because I grew up in the fixed-income markets trading mortgage-backed securities at what was Wood Gundy and became CIBC World Markets. I moved from there to Toronto-Dominion Bank and I was trading credit in the early-'90s. It was the onset of the credit derivative markets, which was this new funky derivative allowing you to take decent positions in credit, as well as hedging broader positions in the marketplace.

It also allowed a bank to be able to go to a customer and underwrite a big-ticket one-on-one, and then lay it off globally to other people that might want [to share] that risk. The credit derivative had an interesting early start in terms of risk management. Like many derivatives, if used poorly, they can result in a lot of leverage and challenges.

We saw that around the collapse of Enron. It was during that period around Enron's collapse that there was this real push. There was a regulation that came out. It was called ETIF 02, so in 2002. It was a regulation requiring mark to market. Derivatives at that point, you'd do a derivative trade as a fund. You'd probably let your counterparty mark to market for you, and we started to shift to independent marks. I saw this window of opportunity around the derivative markets to create a bit more transparency and independence in the market. I felt the only way to do that would be to speak to 5 or 10 banks and hope that they'd be willing to share data for the sole purpose of mark-to-market.

CSCL 43 | CEO Mindset, Lance Uggla

Lance Uggla on Markit's impetus: ETIF 02 required mark to market. When you do a derivative trade as a fund, you are probably letting your counterparty mark to market for you. ETIF 02 called for a shift to independent marks.


That was the start of it. That was the idea. I was in the middle of those markets, trading a big credit portfolio and a lot of credit derivatives. Because I was a Canadian bank, I was trading with the Street and they viewed me as a customer. I wasn't a market maker per se. Therefore, I was receiving marks from my counterparts. I built a system where I needed at least three marks to gain the right treatment of capital for that portfolio. I could see from what I was doing as an organized counter-party in the marketplace that this was needed by many more [firms]. In fact, anybody - a corporate, bank, fund manager, or hedge fund -  needed the same transparency as we had in the FX, equity, or big bond markets. We needed it in pure credit markets.

That was the start of Markit. It was to become the benchmark for credit pricing. There were a few people participating in the marketplace. Within a year or two, fortunately, we were able to convince participants that we had the better mouse trap. That was the [beginning]. Still now, that's a very important product within the S&P Global product suite.

You had a little bit of a unique situation in terms of that consortium of banks that were involved, which I'm sure gave you a bit of a boost out of the gate. Being an entrepreneur, though, is always hard. What were the first few years like and what were your big challenges?

A lot of people say, "You had thirteen banks on your board." I always looked at it as if they were partners in building the business. They were trusting me and [trusting] the employees. They were trusting us to do a great job. I always felt that they were great partners. I know that JP Morgan is much bigger than Barclays, and Barclays might be bigger than TD. The fact is if they are trading Nestle's and they have a position, they generally know the mark to market of that position.

Therefore, it's allowing banks across the globe to share data to create an independent price. They [trusted] that I would deal with that [data] in a way that respected their positions in the marketplace. It meant that it was for mark-to-market and we produced it once a day, and it allowed risk managers and others to have an insight.

I felt the banks were great partners. The [one] thing that people hated was, even now, people can complain about regulation. I hear it a lot in the climate space. You hear both the positives and negatives of regulation. To me, if you are setting up an information-based business, regulation is usually a tailwind to your business. It's not a headwind.

If you are setting up an information-based business, regulation is usually a tailwind to your business. It's not a headwind. Click To Tweet

You're helping participants solve those regulatory challenges. You should be able to turn what a lot might wake up every morning and say was an anchor to their strategy. I always viewed it as a sales strategy. That regulation was something that I should embrace to help the customers of Markit, and then IHS Markit, to solve those regulatory problems. We did that in the automotive, energy, and financial markets over and over again.

When you think back to those earlier years, what did you learn about leading a company that you've taken with you since then?

The number one biggest thing, which maybe if you talk to my kids, they’d go, “Dad, you've changed so much," I call it learning. I do think that you're never finished learning. I hate the thought that I'm going to stop learning one day. What I've learned the most from 1986 when I started in a trading room or on a trading floor to now is that this feeling of inclusivity and belonging in a firm is important. It's not funny. It's not a place to joke. If you're leading a small group, a big group, a firm, or a team, the fact is people want to show up and feel like they belong no matter who they are.

