PRESS RELEASE, AUREOS
Private sector institutions investing in areas suffering from high poverty and poor healthcare must step up their efforts to advance the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, says Aureos Capital Ltd, the private equity fund management company specialising in investing in small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets.
The UN launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2000 as part of a pledge made by world leaders to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. A recent UN MDG summit saw the adoption of a global plan to achieve the eight development goals that form the MDG by their 2015 target date.
Sev Vettivetpillai, CEO of Aureos Advisers Ltd, comments: “The general feeling at the UN summit was, unfortunately, one of disappointment at the unlikely probability of meeting the goals by 2015.”
“The role of the private sector in helping the world’s developing nations to meet these goals is vital. The UN has recognised the fact that private equity plays a fundamental role in helping to build the next generation of sustainable businesses in emerging markets.”
“With the ambition to be the leading emerging market private equity fund manager, we have not only focused on providing attractive commercial returns to our investors on a risk-adjusted basis, we have also aspired to the MDG targets through much of our investment activity.”
Aureos explains that the promotion of sustainable investment, critical to realising several of the targets set as part of the MDG, is a core element of Aureos’ investment activities.
Aureos’ unique investment approach aims to achieve strong and stable financial returns. In addition, the approach integrates sound Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process. This dual mission has provided Aureos investors with attractive returns. Through the bespoke Aureos Sustainability Index (ASI), Aureos has created a proprietary interactive tool to report development impact over the lifetime of its investments.
In cooperation with some of its key investors, Aureos launched a new initiative to help small and medium sized businesses in the emerging markets improve their environmental and social performance.
The SME Sustainable Opportunities Initiative provides financial support to address challenges including reducing carbon emissions, improving energy and water efficiency, reducing effluent discharges and developing HIV/AIDS and other social sustainability programmes.
A second initiative, to implement HIV/AIDS risk mitigation strategies across Aureos’ portfolio companies in East Africa, directly bears on MDG goal six, stated by the UN as: ‘Combat HIV/AIDS (and other infectious diseases)’.
Sev Vettivetpillai adds: “Our ability to deliver impressive financial results are underpinned by our commitment to good governance, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, benefit to the community and environmental responsibility.”
“If employees are not healthy enough to go to work, the health of the business suffers.”
The Africa Health Fund
Aureos explains that another key strand of the Millennium Development Goals is to improve the health of, and healthcare services provided to, people that live and work in emerging markets – particularly women and children.
Since 2009 Aureos has managed The Africa Health Fund. The Fund was created to increase access to health-related goods and services for underserved Africans, especially those at the bottom of the economic pyramid, while at the same time providing investors with good long-term financial returns.
The Fund is an initiative of several development finance institutions and a socially responsible foundation. In January this year the fund invested in the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, which offers healthcare primarily to women and children.
Sev Vettivetpillai explains that the private sector can become a critical provider of healthcare in Africa once access to finance for small and medium sized companies becomes available.
Adds Sev Vettivetpillai: “We expect the Fund to have a substantial development impact by increasing the general access, outreach and affordability of health care services to millions of underserved Africans.”
“The Aureos view is that the work required to make the Millennium Development Goals become reality should become part of every company that works in, or invests in, emerging markets.”
“As well as healthcare and sustainability, our operations have an impact on gender equality, education for all and promoting regional and global partnerships through our network of offices and teams. These are cornerstones of the MDGs,” says Vettivetpillai.
“Our aim is to ensure local businesses in emerging markets become well-run, successful entities that can drive growth locally, regionally and internationally. The priority is to deliver long-term sustained growth, rather than short-term financial gain.”
“Achieving the MDGs will be a joint effort. This commitment to the long-term is exactly what developing countries need to see from Western institutions, companies and donors, if the Millennium Development Goals are to be met.”
AUREOS CAPITAL LTD
Aureos Capital is a private equity fund management company which specialises in providing expansion and buy-out capital to small and medium sized businesses across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Since its establishment in 2001, Aureos has increased its funds under management to over US$ 1.2 billion and extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets covering Asia, Africa and Latin America, by establishing 16 regional private equity funds.
Investors in Aureos funds include institutional investors, bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, family offices and foundations and high net worth individuals.
Aureos Advisers Ltd
Tom Yazdi or John Mattison
Mattison Public Relations