By Henry R. Kravis, George R. Roberts Jul 31, 2018
Co-Founders Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts share their perspectives on the state of the Firm and our responsible investment journey as a part of the 2017 ESG and Citizenship Report. View the full report here.
We have been in the business of building companies and returning strong investment outcomes for our investors for 42 years. As we reflect on this legacy, we are extremely proud, but always strive to do more. For at KKR, the work of building strong companies and better, more secure futures for our clients will never be done.
More than four decades of investing have taught us that success lies in people and in performance. To successfully grow companies and create positive outcomes for communities, we must consider multiple stakeholders’ perspectives and a range of factors. Ten years ago, we recognized the opportunity to develop differentiated investment strategies that protect and grow value. By proactively considering broader stakeholder issues as part of our investment process, we began our responsible investment journey.
Since then, we have learned that this work is an art, not a science. It is also a continuous cycle of evaluation and evolution without a final destination. We work to evolve alongside the societies where we invest and support solutions to the critical challenges we share. We have found investment opportunities that deliver strong returns by addressing concerns such as food safety, education and learning, and next-generation energy. Additionally, we have identified value-enhancing opportunities that add to our bottom line by optimizing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. We recognize that, as with company performance broadly, today’s leading ESG management practices will likely be lagging practices in a year without a continued focus on progress. This work is also about learning from our past experiences and setting the right priorities. Sometimes, it is not possible to address every issue, so we aim to apply rigorous standards to help us focus our efforts to maximize impact on a company’s bottom line and ESG performance.
Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts
The complexities of today’s world – a world in which many companies are intersecting with multiple issues – have intensified our role as responsible investors. The next 42 years will see significant changes to how business is done, but with those changes and through our expanded role in society, will come incredible opportunities. There will be unmatched value, innovation, and progress for those who are bold enough to seek them.
As a Firm, we will shift and grow with the world around us while standing tall in our values of innovation, teamwork, diversity, and integrity. We will hold true to the belief that dynamic, diverse workforces will help us unlock value in dynamic, diverse investments. We will remain steady and fair in how we manage our relationships, keeping our belief that people choose to work with those whom they “like and trust” at the core of how we do business. We will continue to collaborate with each of you – our valued partners – in order to create meaningful outcomes both for our investors and society.
HENRY R. KRAVIS and GEORGE R. ROBERTS
Co–Founders, Co–Chairmen, and Co–CEOs