Our Story

metronuclear LLC is a deep value social impact principal investment partnership that awaits then exploits market dislocations, uses algorithms to make investment decisions, and engages management teams to reduce price-value gaps and to improve social impact and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Originally established to supply physical uranium concentrates to US nuclear plants receiving state-level subsidies, metronuclear invests in systemically important public companies that are overlooked and undervalued.

Our Journey

Our founder launched metronuclear after New York and Illinois approved annual ratepayer subsidies for nuclear power plants, having pioneered uranium trading at two global investment banks. We have engaged practically every corporate owner of a nuclear power plant fleet in America. In each case, metronuclear was singularly responsible for the owner’s nuclear fuel team meeting its diversity team for the first time. While waiting for these corporate owners to modernize their supplier diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, we diversified into deep value investments, and specifically European bank shares (and/or proxies thereof) that trade at historically large discounts to their tangible net asset value.

Our Investments

metronuclear’s main investment is in Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Germany’s second-largest private bank with approximately 500 billion euros in total assets. Commerzbank is the market leader in German SME lending, a pioneer in the field of sustainable finance, and the parent of leading digital bank-broker comdirect. Its mBank subsidiary is Poland’s fourth-largest bank with approximately 200 billion zlotys in total assets. Its CommerzVentures venture capital platform has invested successfully at an early stage in fintech unicorns such as Marqeta, eToro, Mambu, and Bought By Many.

We have initiated a constructive dialogue with Commerzbank and are fully supportive of its new management team and corporate strategy. metronuclear has introduced the #BetOnBettina hashtag to #Commerzbank Twitter in support of Commerzbank’s Chief Financial Officer. Building on its accelerated transformation progress under the stewardship of its results-oriented Chief Executive Officer, Commerzbank recently announced a new Capital Return Policy and the potential to return up to five billion euros of capital to shareholders by 2024. We believe Commerzbank should focus on direct buybacks from the German Federal Government, which holds a minority stake in the bank.

Commerzbank is telegraphing a 600 million euro top-up of its top-level adjustment (TLA) to account for expected credit losses from possible natural gas rationing in Germany. The bank’s TLA stands at 500 million euros, so a 600 million euro top-up would result in a gross TLA of more than one billion euros. The 600 million euro top-up amount is in line with net charges for Polish credit holidays and Swiss franc mortgage provisions in Q3-2022, during which the bank earned a profit of 200 million euros. Commerzbank has earned approximately one billion euros in profits through the first nine months of 2022. If the bank can fully absorb the 600 million euro TLA top-up in Q4-2022 just as it fully absorbed the Poland-related charges of a similar amount in Q3-2022 while still delivering a 200 million euro profit, then it may achieve its full-year 2022 profit target of more than one billion euros. A full-year 2022 profit of more than one billion euros combined with a gross TLA of more than one billion euros should merit consideration of a significant capital return to shareholders.

The equity research and journalist communities have been deeply critical of the conservative earnings guidance practices of the Commerzbank management team. Their criticism includes the belief that the management team intentionally under-promises to over-deliver. Commerzbank’s 2024 earnings guidance assumes a terminal European Central Bank deposit facility rate of two percent, which is one full percentage point below the published forecast of Commerzbank Research, which reports directly to the CEO. It is unclear why the bank’s earnings guidance relies on economic forecasts that are different than those its own research team provides to clients. Commerzbank’s conservative estimate of approximately 950 million euros in incremental net interest income in 2024 on a deposit base of around one quarter of one trillion euros implies net interest margin expansion of around 40 basis points, which we believe understates the potential positive earnings impact of frontloaded increases in the European Central Bank deposit facility rate. An improved earnings outlook as result of positive operating leverage from higher net interest income and lower post-transformation costs may result in deferred tax asset writebacks, which would further boost the bank’s earnings, capital return potential, and prospects for a return to Germany’s DAX 40 blue-chip index.

Our Team

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Roy Adams

  • Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer of metronuclear
    • Originates, executes, and manages metronuclear’s deep value investments
    • Serves as metronuclear’s geopolitical, macroeconomic, equity, and diversity research analyst
    • Challenges management teams of target companies to measurably improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and social impact
    • Scaled metronuclear investment in Commerzbank and communicates actively to ensure management accountability
    • Developed metronuclear deep value algorithm and uranium term and options pricing models
  • Pioneered uranium trading at Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers in UK and US with customers spanning 5 continents
    • Financial Times: Adams left Deutsche Bank to work with two non-profits and later to invest privately in uranium-linked and European bank shares
    • Reuters: Deutsche Bank’s global uranium trading business was a long-term supplier of uranium to utilities, profitable each year of its existence and later sold to Australian bank Macquarie
    • Originated and executed first-ever long-term physical uranium supply contract between a bank and a nuclear utility
    • Traded first-ever financially-settled uranium swap with institutional investors
    • Arranged first-ever financially-settled uranium swap with a nuclear utility, covering a quarter of its annual fuel requirements
  • Graduate of NYC public schools, Mathematics and Science for Minority Students Program at Phillips Academy Andover, Yale College, and Tuck School of Business (Edward Tuck Scholar)