We measure financial success through capital growth, expressed as a multiple of cost of the capital invested (MOC) and distributions received. We believe these metrics are better indicators of financial value creation than others, including the overused internal rate of return (IRR). MOC, in particular, reflects our long-term approach to value creation and distributions are a fundamental test of the sustainability of our business models.
Experiential value, while more subjective, is an important metric for us. It tracks whether a project makes us happy and proud. We believe that happiness should have a greater place in the corporate world. We aim to work with people we like and respect and to avoid those who view business opportunities as zero-sum transactions. Learning and personal growth is also important to us as individuals – no one, without exception, is born a successful entrepreneur or investor. And equally, we like to pass on our learnings to those we work with. When projects have been completed, we must be able to look back with some pride in what was achieved.
When it comes to identifying the benefit to humankind, we recognize the need for objective and measurable criteria. Our choice of target sectors all lend themselves to the benefits we seek, but we must be able to identify and quantify actual beneficial outcomes.
The key factors we look for are: reduced price points of products and services required in society, without compromising quality; improved quality without material increases in pricing; products or services of benefit to society that did not previously exist and, in all cases, a minimum level of sustainability relating to impact on society, impact on the environment and good corporate citizenship.