Apax Partners leads the way in responsible investing

Apax Partners was the winner of Private Equity Magazine’s “ESG and sustainability” award. We look at the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) strategy that has made Apax Partners one of France’s most responsible investors in the world of private equity.


Apax Partners makes a lasting commitment to ESG


True to its ethical commitments, Apax Partners decided in 2011 to structure its approach to responsible investing. The fund defined its environmental, social and governance strategy and became an active member of AFIC’s ESG commission.  “We firmly believe that, far from being in conflict with value creation, non-financial elements contribute greatly to it. Our investors share this point of view,” said Bertrand Pivin, Partner in charge of ESG at Apax Partners. A year later, in 2012, Apax Partners’ efforts were paid off when it was awarded Pantheon’s “GP Responsible Investing” prize. In 2014, the fund participated in developing a white paper for the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) entitled “Integrating ESG in Private Equity”. In 2015, it was awarded an A+ for its overall ESG approach, and an A for its approach to PRI in the Private Equity category. In the same year, Apax Partners cofounded the 2020 Carbon Initiative alongside four other funds, committing to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the companies in its portfolio. Most recently, in April 2016, following an in-depth audit, Private Equity Magazine jointly awarded Apax Partners and another investment company its “ESG and sustainability” prize. “We are delighted to receive this award which recognises the importance of our ESG initiatives,” said Mathilde Bonnans.


Our team provides support at every stage of the investment process 


We have created an ESG team with a view to turning these new responsible investment aims into reality. The team is composed of Bertrand Pivin and ESG manager Mathilde Bonnans. The ESG team works with each portfolio company to implement an action plan in response to the specific challenges it faces. “We have integrated this commitment into our shareholder agreement so as to give it legal validity”, said Bertrand Pivin. Throughout the holding period, the team will ensure that everything runs smoothly. When time has come to sell, they will perform ESG due diligence, the results of which will be made available to the acquirers.


INSEEC’s five commitments


A number of social and environmental initiatives have been launched at Apax Partners’ portfolio companies, including at INSEEC, as explained by Bertrand Pivin: “Together we have established five commitments for INSEEC: practice participatory governance; train and raise ESG awareness among staff; promote research on corporate social responsibility; implement efficient environmental management; and develop a policy in support of the local community.” A manager has been appointed, reporting to Catherine Lespine, CEO of INSEEC, to monitor these commitments, which, according to Bertrand Pivin, are now a reality at INSEEC.


This momentum will pave the way to more responsible and sustainable investments.


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