As impact investors, we invest in mission-driven companies who do goodfor people and planet. How then do we support these companies to the best of our ability? More often than we maybe like to admit, the companies we invest in experience us as a burden, rather than a value-add. What goes wrong?
“How to fulfill our duties as a responsible investor is a topic of constant debate and continuous improvement within our organisation. There is no simple answer.” Espen Daae, Ferd.
This report gives a good look in the mirror on how we, as impact investors, contribute to or constrain the success of our investee companies. To answer this question, we interviewed 20 experienced impact investors, investing in a range of private companies in their early, growth and mature stages. Their reflections circle around nine themes:
- Build a relationship with management
- Know you value-add… and the limits thereof
- Guide the company to the next level of maturity
- Remain committed to high business standards
- Be prepared to deal with sudden drawback
- Make a conscious decision about control
- Act on your responsibility as a board member
- Be aware of which hat you are wearing
- Know when it is time to go