Supporting our businesses is at the core of what we do. We strive to work in real partnership with our strong management teams and are together in both good and bad times. We see our businesses as human organizations with a strong purpose. In particular we believe that engaged people providing great experiences to customers with a responsible attitude towards society generate superior performance.
Our responsibilities in these partnerships are threefold:
1 - Support and value creation over the long-term
We are committed to the development of our companies over the long term. We are therefore prepared to take measured risks and constantly reinvest in these companies to help them grow and reinvent their business models. Based on our long history, we know that real transformation and expansion usually require time and effort.
Typical levers to achieve value creation include:
- Organic: through market expansion, market share gains, increasing share of wallet within existing customers or targeting new customer groups and/or broadening product/service offering.
- Inorganic: small ‘bolt-on’ and/or larger transformative acquisitions aimed at acquiring competitors and driving the consolidation of a fragmented market, achieving economies of scale or expanding the product/service offering.
- Constantly supporting management teams to increase efficiency and profitability. Understanding what ‘good looks like’ and always aiming for best-in-class as a way to build sustainable high-performance organizations.
- Ensuring the digital/technology roadmap is always high on the agenda (digitally empowered people, digital customer experience, digital/technological products/services, data-led decisions, internal IT process excellence).
Financial structure optimization
- Deep financial expertise allowing for cautiously optimal financial structures and capital allocation, tailored to each company’s needs, growth profile and ability to generate cash flow.
- Integral part of the Group’s investment strategy and business management, allowing to create lasting competitive advantages for all stakeholders and mitigate risks.
2 - Contribute
We are actively involved in our businesses. Our added value lies in our ability to challenge and help them strengthen and develop, while respecting management's autonomy. We offer support through strategic and leadership insights, operational as well as financial sounding boards. Typically, this support is articulated around seven dimensions:
We are willing to invest our own human resources in specific ad hoc projects if we believe there is significant value creation potential. More importantly, we focus on building capabilities within our businesses to ensure effective and sustained execution.
We focus on building capabilities within our businesses to ensure effective and sustained execution
3 - Engage
The partnerships with our management teams rely on a permanent, open and transparent dialogue. In terms of governance, we set up efficient and effective governance bodies, ensuring a swift decision-making process and providing the necessary oversight. We always strive for clarity and alignment with management teams and believe that collaboration is the best way to create engagement. Accordingly, whilst we have no specific exit horizon, we are keen to share value creation in function of specific milestones by structuring adequate long-term incentive schemes for management. We like to engage with all the people across an organization, from top management to shop floor operators. We listen as much as we can and take the time to understand their culture, vision and ways of working.