Gabrielle Rubenstein is co-founder and CEO of Manna Tree, a private equity firm making investments in companies that aim to improve human health through nutrition.
Daughter of David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group’s executive chariman, Gabrielle Rubenstein has followed in her father’s footsteps by investing, but has focused her career on improving human health and the food supply chain.
“I always knew I wanted to go into investing but I made it very clear that I was only going to invest in things that were at the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: food, water, or shelter”.
The Manna Tree team is based on the ‘three Ws’ – wilderness, wellness, and well-fed, focusing on Rubenstein’s passion for an outdoor lifestyle and healthy eating. These principles guide the selection of investments and staff, cultivating a united team.
Passion can only take you so far, and Rubenstein advocates for studying market trends, having the right capital and relationships to make it work. With an MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue University and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business Rubenstein has expert industry knowledge to understand and actualise the details of Manna Tree’s investments.
The common theme in the Manna Tree investment portfolio is companies with the largest market shares; they have the largest pasteurised egg company and largest organic beef company. Rubenstein has created a focused portfolio, indicating where the market is going. Currently, Manna Tree are looking to invest in founder-led companies, where the founder still has ‘skin in the game’ and cold chain supply chain logistics companies.
Aside from her work at Manna Tree, Rubenstein is an active philanthropist and supports organisations initiating positive change within population health, including local food production, ingredient research, outdoor wilderness youth education, and military health and recovery programs. She has also been awarded a Presidential volunteerism Medal, and currently volunteers at the American Red Cross national headquarters.
Gabrielle Rubenstein encourages women in business to continue to work hard, explaining that by doing so, they will set an example to the men they work with, showcasing the reason for them to bring more women into their investment organisations. Manna Tree are committed to their mission of providing a more transparent food supply chain, to improve human health, and under Rubenstein’s leadership they are sure to see continued success.