Transport and logistics giant XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE:XPO) said Monday it has named Mark Manduca, a longtime European transportation analyst, to the role of chief investment officer of GXO Logistics Inc., the proposed spinoff of XPO’s logistics business.
Manduca will join XPO in May as chief investment officer of the company’s logistics segment. XPO plans to spin off its logistics business to shareholders during the second half of the year.
Manduca will oversee GXO’s asset portfolio, analyze growth opportunities, manage its U.K. pension investments, and help convey the new company’s investment case to a global audience.
Manduca comes to XPO from Citigroup (NYSE:C) in London, where he was managing director in equity research and led transport research activities. Before that, he spent eight years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC), where he led the business services, leisure and transport research teams. In 2020, Manduca was named the top European transport research analyst by the influential Institutional Investor magazine for the eighth consecutive year.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after XPO named Baris Oran, a well-regarded corporate finance executive, as CFO of the intended spinoff company.
Separately, XPO Chairman and CEO Brad Jacobs said that 10% U.S. GDP growth in 2021, which would be well above analysts’ consensus projections of about 6%, is not “out of the question” based on what he is being told by the company’s customers. In his annual letter to shareholders published last week, Jacobs said most of XPO’s customers, typically multi-national corporations, “think they’ll be in a much stronger position a year from now” than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another tailwind, according to Jacobs, was the resurgence late last year of the U.S. industrial economy, which was struggling before the pandemic and was then flattened by its impact on ordering and consumption behavior.
The fly in the ointment, Jacobs said, is the massive spike in government spending, which could lead to trouble should the public sector expand its involvement in capital allocation rather than allowing the private sector to do the job more efficiently. Governments have historically done a subpar job in capital allocation, leading to higher inflation, higher taxes, and eventually no or low growth, Jacobs said.
Such an unfavorable scenario is “not a certainty, but it’s certainly a question mark,” he said.