Onex has been a responsible investor for 36 years and views sound governance and good environmental and social practices as key tenets of successful investing.
Onex’ Executive Committee supports the continuous enhancement of the Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) program, which is stewarded by the ESG Committee. The ESG Committee has membership from each investing platform and the corporate office. In addition to enhancing Onex’ holistic approach to ESG, the Committee enables the sharing of best practices across investment platforms and operating companies.
Onex is a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) Alliance Member and has also adopted the American Investment Council Guidelines for Responsible Investing (“AIC Guidelines”). With a global, sophisticated investor base and investment platforms that include industry leading businesses in a wide variety of sectors, we strive to apply and share principles of our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) framework across our business.
- Be responsible: We encourage environmental stewardship and protection throughout the businesses in which our platforms invest.
- Protect our people: We support an equal, diverse, inclusive and safe work environment.
- Be ethical and transparent: We adhere and expect the businesses in which we invest to adhere to the highest level of ethical conduct, fairness and transparency.
- Monitor and manage: Across our platforms, we seek to engage in an ESG dialogue with the companies we are analyzing and/or investing in to understand how they manage their most material ESG issues and will monitor the results. Onex’ private equity funds require all operating companies to develop, adopt and maintain effective ESG programs supported by annual reporting and certifications.
As a publicly listed company since 1987, our governance policies have consistently evolved and expanded to ensure our practices meet or exceed regulatory requirements. In 2016, we adopted the AIC Guidelines, which were developed under the umbrella of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investing. In 2017, we established our Integrated ESG Framework. In 2019, the Onex Executive Committee supported the firm to become a SASB Alliance Member. We formally consider the SASB financially material and industry specific metrics across our investment platforms throughout the investing lifecycle. These steps did not mark a change in how we do business or our view as to the importance of responsible investing, but rather are formal acknowledgements of the standards we have always believed are fundamental to successful investing.
We invest our own capital and that of investors from around the world, including public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, family offices and high net worth individuals. We recognize that integrating ESG considerations into investment decisions can have a direct influence in creating value and mitigating risk for our shareholders and investors. We consider SASB’s financially material and industry specific issue areas across our investment platforms throughout the investing lifecycle. We also avoid investments which we believe provide harmful or unacceptable products or services.
Onex is an Investor & Asset Manager
As an investor and asset manager, we understand that developing stronger and more stable companies facilitates growth, risk mitigation and improved results. We understand the positive impact ethical and stable companies can have in bolstering local communities, workforces and society in general.
Onex is a Thought Partner
With 35 years of investment and management experience, we have developed a successful approach to investing within each of our platforms. Our private equity funds pursue opportunities in partnership with talented management teams to effect change and build market leaders. Our private equity funds typically acquire a control position, which allows us to drive important initiatives, such as improved ESG standards, and effectively support change at our businesses. Our private credit and wealth management platforms make non-control investments and seek to engage with company management on ESG matters.
Onex is a Responsible Investor and Respected Community Member
We are committed to our stakeholders – shareholders, investors, employees, operating companies and the communities we operate in. We also have the opportunity and motivation to be mindful of ESG issues, which form an important part of our investment and management decisions. We believe responsible investing requires ongoing discussion and continuous learning and improvement.
Responsible Investing & Environment
Onex has formally adopted the AIC Guidelines and SASB metrics to systematically consider ESG risks and opportunities in potential investments while also relying on our operational depth and lengthy experience as an asset manager.
All Onex investment platforms perform extensive due diligence and research on prospective investments to identify and address significant risks and opportunities, including ESG matters, using internal experts as well as external legal, environmental and/or other specialist advisors as appropriate. We also avoid investments which we believe provide harmful or unacceptable products or services.
Across our platforms, we seek to engage in ESG dialogue with potential and existing investments to understand how material ESG issues are managed. Onex’ private equity funds have developed an ESG Due Diligence Questionnaire that is completed on every operating company in which they invest. The identification of key ESG risks and the development of a post-closing plan to address them, is part of our investment approval process. Our private credit and wealth management platforms consider ESG factors throughout the investing lifecycle.
A sample of ESG factors reviewed during diligence could include:
- emissions, pollution, carbon footprint
- hazardous waste
- contaminated lands
- climate change impacts (physical & transitional)
- sustainability and renewable resources
- ecosystem, wildlife protection
- employee health and safety
- human rights
- diversity and inclusion
- discriminatory practices
- consumer protections
- corporate giving and support
- risk management and oversight
- conflicts of interest
- business conduct and ethics
- anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices
- whistleblower procedure and protections
Social & Community Values
Onex recognizes that a diverse team and inclusive environment is a competitive advantage and contributes to our continued success as an investor and asset manager. We encourage and support Onex employees to be charitable, both with their time and their capital, to important causes in our communities.
Recent examples of our commitment to social and community values include:
- Onex has adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which supports gender diversity and “diversity other than gender” objectives throughout the organization;
- Onex is committed to the continued professional development of women at the firm. We periodically sponsor a multi-day leadership communications program created exclusively to help women develop into future leaders; and
- Onex team members across its Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London offices directly participate in, and are encouraged to volunteer their time to, local charitable causes and community-based initiatives, including supporting shelters for abused women and families, homeless outreach programs, hospital fundraising initiatives, tutoring and mentorship programs, and various food and clothing drives. Many Onex team members, both senior and junior, also volunteer in leadership roles of numerous charitable boards and committees.
Responsible governance throughout Onex and across our investing platforms is fundamental to the success of our organization. As an investor and asset manager, Onex, our team members and our investors demand a high level of governance oversight, which builds trust and confidence in Onex’ stewardship of capital.
Maintaining sound governance practices requires continual assessment of governance trends, regulations and recommended practices and how they can be applied to our business. Equally important for Onex is to monitor, understand and apply lessons learned from governance successes and miscues experienced throughout our organization and our industry. Our private equity funds’ governance structure for controlled operating businesses include the following core elements:
- Majority independent boards and committees that meet quarterly or more frequently if required;
- Quarterly and annual audits of financial statements in accordance with IFRS principles; and
- Corporate governance policies, including whistleblower, codes of business conduct and ethics, anti-bribery, anti-corruption and environmental policies, backed up by appropriate training and testing programs, must be implemented with any material issues reported directly to Onex’ private equity funds.
We also maintain strict conflict of interest, technology usage/cybersecurity and anti-harassment policies, which are reinforced to Onex team members through:
- Quarterly compliance certifications;
- Anti-sexual harassment training;
- Code of conduct and ethics training; and
- Cybersecurity training.