Building an inclusive culture is something that's shifted throughout my career. To me, it’s the single biggest competitive edge I can give any entrepreneur or somebody starting out that hasn't recognized that. Our youth is recognizing it a lot more than you or I did, but that leaves a big swath in the middle. They are still learning. My view is the more you accelerate it, the better atmosphere you create. When you have a happy and inclusive atmosphere, you build better products and have better customer relationships. You get to hire the best people. It plays out over and over again. It's probably the thing that I'm most proud of.

CSCL 43 | CEO Mindset, Lance Uggla

Lance Uggla on his CEO Mindset: The more you accelerate an inclusive culture, the better work atmosphere you create. This builds better products and customer relationships.


That's certainly something to be very proud of. What were some of the specific things that you did to accelerate it within Markit?

The first thing you have to do is you want to be diversified. In the countries and your offices in various locations around the world, you want them to look and feel like the communities that they operate in. That's sometimes hard because a lot of times, your company or you grew up in New York or London. It's very White Anglo-Saxon male-dominated. Therefore, if your hiring practices are only local and you don't look to diversify your teams, you end up having a real homogenous set of people working every day.

In order to change that, you have to first start off with your board. I looked at my board when there was a "30% Club" [initiative in the UK] at the time. I remember my daughter saying to me, "What's the 30% club?" I said, "We just made the 30% club.” She goes, “That's so ridiculous, 30%.” Women make up half the world. Only Scandinavians can have a 50% club? From that day forward, I told my board, "We are going to be a 50-50 board." We were one board member shy at the time of the sale to be 50-50.

That's completely controllable because boards are turning over. Board members turn over. They leave for certain reasons. They retire and get older. They have limits. When you need to replace a board member, you have a choice. I look at, "Where do I have a choice?" I had a choice on the board. The other place you have the choice is when you are hiring. If I take a firm like IHS Markit, it was 17,000 people. If you have 10% attrition and 10% growth, you've got to hire 3,400 people. Do you hire 3,000 men and 400 women? Do you hire 3,000 White individuals and 400 Black individuals? If that's your hiring practice, then you are never going to change.

What that means to me is that we need to diversify. When you are hiring, you have to insist that it's diversified. A lot of people say, “I only saw two men. That's all the applicants that were qualified.” You have to say, “That's not possible.” We have to have diversified hiring. The other thing we said is our intern programs and our associate programs had to be 50-50, and they had to be representative of the communities we worked in.

If you are operating in Japan, it's going to be very Japanese-centric. If you are operating in India, it's going to be very India-centric. If you are operating in the US or the UK, it's much more of a melting pot of many different cultures and backgrounds. We were always hiring in our intern and associate programs to be equal for men and women. Setting rules like that or guardrails is important. It allows you to fix the top and the bottom. The hard question is, "What do you do in the middle of people's career paths?"

You have to be open-minded that if you can have a diversified leadership team in a firm, it's going to produce better results. If you don't believe that, then we can't have a discussion about it, but if you believe diversity leads to better decision-making and it's more attractive to your customers, you can relate to customers in different ways. It's better for leadership in your firm. If I'm a young Black man in a firm, I want to look up and see that I have got places to go in this firm. I [can't] look up and see a bunch of people that don't look or feel like me. If I'm a woman, it's the same thing.

If I'm part of the LGBTQ diversification, I want to look up and feel that in this firm, I can be who I am and I have a place to go, and I [can] have a career path. You need to measure and you have to measure regularly so that your leaders can see how they are doing in terms of diversification. I don't say you have to hire somebody for the sake of a number, but you have to work hard to identify and find great people. That takes a bit more time. It costs a bit more but, in the end, you have a better company.

What were the other things that were important to you in terms of the culture that you were trying to create at Markit?

One of the things I was proud of at IHS Markit [was that] we created this measurement called vitality. I heard that S&P Global [has] announced something similar. Being part of an asset manager, you want to invest in companies that are growing. Organic growth is better than acquired growth. You love it when a company is refreshing and building new products.

