Mobius Capital Partners, based in London, is looking into the corporate culture of a company, apart from ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards, before making an investment decision, according to its founding partner.
“Whenever we want to buy a company, we ask the management if they are willing to engage with us to help improve ESG+C factors, if they are not, we don’t invest,” Mark Mobius told the World Investment Forum on Tuesday. “If they are interested then we invest, provided of course, all of the other characteristics are good.”
Mr Mobius also review its portfolio “to make sure that the company is adhering to better and better ESG plus C factors”, after the investment, he said. The company invests in mid-sized companies in many of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
ESG investments have gained traction after asset managers such as BlackRock began to push for greater adherence to climate action from the companies it invests in.
In a recent global survey commissioned by Abu Dhabi's Masdar, about 87 per cent of executives said that environmental, social and governance norms are part of their core objectives following the Covid-19 pandemic. About 85 per cent of those polled also viewed Covid-19 as a "wake-up call" for sustainability.
“A culture, of course, shapes attitudes, behaviours, defines what is encouraged in the company and the factors include equality, freedom, recruitment, innovation and remuneration,” Mr Mobius said.
Equality covers issues such as pay gaps, diversity, transparency while freedom is related to work-life balance and autonomy to workers, Mr Mobius said during a presentation.
On innovation, the company is focusing on how a company encourages workers and staff to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
“Culture drives revenue growth and profitability. If you have satisfied employees, you will have more successful companies and satisfied customers," he said.