We have one unconditional responsibility to our investors; to maximize our returns. At the same time, we recognize the critical importance of managing assets in a prudent manner as well as in a larger perspective of responsibility.
As a part of our pre-investment process and in our active participation and cooperation with portfolio companies, we consider a range of potential risks and opportunities that could affect companies and industries, including ESG-related ones. We do not look to exclude companies or industries from our investment universe, but rather continue to identify and analyse the ESG factors that may have an impact on financial performance. This in order to ensure that responsibility is taken for any positive or negative externalities that our business or portfolio company activities may give rise to.
We strongly believe that, both now and in the future, winning companies will manage to create value by strengthening the connection between corporate profits and social benefit in both the short and long term. We have embraced this belief further and formulated our own ESG mission statement to guide our investments and active ownership approach:
“ Our mission is to deliver maximized returns to our investors, while at the same time continue to embrace our high standards on governance ethics and a sustainable utilization of both human capital and natural resources”
This ESG mission statement is consistent with our investment philosophy of delivering world-class returns with an acceptable risk profile. We also seek to collaborate with our investors to ensure that we accommodate their ESG initiatives and policies.
Reiten & Co is in its role as a leading private-equity company guided by the following international frameworks; the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact’s ten principles and OECD’s Guidelines on Corporate Governance. In addition, Reiten & Co respects and adheres to all applicable environmental, labour and governance laws where our business and portfolio companies’ activities are located.
Reiten & Co is a member of Invest Europe and the Norwegian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and follow the NVCA Guidelines on Active Ownership and Transparency in Private Equity Funds, dated August 2009.
A digital ESG feedback platform – ESG Pulse
Reiten VII portfolio company Questback (www.questback.com) has introduced a digital ESG feedback platform in order to facilitate measurement and follow-up of material ESG factors. Reiten has taken a keen interest in the development of this easy-to-use tool as investor interest in ESG issues remains strong.
This feedback platform has been offered to all of Reiten’s portfolio companies and with ESG Pulse we seek to capture the material factors that are important for a sustainable, viable and healthy business. The long term aim is for Questback to offer the service to international LPs and GPs.
The feedback and results will be visible to management and the Board of the respective portfolio company, while Reiten & Co can see results for the whole portfolio as well as for individual companies. Results are visible in the form of attractive dashboards with analysis and trend graphs.
An anonymous whistle-blower function is included in the ESG Pulse. Employees can report any fraudulent and/or illegal activities/happenings that they have witnessed. Each company has established a whistle-blower committee and routines to handle incoming reports according to relevant whistle-blower regulations.
We use the results from ESG Pulse actively; both as an evaluation tool for our investment teams and as a central area on the agenda in any board meeting. We firmly believe that ESG factors are essential to a business’s performance and should be followed closely by both management and the Board in any given portfolio company.
At Reiten & Co we strive to respect the environment and undertake initiatives to promote greater responsibility. The portfolio companies for which we are responsible should not produce products or employ work routines that are harmful to the environment or that do not live up to high ethical, environmental and safety-related standards. In all circumstances, we seek to assess, manage and avoid or minimize environmental damage.
The investment strategy of the funds reflects our demand that all business activities in the portfolio companies must uphold respect for international human rights principles and act to not tolerate discrimination, including discrimination based on gender, age or race or the neglect of health and safety issues towards employees as well as consumers.
By developing and growing our portfolio companies in a prudent and responsible manner, we seek to contribute to society by creating profitable and solid businesses as well as employment.
Reiten & Co and portfolio companies adhere to the highest standards of business conduct and are in full compliance with all anti-corruption laws and fair business principles. We respect people and their work environment, as well as promote fairness and honesty. Furthermore, products and services delivered from our portfolio companies are encouraged to continuously uphold the standard and quality promised.
Reiten & Co is aware that conflicts of interest could potentially arise between investors in the different funds advised by Reiten & Co, the firm itself, and the portfolio companies. Standards and processes have been put in place to ensure that all relevant circumstances have been carefully considered before decisions are made and that any potential conflict of interest has been identified and dealt with in a prudent manner to ensure fair treatment of all concerned. This includes the establishment of an Advisory Committee for each of our funds, composed of representatives of investors in the funds who meet as required to consult on the performance of the funds and ensure that any conflicts are addressed and managed properly.
We have over 20 years of investment experience and we believe that our emphasis on conducting business in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way has helped us identify and minimize potential risks, stimulate innovation and sound underlying corporate values, as well as contributed to increased profitability. In turn, this holds the potential to attract higher valuations at realisation towards buyers. This is an integral part of our business and we encourage continual improvement in ESG performance in all the companies we own.