We created this concept of vitality which was, what percent of your revenue came from products that were developed at home or in-house over the past three years? We kept those products in the vitality measure as long as their revenue growth stayed above the growth rate of the firm. We'd have [overall] growth at 8% and...a product that was three years old that was still 12% growth. It could still be part of your vitality. You created it. It's growing and it's accretive to your growth.

When [we] started measuring that and making it part of people's performance and compensation, [we] started to see the investment, and [we] stopped seeing wasted investment too. You can create and innovate in a lot of different ways, but when it's measured, monitored, and part of your performance measurement, it becomes important. We started to share it with the board. As we sold the company, we were starting to talk [about it] with shareholders. I can't take credit that I'm the first company ever to measure vitality because I have seen others that had successfully measured innovation and the health measure of organic growth.

When you start measuring vitality and making it part of people's performance and compensation, you'll start seeing the investment and stop wasting it. Click To Tweet

I think it's an important score because it creates a culture of innovation...and investment. It’s taking some portion of your EBITDA and putting it back into new product development. I think that's important. [So I think] about people and how we led and managed the firm. I think about vitality. The third thing I'd say that made a real difference was developing a location strategy to drive profitability.

I say location strategy because, if I think about the world, my view is there are great people [everywhere]. You can have a great CTO in Toronto, Denver, Mexico City, Frankfurt, or Paris. The fact is, if somebody's a great CTO, they exist in many places in the world. Some places in the world have a lower cost structure, lower cost of benefits, and lower cost of real estate. When you look at building a firm, [you need to look at location strategy before] you start to scale. [Otherwise] it might be too late to have a location strategy.

Once you hire your whole team in Denver, London, New York or Paris, you are in a cost structure for your leadership. If you decide your leadership can be globally placed and you can manage a global leadership, what you want to do is build out your teams around that leadership. My view is that you gain benefits. [Taking] Toronto versus New York, the Canadian dollar generally is 25% less than the US dollar. The benefits are about $20,000 or $25,000 a year less for healthcare and other benefits. The real estate in Canadian dollars is less. The bonus culture is less. All of a sudden, it's $100,000 a head.

That's a number I used religiously. If I used locations around the world for our technology, operations or testing of some of our products and services, I could generate about $100,000 US per head savings. If you think of a company that has 20,000 people and you put 10,000 people in a better-cost location, you are driving $1 billion of EBITDA on location strategy. I learned that when we had 200 people. I started to build out locations. I ended up with several hundred people in Malaysia and Poland, a thousand people in India, and several hundred people in South America.

When we started building that out in Canada or other places in the US that had a nice advantage to New York, we drove incremental investment dollars. I could give margins to shareholders but I also could reinvest at a higher level. That drove the vitality. Location, people strategy, and then the vitality of our products were very important.

The final one I'd add to that is the closeness to customers. That's in any business. There's nothing nicer than somebody calling you up and not trying to sell you something but to ask you, “How are you doing with the product? Are there any problems? What are the 2 or 3 things that you'd like to see different in the product?” You take that feedback in regularly from your sales, your support, and your leadership team. Having a culture to visit customers and to be close to them.

Those were the tenets of what I called the IHS Markit strategy. It was people and products, which is the vitality. Customers, which is the closeness to the customers. Efficiency, which was driving overall efficiencies and measurement. The final piece of the story was technology. Be an active user of technology to gain a competitive advantage. That doesn't mean building it. Use it and know what's available to you.

Technology has influenced everything I have done since 1986., in terms of processing, speed of the chips, and ability to distribute and back up, and to sort or combine qualitative and quantitative data now. It's changed from cell phones, emails, object-oriented programming, the web, distributed data architectures, and open-source. The next will be quantum computing, I'm sure. Technology has always been an active influencer. All leaders need to make sure that they are a user of the cutting edge. Don't try to do it yourself. You don't need to create Amazon Web Services. You've got Azure, AWS, Google Cloud and IBM, but you better use them and use them well.

You talked a little bit about the way you interacted with your leaders. When you were promoting somebody into a leadership role or hiring somebody in from the outside, what were the attributes that were most important to you?

