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ESG



Platina Partners’ESG Charter

 

April 2021

 

Company overview

With 20 years of experience, Platina Partners is an independent investment firm authorised and regulated by the FCA. Its investment approach revolves around five core strategies, namely its historical expertise in private equity and renewable energy, hotel assets, disruptive business models and technologies, as well as its multi-assets management activity.

On the back of its deeply rooted entrepreneurial mindset, Platina Partners has acquired solid field experience, which is relied on to help investee companies grow. Platina Partners is therefore positioned as a long-term strategic partner, with a strong focus on implementing solid and reliable governance frameworks, which are instrumental to any business’ sustainability. Indeed, Platina Partners has been built around a model that is flexible, professional and proactively engages with companies to provide them with tailor-made support. The firm’s values – Agility, Pragmatism and Transparency – reflect well this philosophy.

Platina Partners is cognizant of the major challenges facing our society and is therefore committed to help drive social progress. Over the years, the company has naturally turned towards sector-focused investment strategies to promote high-impact businesses coping with fundamental needs, such as education, the silver economy or the transition to more sustainable living.

In order to further endorse its commitment to responsible investments, Platina Partners has in 2020 adhered to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) as defined by the United Nations.

Platina Partners supports the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

To go further, the company has decided to formalise the responsible investment approach that it is putting in place across its private equity activities, including, to the extent possible, the investments in which a minority stake is held.  This approach is intended to be progressive as well as exhaustive and will eventually be applied to all of the group’s activities.

 

The objectives of Platina Partners

As its historical expertise in the financing of renewable energy programmes warrants, Platina Partners aims to provide a response to the social and environmental challenges facing our society.

As a firm believer of human capital’s role as an engine of growth, especially with regards to the demographic changes we are experiencing, Platina Partners wishes to contribute to the adjustment of society by addressing these new challenges. This is why the company invests on a long-term basis in companies operating in sectors deemed fundamental, in order to meet or at least start coping with these major societal needs.

While Platina Partners has built, among other things, its reputation on the back of high governance standards, it fully recognises the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the risk management of its investment activities. A such, formalising a responsible investment approach is not only a natural step but more than ever essential to both achieving performance objectives and meeting increasingly demanding market expectations.

 

The main principles of Platina Partners’ ESG approach

Platina Partners’ ESG approach is based on complementary processes that are integrated into the management functions, occurring both upstream and downstream of any investment.

  1. Platina Partners’ exclusion policy

Platina Partners has implemented an exclusion policy, which is both sector-specific and normative, in order to guard against any investment risk related to activities deemed harmful to the company. The main principles of this policy are as follows:

 –  The exclusion of any company that is subject to proven criticism because of its involvement in controversial practices, such as:

    • Money laundering.
    • Corruption.
    • Child labour and modern slavery.
    • Involvement in so-called illegal activities.

 

–  The exclusion of any company whose activity or sector is considered controversial because of its negative impact on society or the environment, such as:

    • Weaponries, including controversial weapons.
    • The production and distribution of pornographic content.
    • Coal mining.
    • Fossil fuels.
    • Tobacco production.
    • Gambling.

 

As previously mentioned, one of Platina Partners’ strategic pillars is also to invest in third party funds. In this respect, the exclusion policy is intended to be adapted in the long run to the specific requirements of multi-assets management.

  1. Dialogue with investee companies

As a long-term partner, Platina Partners proactively engages with the companies it invests in and therefore places such dialogue at the heart of its investment strategy. In addition, the company has implemented an ESG process consistent with this approach, which enables the promotion of the best initiatives relating to ESG issues whilst reducing the associated risks.

 

     a) Setting ESG targets

As part of its responsible investment approach, Platina Partners integrates the assessment of ESG criteria into its management process. This assessment is carried out at the time of the selection of investments and during the monitoring phase.

Investment selection process

During its investment selection process, Platina Partners carries out a systematic review of non-financial information to identify companies meeting major societal needs. In addition, a company’s social, societal and environmental policy is a key differentiator, typically acknowledged during the due diligence process

Platina Partners also examines companies’ internal approach in relation to its six major ESG themes: waste and energy control, animal welfare for the Environment pillar; access and inclusion, employees’ welfare for the Social pillar; and, finally, governance improvement and quality certifications for the Governance pillar.

