GEF has sought to create long-term, sustainable value for our investors by partnering with companies offering technologies, products, and services that are enabling the next generation of resource efficiency, energy utilization, and natural resource management. We looked for a special breed of companies whose core business operations have great economic promise, but also meet demand for environmental, energy, and resource solutions. We used our environmental and energy sector knowledge, our assessment of economic and technology trends, and application of our core values to identify leading edge companies and experienced management teams, whose business models are “asset light” rather than capital intensive, and whose comparative advantage derives from application of emerging but proven technologies and proprietary systems. Our investment approach used the following lenses, amongst others, to filter investments before we submitted them for review and approval by our investment committee.
- Financial Model and Projections – We sought to partner with leading companies in markets where business growth could result in significant financial returns for our investors. We developed and stress tested investment models that helped us develop the conviction that the business could grow, and scale, and thereby achieve attractive net operating margins.
- Environmental Impact and Other ESG – Generally, all businesses in which we invested were intended, as part of our investment strategy, to make positive contributions to the environment and improve resource and energy efficiency. However, we also expected our companies to exhibit key values and strengths by minimizing the environmental impacts of their operations, implementing best practices standards, balancing the needs of all their stakeholders, and adhering to good governance standards.
- Operational Due Diligence Process – We developed methodical and detailed due diligence plans, including, for example, third-party assessment of markets, technology and intellectual property, sponsor integrity, backlog and contracts, financial and accounting, and related areas.
At GEF we are passionate about applying our core expertise and experience for the benefit of both investors and portfolio companies during the entire investment process:
- Utilizing our deep experience and networks of global professionals gained in nearly 30 years of partnering with and investing in companies around the world focused in our domain areas;
- Managing our investments with on the ground presence either directly by our senior team or jointly with our investment partners, where the growth and change in our sectors has developed a strong network of companies with which to partner; and
- Applying our knowledge, best practices and “compliance-based” standards to each of our portfolio companies so that they may benefit from our global outlook and experience.
Finally GEF recognizes the value of proper alignment not only with its investors but also with the entrepreneurs and managers of its portfolio companies. In partnering with management teams and entrepreneurs, GEF seeks to align itself as much as possible with these key stakeholders to maximize outcomes for all involved.