Obviam seeks to enter into long-term relationships with responsible partners. Therefore, selecting responsible partners is essential for the success of our organization. At Obviam, we screen potential partners’ track records with respect to integrity, reputation, and ESG performance. Obviam has a zero-tolerance policy with respect to corruption and other forms of financial crime. We expect fund managers and financial institutions to adopt similar policies and practices vis-á-vis their investees and clients.
Very early in Obviam’s discussions with potential partners, we also work to ensure that there is a meeting of the minds by discussing respective expectations regarding ambition to meet, or even exceed the requirements contained in Obviam’s Approach to Responsible Investment, and the extent to which those expectations are aligned. We also assess the support that partners may need to adopt more responsible business practices
Good corporate governance provides the foundation for SMEs and rapidly-growing companies, as well as financial institutions. It makes these entities stronger, more efficient and accountable, and it also advances the implementation of good environmental and social practices.
Obviam has adopted The Corporate Governance Development Framework and helps its fund managers to do the same. We are convinced that this Framework provides valuable tools for businesses to develop corporate governance policies and practices which will, in turn, allow them to mitigate risks, safeguard against mismanagement and attract investment and capital to fuel their growth. Improved corporate governance practices also increase access to markets and lower the cost of capital, thus encouraging new investments, boosting economic growth and providing employment opportunities. Obviam reviews corporate governance performance of its partners and investee companies, at least on an annual basis.
Responsibility is a key driver of companies and financial institutions’ long-term success. It is also vital to these entities’ stakeholders – employees, surrounding communities, customers and the environment. Obviam helps its partners to identify, mitigate and manage their investees and clients environmental and social (E&S) risks and impacts. Obviam’s Approach to Responsible Investment stipulates specific E&S investment requirements, which are based on internationally-accepted best-practice standards, including ILO Core Labour Standards, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, the IFC Performance Standards and EHS Guidelines, in addition to compliance with local legislation.
Recognizing that some of our partners may need time to reach compliance with internationally-accepted standards, we can draft legally-binding Environmental and Social Action Plans (ESAPs) that outline the steps and timeframes needed to meet requirements.
Obviam monitors E&S performance throughout investment lifecycles. We are aware of the importance of getting partners off to a good start and actively work with them to develop Social and Environmental Management Systems, assign internal responsibilities and secure E&S training. Then we monitor performance over timeOur “hands on” approach allows us to identify areas to be improved and add value throughout investment cycles.
Obviam’s approach is aligned with, and brings synergies and facilitates collaboration among, like-minded investors (e.g., Development Finance Institutions). It also makes it easier and more efficient for the partners, because of the same, or are similar requirements.
Recognizing that sustainability is a journey, not a destination, Obviam promotes continuous improvement in ESG by: helping fund managers and financial institutions to set year-on-year environmental and social, occupational health and safety and corporate governance targets and providing annual assessments on progress.
"Responsible investing is an integral component of Obviam’s investment approach. Obviam only endorses investments with partners that strive to uphold high ESG standards. Cognizant of the risks and impacts, as well as the business case for ESG, Obviam aims to add value by actively supporting partners in meeting, or exceeding our requirements."
As Head of ESG, Sarita is responsible for ensuring that ESG-related risks are identified, mitigated and managed, and opportunities are recognized and captured across entire investment cycles.