In recent months, the private equity industry has been convulsed with accusations of discriminatory and exploitative behaviour. I’m really proud that the Kaufman Fellows, who are in a unique position to shape conversations on the industry’s code of conduct, have authored a Pledge that has been embraced by many Fellows and their firms. All partners at WAVE admire the spirit of the Pledge and adopt it as a guide to our professional conduct.
As Private Equity investors in innovation, we recognize that:
- Our industry of innovation capital has the power to drive both value creation and sustainable, positive societal transformation;
- Our purpose is to direct capital and expertise to create shared value by accelerating the pace of innovation through company practices and growth; and
- Our investment decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside our own organization, the companies in which we invest, our capital partners, the industries in which we work, and beyond, both today and in the future.
Therefore, in the spirit of stewardship toward all our stakeholders, we acknowledge and pledge the following:
- We will not advance our own interests at the expense of our organization, our investee companies, our capital partners, or society.
- We will manage our investments with loyalty and care and we will report the performance and risks of our organization and our investee companies accurately and honestly to our capital partners.
- We will understand and uphold, in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing our conduct and that of our enterprise and our investee companies, and refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or other business practices harmful to society.
- We will not abuse our position, engage in sexual harassment or discrimination, or condone it in the organizations and communities around us.
- We will protect the human rights and dignity of all people impacted by our organization and our investee companies, and oppose discrimination both within our investee companies and in the process of selecting investments.
- We will promote a culture of inclusion, seek out diversity of all types, and foster a sense of belonging among all the organizations and communities in which we work. To further continuing awareness and action, we will participate to the extent of our abilities in open discussion and reporting across our industry as well as encourage others to do the same.
- We will develop ourselves, and coach, mentor, and apprentice the next generation of investors.
- We will work with our stakeholders to support sustainable inclusive prosperity and to minimize the negative consequences of our actions to the environment and society.
- In exercising our professional commitments according to these principles, we recognize that our behaviour must set an example of integrity and mutual respect, eliciting trust and esteem from the multiple stakeholders we serve. We will remain accountable to our peers and to society for our actions and for upholding these standards.