Anti-corruption and anti-bribery assessments are also carried out.

As part of the above selection process, Platina Partners considers sustainability risks and assesses whether there are any likely impacts of sustainability risks on the returns of the investments which it manages or advises on.

Follow-up of investments

With regard to the six main themes and depending on the nature of the investment (size, development stage, etc.) as well as the specific features of each sector in which companies operate, the investment team identifies criteria, which are then translated into ESG targets for each of the investee companies, which the latter undertake to meet. Once achieved, new objectives are then defined and agreed upon by the investee company together with Platina Partners. The set objectives, the implemented initiatives as well as the related progress are systematically documented and monitored by the investee company.

In order to ensure that the objectives set are achieved, Platina Partners utilises two different action levers:

      • As part of its private equity activities, committee meetings (Board of Directors, Supervisory Committees and Monitoring Committees) are organised monthly to allow Platina Partners to exchange views with its investee companies. During these committee meetings, topics relating to ESG themes of interest are systematically discussed.
      • On an operational level, action plans are set up with the investee companies and are sometimes linked to a performance bonuses system for the managers.

The ongoing assessment of potential sustainability risks is part of the monitoring process.  Due to its active ownership and deep knowledge of the investee companies, Platina Partners is in a position to identify potential negative impacts of sustainability risks on the funds’ return at an early stage and put into place adequate mitigation measures as it has demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

     b) The investee companies’ community

Through its activities, Platina Partners promotes transparency as well as the transfer of skills and experience. This philosophy has led to the implementation of a collaborative platform accessible to all investee companies and, through which, Platina Partners has the opportunity to not only convey ESG best practices but also enable company directors to exchange ideas with each other. A genuine community is thus created, whose success is based on collective intelligence.

 

Platina Partners’ internal approach

Platina Partners’ ESG strategy is intended to be inclusive and consistent with its approach to responsible investing. To this end, the company aims to put in place a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy and is beginning to address certain issues related to its social and environmental responsibilities. As an example, Platina Partners has implemented the following initiatives:

        • On an environmental level, Platina Partners aims to limit its impact. Consequently, the company has set itself targets for reducing paper and plastic waste. As a matter of example, Platina Partners has considerably reduced its paper consumption by using software such as DocuSign and its plastic wastes by replacing plastic water bottles at its Parisian site with a water cooler and reusable glass bottles.

 

        • On a social level, Platina Partners promotes the well-being and fair treatment of its employees. In point of fact, the company has set up a balanced and transparent profit-sharing structure with clearly defined thresholds.

The development of its CSR policy is a medium-term objective for Platina Partners. Nevertheless, Platina is, already today, progressively including responsible investing and sustainability risk related objectives to the variable remuneration of its relevant employees.

 

Internal organisation and communication

As part of its ESG approach, Platina Partners has defined a dedicated internal organisation, thus offering an additional guarantee of the deployment of its principles.

In this respect, although all Platina Partners’ employees and managers must comply with the ESG charter and bring the process to life, different levels of responsibility have been defined to ensure the effectiveness of the process. Thus, overall oversight and accountability for responsible investment resides with a dedicated ESG Committee whose senior members include Thomas Rottner, Founder and Managing Partner, John Elliott, CFO and Compliance Officer, and, representing the core investment programmes, Charles Dubar, Riccardo Cirillo and Marc Harfouche.  Antje Ayala-Torales, Legal & Compliance team member, is also a committee member. Finally, the investment managers’ role is to ensure that their respective investee companies are aware of the approach and adhere to its main principles.

In addition to bringing the ESG approach to life, this internal organisation is responsible for defining ESG themes, monitoring processes, validating the objectives and the action plans put in place for each of the companies within its investment portfolio. In addition, quarterly meetings are held with all members of Platina Partners’ investment team to present the various initiatives implemented by the portfolio companies, thus enabling relevant members to communicate and share insights on these various elements.

Platina Partners will inform its investors and clients about its commitments, practices and progress in the field of responsible investment, notably through its Transparency Report to the UN-PRI.