Why We Exist

 

We are constantly asking the big questions - why do we exist and could we be doing something more value-generative? We want to be intentional, transparent and idealistic in everything we do as a business, starting with Why we Exist. 

1. We exist because we believe that 20th century capitalism is no longer fit for purpose.

We believe that unchecked globalisation, overly complex financial institutions and underweight regulatory frameworks have resulted in damaging outcomes for our planet and our people. We care deeply about global inequality, climate change, the continued exploitation of our planet’s resources and our species’ ability to survive under the weight of population growth — all of which have been shaped by 20th century capitalism. We exist to contribute to a 21st century capitalism; one that rewards closing gaps in income; one that rewards a decrease in environmental footprint and one that pursues innovation to raise the standard of living, across all people.

 

2. We exist because we believe that 20th century accounting techniques fail in their understanding of Value.

We believe that relying upon a simple Net Profit or Free Cash Flow result as the basis of company valuation paints a dramatically distorted picture of the Value a company creates (or destroys) across its stakeholders. 20th century accounting techniques fail because they do not take into account a company’s utilisation of our natural commons, fail to appropriately account for intangibles (brand, culture, innovation), and fail to understand the value of the company’s role in its community (suppliers, customers, employees).

 

3. We exist because we fundamentally believe in the power and logic of capital and capital markets.

We are all capitalists who believe in the power of regulated markets, the profit-motive and the myriad benefits companies and their associated markets bring to a diverse range of stakeholders. We passionately believe that the world’s intractable problems cannot be addressed without the weight of the world’s financial system in support. We support capitalism’s enabling of enterprise and innovation, its ability to allocate resources efficiently and the imperative it creates on job creation. Above all, we are realists, believing that the nature of capitalism is deeply effective in its ability to inspire superior performance, in the form of economic growth and superior returns. Our mission is to channel the logic and expediency of capitalism towards a more nuanced understanding of the value created by companies and through investments. 

 

4. We exist because the only way to overcome the world’s intractable problems is through energising mainstream capital.

Achieving the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals will take a minimum $1.4 trillion of investment per annum, to 2030. This estimate, although large, requires a relatively minor shift in the investment industry, which manages over $70 trillion of assets. Global philanthropy, government aid allocations and even Impact Investing cannot collectively address the financial requirement to overcome our planet’s intractable issues. Our mission, therefore, is to advocate a small recalibration in mainstream investing — only then can we contemplate reversing immediate and concerning global trends.

 

5. We exist to hold investors to account for their decisions, in an independent and transparent manner.

From Blackrock to Bono, Impact Investing is increasingly a focus area for individual and institutional investors. There is not, however, a uniform and independent standard by which investors are held to account for the Value they create through their investments. Much work has been done by institutions including Integrated Reporting, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Global Impact Investing Network to increase the tools available to Value oriented investors and companies, however these frameworks fail to provide comparability and a ‘blended’ approach to company Value. We exist to improve the quality of investments by articulating company Value in a simple, comparable manner, supported by universally applicable, detailed company analysis.