We invest in sectors that have a strong bias to satisfy society's needs
People need energy, food retail, and technology. As demographics change, people are increasingly concerned about their health. They need energy to power homes and grow economies. Therefore, these sectors have longevity and opportunity. Many industries are in significant flux because of changes in society, demographics and technology. Companies around the world are transforming their operating models and deepening their relationships and knowledge of their consumers.
We look for companies that will be the new stars in this changing landscape and aim to build the companies of the future.
Our experience as executives in many industries helps us identify long-term trends. We also seek long-term disruptors in their sectors and robust platforms for future growth.
Understanding societal trends
We support a number of initiatives and competitions that align with our values and through which we hope to support new thinking in a range of fields.
Capitalism is facing a period of fundamental change and challenge. Business has an important role in building prosperity for all stakeholders. But to sustain long-term value creation a company must understand the societal impact of its business as well as structural trends that might affect future growth.
“As long-term investors, we recognise that business needs to engage with society and listen and to take this into account when decisions are made.”
L1 research shows that while 55% of the British public agree that business benefits from the market economy, less than half of those – just 21% – believe the system benefits the working class, public sector workers or themselves.
More worryingly in the US our polling shows young people are increasingly less supportive of the market economy, with only 30% of 18-24 year olds considering it a force for good, compared to 58% of those aged 65 or over.
of the British public agree that business benefits from the market economy
of 18-24 year olds in the US consider the market economy a force for good
Our research suggests there are three factors perceived to be distorting the effectiveness of capitalism. First, neoliberal policy-makers’ faith in an unfettered market has led to weakened regulation, allowing an unhelpfully short-termist form of capitalism to emerge. Second, globalisation has undermined the ability of governments to hold businesses to account for their actions. Third, the increasingly digital economy has reduced the engagement of businesses with the communities they serve. As internet businesses have flourished, they have often superseded local, independent firms. This has consequences: not only the loss of local employment, but the loss of the physical and social contribution by businesses in local communities.
We recognise all of this, and believe that business has an important role to play and must prove it will harness new technology to deliver benefits for all, not just for society’s elites. We are at a key juncture and business needs to re-evaluate its relationship with society. We want to demonstrate that this is possible.