Leadership is more than just your direct reports. It's your direct reports and their direct reports in an organization that has 5 to 7 layers of management. I hate organizations with ten layers of management. It's a good practice sometimes to take the CEO and then count down through all your divisions and go, "This leader has got nine levels of reports." At that point I go, "That's somebody that's disconnected from their organization and they've got way too much hierarchy." In this world of technology and the hybrid workforce, we can manage a broader group of people, 10, 12 or 15 people. For some people, it isn't that difficult. These 7 to 10 optimal leadership structures went out the door with COVID.

For me, I want the leaders to be measurable not just on commercial activities. I want at least, 25% of their measurement to come from activities that are the health checks of the firm. It's the hiring practices, recruitment, training and development, and customer connectivity. If you're a CTO and you're on my leadership team, I want to know how many universities did you recruit from this year. I assume every executive should be at least at their university and maybe one other. If we bring our leaders to the recruitment, we attract an even better opportunity set.

Bringing leaders to recruitment can attract an even better opportunity set. Click To Tweet

The other thing I want to make sure of is once we get the interns in place, we don't just give them to other interns and low-level managers for that regular rotation. I want leaders. I would measure the interaction with our educational teams. How many of the educational courses that we ran internally in the firm are you teaching? These are all soft things. Are you up to speed? I never wanted to ask people if they had done all the compliance. Every year, we had better do all these compliance trainings. I didn't want to be the leader that was asking that.

At the end of the year, I had a partnership program that topped a hundred people, and those numbers were reported. If there were five trainings in the year and you'd done three, you got 3/5 of that score. If you'd done five, you got the score. My view was everything that I was measuring was easy. Did you recruit? Did you do some training and development? Have you improved your diversity scores? What does your 360-rating look like from your peers and people that work for you?

Some people are great up, some down, and some all around. I did those discussions myself for my reports and their reports for what we called the partnership. Are you a great partner of the firm? When you went to visit Singapore, did you go out with the guys or girls that reported to you? Or, as a leader of the firm, did you meet broader people?

It was self-reported, but the fact is if it didn't happen, I always trusted the team to report what was done. It changed the culture of the firm. Those are the things that I wanted to see in leaders, all the soft things. I assume the product and leadership side. I'm building products or leading sales teams and the mechanics of that. They were hired to be good at it and they were pretty good at it. When it comes to being real leaders, there's much more to it.

How did you think about spending your own time? I'm sure you got pulled in a lot of different directions every day. Was there a conscious allocation of how you wanted to balance your time across different types of activities?

As a CEO, you've got shareholders. They're important. In IHS Markit, the shareholders were our customers as well. It was very important. It's probably 10% to 15% of your time. You've got customers, so again, 10% to 15% of your time. I wanted to be engaged deeply in our tech agenda. That's another 10% to 15% of your time. You've got people. [All the] people issues across the firm is 15% to 20% of your time. The leadership around product and new product development, that's another 20% of your time. However, you make it up, 5 or 6 areas where you've got to spend 15% to 20% of your time, that's what I did. I was very organized on time allocations throughout the year.

Were there occasions where you got pulled radically off of that, where you had to pull yourself back into your target allocation?

We measured some of these things quite well. It wasn't Jeff Bezos reporting down to the infinitesimal performance metric, but we were very willing to be transparent about what everybody was doing. I wasn't asking people to do things I didn't do. I set [a goal of] 150 customer connections a quarter, whether it was a phone call or in person.

If you are out on the road or in the Middle East, I might be seeing 40 or 50 customers on that trip. You're very concentrated, but when you come back, you've got to shed that. Now, you're ahead on customers, but I have quarterly reporting. I need to spend some time with our biggest shareholders. We're trying to hit 7% to 8% organic growth and we're slipping a bit. I want to spend time with customers for new growth or for new product development to ensure that future quarters will be stronger, our products are released on time, and deals are closed that might be dragging. You have to juggle your time.

My view to anybody working in business [should be] willing to dedicate 50 to a maximum of 60 hours a week to your job. If you think of 50, it's 10 hours of work every day, not weekends. If it's 60, it's 12 hours, so you probably need a half day on the weekend, unless you want to work twelve hours every day. My view is these people that say, “I work 60 to 80 hours,” whatever, I think that this is craziness because you're going to fall apart at that type of pace.

