Reflections on 2020

Date Published

This month we welcomed the Limited Partners in our funds to a portfolio update event. We were honoured to be joined by the CEO’s of SportPursuit, Babbel, Content Guru and Mister Spex, each of whom reflected on 2020 and shared their plans for the future.

During the last year, we have hosted a number of webinars for our investors and portfolio senior leadership teams, recognising the importance of regular and effective communication and the value of sharing best practice as we have all navigated our way through uncharted territory together. These forums have strengthened relationships across our portfolio teams and have created new opportunities for collaboration.

Exceptional leadership, resilience, and adaptability have been evident across our companies this year. There has also been a notable shift towards sustainability, with greater adoption of flexible working practices, enhanced emphasis on staff health and well-being, strong community engagement and an increased focus on the environment. For example, Babbel offered a month’s free access to its language learning platform to students affected school closures, Mister Spex launched a collection of reusable acetate lenses to reduce waste and SportPursuit is planting a tree for every order made in December.

In supporting our companies through the pandemic, we have encouraged them to look out for all their stakeholders, including their employees and the local communities in which they are based. We are strong advocates of the link between responsible practice and business growth and have always taken a responsible, long-term approach to investment and ownership. Earlier this month, we became a signatory to the UNPRI, demonstrating our own commitment to developing a more sustainable global financial system.

This has been a year of unprecedented global challenges and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the pandemic. Thankfully, there is still good news to share. Technology is continuing to drive innovation and efficiencies across a wide range of sectors, as demonstrated by new investment Dohop which is offering the travel industry innovative ways to create itineraries to capture future demand, and by Content Guru which is supporting the public sector with key projects such as NHS111. These are just two examples from many.

Without exception, we have been inspired by the commitment, hard work and ambition demonstrated by the management teams and employees across our portfolio. Our thanks go to all of them for their efforts this year, along with our best wishes for a happy and healthy Christmas. We look forward to a brighter 2021.

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