Founded in 2013, LetterOne (L1) is a partnership of successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and international businesspeople passionate about building better businesses.
We invest in sectors fundamental to society’s sustainable prosperity: energy, technology, health and retail. We are not answerable to the demands, and short-termism, of external capital.
Our purpose: LetterOne's purpose is to use an entrepreneurial mindset, long-term vision and active investment to drive sustainable value in sectors vital to future prosperity.
The founders and shareholders of L1 have worked together for decades. Their passion for building businesses from the bottom up has taken them from window cleaning to biotech.
L1 has built on this heritage and added to it, involving the expertise and experience of an unparalleled team that includes Lord Davies of Abersoch (former chairman and CEO of Standard Chartered), Jonathan Muir (former CFO of TNK-BP), Wulf von Schimmelmann (former chairman and CEO of Deutsche Post), Franz Humer (former chairman and CEO of Roche Holding), Denis O’Brien (founder of Digicel) and Rolf Classon (former CEO and president of Bayer Healthcare).
L1 has clear investment priorities that set it apart from others
We invest actively, for long-term growth. We think as owners, not as financial investors. That means we get deeply involved with management teams and our success comes from building businesses with no fixed time horizon
We hold our investments much longer than the traditional private equity investor. We support our companies through the economic cycle, we don’t seek to cut and run.
We have recruited leading experts to work closely with the management of our portfolio companies, sharing our world-class sector knowledge to help them develop strategy, skills and competitive strength. We can do this because of our expertise and experience, but above all because rolling up our sleeves and building business is what drives us.
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We make large-scale investments in sectors that reflect society’s long-term needs.
Decarbonising the economy is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. Wintershall Dea, the world’s largest privately-held energy company, will make an important contribution during a multi-year energy transition to a lower carbon intensity portfolio and through its own decarbonisation plans. To accelerate transition, investment going forward will prioritise new energy solutions [starting with plastics]
The pace of change and the power of digitisation is unlocking new possibilities and opportunities for consumers, businesses and society. Through VEON and Turkcell, L1 is supporting economic and social inclusion with the delivery of innovative digital communications and services to more than 200 million customers in developing markets. Through Upp, L1 is connecting up to a million UK householders to superfast broadband, transforming the connectivity of Eastern England.
The pandemic and the extraordinary success with new vaccines has demonstrated the power of life science. Through K2 HealthVentures, L1 is funding researchers seeking the next generation of breakthroughs. Through Destination Pet, L1 is transforming pet care in the US.
The pandemic has highlighted the remarkable effectiveness of food retailing. Through its investments in DIA Group and Holland & Barrett, L1 has supported access to essential staples. Now L1 will drive innovation and digital transformation to redefine modern retail.
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Our ESG policy, a core part of our investment process, underpins our determination to create more sustainable long-term businesses. This matters for L1, but we are a small team. Our real opportunity is championing ESG and enhancing our contribution to society through the scale of our portfolio investments - from our environmental footprint to our relationship with employees, customers and suppliers. This is integral to our approach.
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An approach ready for new challenges
Across the world, nations and communities are emerging from the pandemic with plans for growth. In major economies, these plans share important characteristics.
There is a strengthened debate about the purpose and role of business, and how the state and enterprise can align to create shared prosperity. Companies are expected to do more than just maximise profits and will be held accountable by a broad range of stakeholders when they fail to live up to expectations.
To succeed over the long term, and to be sustainable in the broadest sense, firms must deliver shared social and environmental benefit as well as financial returns. Companies must ensure that a responsible approach to the environment, society and good governance is built into the core of their business.
There is also more focus on investment for future growth. A greater recognition of the need to build in resilience for the future, focusing on the sectors that will deliver long-term social and economic value.
These challenges come at a time when the investment climate is uncertain, when technology is changing rapidly and when businesses are under huge public scrutiny. Many companies and individuals rely on unprecedented levels of government and central bank support. High government deficits and historically low interest rates have undermined the traditional tools of economic policy. The link between valuations and underlying economic reality can appear broken.
This requires new thinking about the nature and measurement of wealth beyond GDP. This should focus attention on long-term investment; on diversifying the energy mix and accelerating a sustainable path to net zero; on diversity and inclusion; and on commitments to tackle .
Long-term thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation must win out against short-termism.
LetterOne is built for this challenge.
Learn more about the areas we invest in and understand the value we bring to active investment.Our businesses
Meet the entrepreneurs, business people and investing experts that are part of the Letter One team.Our people
News and insights
Read the latest news, insights and thought leadership from LetterOne.News and insights