Responsibility has been at the heart of Ardian’s investment philosophy for many years. But it has never felt more relevant or vital to us than now, amid the terrible pandemic that has changed the global economy and our lives. This calamity has forced us all to think more deeply about the health and resilience of our societies. In bringing great economies to a standstill, it has focused our attention more than ever on human values and the things that join us to each other.
The only coherent response to the huge challenges the pandemic has forced upon us is to redouble our focus on long-term choices. We must make our societies more sustainable and our economies more resilient if we are to protect ourselves from shocks and disasters – and deliver better outcomes for everyone.
As an investment house that supports scores of companies, Ardian has a major role to play in realizing this vision. Our advocacy within these companies creates a ‘multiplier effect’ that amplifies the impact Ardian can have on its own. Our commitment to use our influence is rooted both in our ideals – that finance should be an agent of change and a force for good in society – and in our pragmatism as investors.
We are more convinced today than ever that companies which do not have responsibility in their DNA will ultimately lose value and become obsolete. We see our central task, therefore, as equipping ourselves and the companies we invest in to succeed in a world where issues such as job creation, sharing values, climate change, diversity, social cohesion and inclusion are becoming more critical every day. This is how we understand our role as an agent of change: to create the companies of the future. If we fail in this, we see no other route to success.
Ardian has been developing its approach to responsible investing since 2008, gradually learning how to measure different aspects of sustainability and exploring ways to improve performance. In most cases we came to these challenges early and so had to develop our own methods and tools where none existed already. This has been a central part of our journey – the hard, practical task of turning our ideas and values into tools and methodologies that will allow us to invest better and more responsibly.
Across all our activities, Ardian’s investment professionals, supported by our dedicated sustainability team, are working with portfolio companies to help them make the transitions that will secure their long-term success. We apply the principles of responsible investment to all our activities because we believe this is the way that all investment will soon be done.
There is already ample evidence that companies that prioritize sustainability offer superior long-term returns. The uncomfortable truth, however, is that we no longer have “the long term” in which to overcome threats such as climate change and social inequality – we need major improvements now. So, we have no choice but to accelerate our transition towards better ways
I am determined that Ardian will be among those driving this process forward and redefining the way success in the financial and corporate world is understood.