Tim Creed, Managing Director, Adveq
Tim is one of four candidates standing for the non-asset owner position on the PRI Advisory Council
RI suggested some prompt questions for the candidates:
1. Where (with examples) do you think your experience fits, and might enhance, the remit of the PRI Advisory Council?
2. What are the issues you will be campaigning on/pushing as an Advisory Council member, why, and how?
3. What is your vision of the future direction of the PRI and how can you contribute to its realization?
Taking the ESG message to all, not just the few.
The intense ownership model of private equity makes it the ideal method to deliver ESG changes in companies. The active private equity manager inhabits a unique place from which to drive significant, sizeable and rapid improvements to a company’s workings. For this reason I am a passionate advocate of ESG and the change that it can affect within a company and a fund. I believe that ESG should to be at the heart of the change process that private equity practitioners seek to employ. This is not a ‘box ticking exercise’, nor is it a ‘nice to have’: it is absolutely fundamental to the future success and development of the industry. Adveq instilled ESG as part of its core private equity investment process from when we first launched more than a decade ago. In 2010 we formally integrated the UNPRI ESG principles into our management approach, as well as into the products and services we offer our clients. We sought to develop a practical approach to ESG investing, which meant we were able to achieve tangible and measurable results soon after adoption. We recognised that significant value could be yielded by the regular monitoring and development of ESG training. This helped our employees develop a new level of awareness that enabled them to anticipate and respond to new emerging ESG issues rather than simply acting in a reactive manner.Adveq primarily invests in small and mid-sized companies around the world, so when I took our ESG message to market, I was and still am, often the first person to educate smaller private equity managers as to the merits of ESG and the UNPRI. I find myself in a position to spread the ESG word to a part of the market where it remains underutilised. And this is the key platform that I would seek to advance if I was to become a UNPRI Advisory Council member. As a Council member I would continue to make the case that ESG is something that benefits all and is not the preserve of the few. Size really does not matter, although I can understand why many of the companies we invest with at the smaller end of the spectrum sometimes think it is for someone else and not them. We are slowly changing this perception but there is some way to travel. We, as the private equity industry, need to consistently showcase the tangible benefits of ESG to this section of the market. We need to explain that adherence to ESG is not only a moral imperative but it is also a key driver of successful investment and performance.
We operate in a world where numbers matter, so I would make the delivery of meaningful independent data, which reinforces the argument for ESG, a key focus of my role. As part of my drive to make the case for ESG as compelling as it can be, Adveq has been working with the London Business School to develop a study examining the impact ESG has the smaller end of the market in which we operate. We look forward to sharing the results with you next year but I hope this illustrates the importance that Adveq and I attach to advancing the case for ESG.
I currently represent Adveq on the European Venture Capital Association’s (EVCA) Responsible Investment Roundtable and I continue to speak at conferences about ESG, where I hope my passion for the topic comes across.
Much gets said about ESG, indeed I was delighted to read earlier this month that a high-profile, self-confessed, 20-year ESG refusenik remarked that he had become passionate about the topic in the last 12 months. This is fantastic! I want all of us in the industry to feel the same way and truly realise the benefits of ESG.
Finally, I would like to say thank you for reading my nomination submission. If you would like me to elaborate upon specific aspects of my thinking around ESG or my candidature to become a Council member, then please do email me or contact me through the official UN PRI website link.