Some people can do it, but I think it’s organized. Women are better than men at this. I learned a lot [from the] women on my team that were juggling lots of things in life. They can put a solid 50 hours in and get everything done. I started to model myself around that committed 50 hours. That's not like arriving at work at 8:00, sitting down, and having a coffee, a couple of chats, and a bowl of cereal. Now [you're not really starting until] 9:00. [It's not about taking] two hours for lunch. Your productive time is, if you [work] from 8:00 to 6:00, you're in 10 hours. You had three hours faffing around, as they say in Europe. You got seven hours of real work done. I figured out that I needed to be productive and well-organized.

You talked earlier that you never want to stop learning. What are the things that you're focused on learning right now? Where are you focused on developing yourself?

Right now, it's understanding the investment needed to support a 1.5 degrees world, getting the world to net zero. These are very complex calculations that we are relying on to slow global warming and [then] stop it. It's a whole new world of understanding the math and science behind climate change, but also understanding the tools that are available so we can talk about carbon capture. I'd love to think that we could put carbon capture all over the world, take the carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it, and put it back in the ground.

That technology is being developed. It's well on its way in its development path, but it's not ready at scale yet. It hasn't completely figured itself out yet. The use of hydrogen for power storage and distribution is very important. It’s not fully solved yet. The use of solar and wind EVs, we are making that happen at scale now, but it's a small percentage. It needs to be much more, but we've got the technology and we know the path. You then got the big stuff: cement, construction, and transportation. These are big categories, [along with] agriculture and land use.

Each of those has a great set of opportunities that we can get excited about, but they need investment from public and private sources. We need the world to maintain its focus and get on with solving this problem. When we are in an era of war and energy supply challenges, coming out of COVID, and trying to get the world growing at the right pace, we’ve got a compound fracture.

It needs work and focus. I'm spending my time learning about how I can incrementally help that. BeyondNetZero is a drop in the investment bucket in terms of what's needed for decarbonization. Incrementally, it’s important. The people that are investing their capital with us want to make sure that we are independently measuring that reduction, and that what we are doing is going to the right place and being measured properly. That's a learning curve and I'm on it. I love it. It's new, exciting, and complex. Not that I'm leading companies myself now, but I've got five great entrepreneurs. We'll have many more. I hope that I can help each of them be even better than they already are.

CSCL 43 | CEO Mindset

Lance Uggla: BeyondNetZero is a drop in the investment bucket in terms of what's needed for decarbonization.


That's a lofty goal to be helping entrepreneurs in general, and it's an even loftier goal to be focused on climate change. There's so much more we could have covered. This has been great. I appreciate the time to give our audience a little bit of a sense of the "on the ground" work that's going on in the climate space, and a bit about your own entrepreneurial journey, and all the years at Markit along the way. Thanks, Lance, for doing this.

Thank you for interviewing me and we'll talk soon.

Take care.


I'd like to thank Lance for joining me to discuss his work on investing in climate solutions, his early days as an entrepreneur, and his successful journey as a CEO. If you're ready to take control of your career, visit If you'd like more regular career insights, become a PathWise member. It's free. You can also sign up on the website for the PathWise newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Thanks and have a great day.


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About Lance Uggla

CSCL 43 | CEO MindsetLance Uggla is the founder and CEO of BeyondNetZero, which is growth equity firm General Atlantic’s climate fund focused on supporting and scaling companies that are developing innovative climate solutions. Before joining General Atlantic, Lance was the Chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics, and solutions for the world’s major industries and economic markets. IHS Markit was acquired by S&P Global in a $44 billion deal in early 2022.

Lance began his career in sales and trading at CIBC World Markets and then moved on to TD Securities, where he was the Head of Europe and Asia. He founded Markit in 2003 and ran it – and later the combined IHS Markit – for almost 20 years.

Lance earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics. Among his many awards and accolades, he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Risk Magazine and was named EY’s UK Entrepreneur of the Year, both in 2012.



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