Together with its employees, EQT’s Network of Industrial Advisors is the firm’s most important asset. Active engagement through continuous dialogue and interaction between stakeholders are success factors which have led EQT to what it is today.
Creating forums to stimulate innovative thinking and to share insights and best practices across EQT and its portfolio companies is instrumental to develop EQT’s business model. True to its ambitious belief that good is never good enough – there is always room for improvement, EQT arranged a number of conferences during the winter and spring: EQT Healthcare Sector Conference and EQT Helsinki Quarterly Industrial Advisor Breakfast in February, EQT Industrial Sector Conference in March followed by EQT Consumer Goods Sector Conference in April and EQT Service Sector Conference in May. In all of the conferences we have together with our closest industrial advisors had interesting input from external industry experts, engaged dialogue around trends and opportunities, and discussed best practice sharing and learnings. In April, EQT also gathered the chairmen of EQT’s portfolio companies at the EQT Chairman of Board Conference to reinforce another of our key values – performance. We had a very productive and engaged dialogue, discussed learnings and shared best practices. The overriding theme was improved performance and we left the conference energized and with great ideas for change.
EQT takes pride in its constant focus on improvement and aim for transparency. To secure high-performing boards and to facilitate discussions between the board members in the portfolio companies, EQT conducts a yearly review with focus on value creation and board work. EQT has led the board appraisals in its current form since the beginning of 2000 and although consistency from year to year is important in order to measure progress, the appraisal process itself is also under continuous evaluation.
For example, in 2013/14, the importance of integrating sustainability aspects in the companies’ business related strategies was stressed in a far more explicit manner.
"Driving true sustainable business practices is a mindset, requiring a diverse board with the right competences and the right tools. To EQT, it is key to understand how each chairman, each board member and each board embrace the sustainability agenda to inspire each and every portfolio company to mitigate and capture the ESG risks and opportunities it faces." Therése Lennehag, Investor Relations & Responsible Investment Director at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to the EQT funds, member of the Professional Standards Committee and Chairwoman of the RI Roundtable of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA).