We view sound governance and good environmental and social practices as key tenets of successful investing. Onex has been a responsible investor for 35 years and today manages and invests approximately $37 billion of capital on behalf of its shareholders, institutional investors, high-net worth clients and employees. With a global, sophisticated investor base and a private equity portfolio that includes industry leading businesses in a wide variety of sectors, we strive to share and apply the principles of our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) framework throughout our broad network.
- Be responsible: We encourage environmental stewardship and protection throughout our operating businesses.
- Protect our people: We support an equal, diverse and inclusive work environment.
- Be ethical and transparent: We adhere and expect the operating businesses within Onex’ private equity funds to adhere to the highest level of ethical conduct, fairness and transparency.
- Monitor and manage: 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 American Investment Council Guidelines for Responsible Investing (the “AIC Guidelines”). This adoption did not mark a change in how we do business or our view as to the importance of responsible investing, but rather was a formal acknowledgement 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 and family offices. 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.
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. Our private equity funds pursues 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 the funds to drive important initiatives, such as improved ESG standards, and effectively support change at its businesses.
Onex is a Responsible Investor & Respected Community Member
We are committed to our stakeholders – shareholders, investors, employees, operating companies and the communities we and our private equity funds’ businesses 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 as a framework for the consideration of ESG risks and opportunities in potential investments while also relying on our operational depth and lengthy experience as an asset manager.
Onex’ private equity funds perform extensive due diligence on prospective operating company 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.
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.
A sample of ESG factors reviewed during diligence could include:
- emissions, pollution, carbon footprint
- hazardous waste
- contaminated lands
- climate change impacts
- 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 and our private equity funds’ operating businesses to be charitable, both with their time and their capital, to important causes in the communities we live.
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 to develop into future leaders;
- Since 2010, Onex and its private equity funds’ operating businesses have donated more than $34 million to over 150 charities. Some examples of the charities we support include the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian Cancer Society, Red Cross and Special Olympics; and
- Onex team members across its Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London offices directly participate and are encouraged to volunteer their time for local charitable causes and at community-based initiatives, this includes 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 take time to volunteer in leadership roles of 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.
ESG in Action