Founded in 1990, Coller is headquartered in London, with additional offices in New York and Hong Kong. The firm's multinational investment team is the world's largest dedicated to private equity 'secondaries'.
We acquire positions in private equity funds from Limited Partners, and portfolios of unquoted companies from their original owners (typically, financial institutions, corporations, government bodies, family offices or charitable foundations), and we invest across the size range of secondaries transactions: from single LP positions in small private equity funds, to large portfolios of diverse assets; from investments as small as $1 million, to transactions of $1 billion or more.
We have US$21,485,000,000 assets under management (AUM) and in 2015, the firm closed its seventh secondaries fund, Coller International Partners VII, with capital commitments of US$ 7.15 billion and backing from approximately 170 of the world's leading institutional investors.
We concur with the PRI's definition of responsible investment as being an approach to investing that incorporates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns.
Being a secondaries investor means we are at least one step removed from the underlying investee companies. We are not the General Partner (GP) which means our direct engagement with the underlying portfolio is necessarily restricted. Similarly, we are typically at least one layer removed from monitoring and influencing portfolio company operations, and generally we expect to be several layers removed of any incidents. Nonetheless, Coller Capital sees responsible investment as fundamental to its business - key to delivering long-term investment performance for our investors.
We integrate ESG factors into all stages of our investment process and we undertake some level of ESG analysis for every investment we look at, including fund positions. We seek to influence the behaviour of those GPs that we invest in, and for underlying direct secondary* GPs where we are more active, we seek to ensure that ESG is a formal component of the GP-portfolio company relationship throughout the lifecycle of an investment. In addition, Coller Capital has the requisite processes in place to be able to notify investors of material ESG-related incidents or events should they arise and with our in-house ESG capabilities we are able to provide input should the need arise.
*we define a direct secondary as any investment where we expect to have a holding in the underlying funds of a manager that allows us to have significant influence in their underlying funds and assets.
Our values (delivering for investors, innovation, empowerment, fairness & respect, and one firm:one team) all hinge upon maintaining our corporate integrity, which for Coller Capital means:
- Never compromising our investors
- Never crossing the line between competitiveness and wrong-doing
- Always keeping our word
- Never saying anything that isn't true
- Always acting in a way that safeguards the firm's reputation
We believe these neatly capture what it means to be a more responsible investor and which is why our ESG Policy and approach is in harmony with our corporate values. The values are the touchstone for everything we do - and we therefore monitor implementation to check that this alignment is maintained in practice.
Coller Capital's original ESG Policy was first implemented in 2011 (updated in 2016 and 2018). The firm also has thematic ESG addenda to the Policy covering modern slavery and human trafficking, and farm animal welfare (FAW).
The ESG Policy, forms a part of our approach to responsible investing and key components, include:
- Considering applicable ESG issues in all investments, business strategies and initiatives, at both firm and fund level.
- Providing our investment professionals and other relevant personnel with an appropriate level of support, assistance and ESG training (using external resources when needed).
- Operating an ESG Committee, comprising top management and representatives from across the business, to monitor implementation of this policy and approve any significant initiatives proposed to enhance it.
- Ensuring that ESG risks and opportunities are considered as part of our evaluation of any prospective investment.
- Where appropriate, encouraging the general partners of portfolio funds to enhance their approach to ESG and assisting them in implementing their own ESG or similar policies.
- Working constructively with the limited partners of our funds that express an interest in ESG matters, whether through direct engagement with particular general partners or otherwise.
- Encouraging continual improvement in ESG policies and practices by the general partners of our portfolio funds.
- Reviewing ESG information (on performance and incidents) provided to us by the general partners of our portfolio funds (both as a result of our formal monitoring requirements and by seeking informal updates).
- Reporting progress and recommendations to our ESG Committee and relevant governing bodies.
In developing our ESG Policy we gave consideration to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), United Nations Global Compact, the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and applicable international management standards, such as ISO 14001 (environment), SA 8000 (social responsibility) and OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety). Coller Capital also takes into account applicable industry specific ESG frameworks and documents, including the ESG Disclosure Framework and the PRI LP ESG DDQ, amongst others.
The Policy has been issued to all major underlying direct GPs (direct secondary investments) and to those GPs with whom we make a primary commitment into a new fund. It is made available to all other interested stakeholders and further information about our approach towards responsible investing can be found on our web site at: http://www.collercapital.com/About-us/Responsible-investment.aspx. This site includes a link to information relating to modern slavery and human trafficking in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The ESG Policy has been fully implemented across the business and Coller Capital reviews the continued suitability and effectiveness of the ESG Policy on an annual basis. However, our approach towards the management of ESG factors is under on-going review and in line with our ESG Policy, we seek continual improvement in our management of ESG factors.