The Guilé Foundation, in association with the United Nations Global Compact and De Pury Pictet Turrettini & Co., recently launched the Guilé European Engagement Fund, the first fund dedicated to the UN Global Compact and its mission of advancing ten universal principles for responsible business in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
The fund is based on the concept of helping companies within its portfolio – all of which are Global Compact signatories – to achieve real impact on their corporate responsibility strategies, while at the same time adding shareholder value.
“What makes the Guilé European Engagement Fund a truly innovative investment product is the fact that it is the first investment fund so far whose selection criteria rest on mainstream financial analysis while being at the same time associated with clear ethical principles and constructive shareholder engagement,” said Charles Burrus, Founder and President of the Guilé Foundation.
“This fund is an important instrument in advancing the Global Compact’s principles in the financial world and in engaging companies on critical issues that are material to their operations,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
“Implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact can help companies address critical dilemmas and identify opportunities in a way that adds long-term value to the company and to society at large,” said Prof. Ernst A. Brugger, President BHP – Brugger and Partners Ltd., and CEO of the Sustainability Forum Zürich.
“Rather than proposing a static and conventional “best in class” approach, the Guilé European Engagement Fund is proposing a dynamic approach with the support of the Guilé Foundation and the legitimacy of the Global Compact. Rather than judging or condemning companies, the fund will support and help them seize all opportunities offered in the field of corporate social responsibility, with the aim of increasing value for all stakeholders, including shareholders,” said Melchior de Muralt, Partner, de Pury Pictet Turrettini & Co.
To promote CSR-related activities, the Guilé Foundation will engage companies in the fund’s portfolio in a dialogue and offer concrete services to those Global Compact participants that demonstrate excellent financial performance. The foundation has formed a “Guilé Engagement Team” of leading CSR experts, who will work in close collaboration with the UN Global Compact Office. Their services will include:
- Benchmarking: Companies will receive a yearly benchmark report on their ”Communication on Progress” (CoP).
- Policy and strategy options: Based on the results of the benchmarking, the Guilé Engagement Team offers the portfolio companies an internal workshop aimed at pointing out policy and strategy options emerging from strengths and weaknesses identified.
- Case Stories: The Guilé Engagement Team will support portfolio companies in tapping a large internal source of inspiration with the aim of highlighting innovative models to deal with risks and opportunities in the realm of the Global Compact.
- Multi-stakeholder dialogues and initiatives: As an impartial and experienced actor in multi-stakeholder processes, the Guilé Engagement Team will set up, facilitate and manage multi-stakeholder dialogues and initiatives to help address dilemmas or contested issues in a constructive manner.
Managed by de Pury Pictet Turrettini & Co, the Guilé European Engagement Fund has been registered in Luxembourg. Its portfolio consists of about 30-50 European companies which have already joined or are about to join the UN Global Compact. The fund is not yet registered in Switzerland and will be marketed only to professional investors. The fund has already been launched with seed money exceeding CHF 50 million.