- Director of ESG, Private Investments
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The views expressed are those of the author at the time of writing. Other teams may hold different views and make different investment decisions. The value of your investment may become worth more or less than at the time of original investment. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed. For professional, institutional, or accredited investors only.
Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors are critical business issues that private companies must consider. Though these factors can significantly impact financial performance (Figure 1), they’re often not addressed by many venture capital and private equity investors until companies prepare for an IPO. Notably, not every risk is material to every company. In our view, understanding and incorporating material factors as early as possible enables more informed business decisions and we therefore believe it is essential to work with our portfolio companies to proactively tackle ESG issues.
Many private companies are well-positioned to address ESG factors, as they’re already tracking relevant metrics and working toward improving specific issues. We hope our insights as public and private market investors can help make it as easy as possible for private companies to leverage that work and adapt to growing ESG expectations — so they can remain focused on their core businesses.
We believe ESG matters in private markets for the same reasons it matters in public markets. In our view, strong ESG practices can potentially help private companies:
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1Bain & Company. “Global Private Equity Report 2020.” Data from 31 January 2003 to 31 January 2019. Based on a comparison of a STOXX index for companies identified as global ESG leaders and a STOXX index representing the broader market. PAST RESULTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.