Nina: Working with us is a bit like being in a family.
Mark: We look to get to know a management team often over a number of years before we make the investment and that is a decision that’s delivered by financial metrics, by business metrics, but also by culture. In other words, our ability to develop a relationship ... and to ensure that we are both trying to get to the same place with the business, and that shared vision is I think what makes us different.
Michael: We care about the companies we invest in. We care about the people at the companies. We are buying companies that we think can grow to be the leaders in their sector. We’re there with resources. We have an operations team that works with management.
Mark: OMERS is on a journey. We opened in London and New York in 2009, and we’ve recently opened in Singapore. We’re investing across a range of industries. So not only do we have private equity, but we also have real estate, we have infrastructure, we have capital markets… and it creates real added value for us because it gives us an ability to look at a private equity deal with a real estate angle, or an infrastructure deal which has a capital markets element, and that ability to look across sectors is incredibly powerful.
Nina: We are a patient investor, so we have access to a long-term pool of capital. We can stay in the investment if it’s performing well and continue to get that upside together with the management team.
Likewise, we can also hold the investment through a cycle or through a difficult period.
Michael: We’re willing to help companies, you know, five years in as much as we are willing to help them on day one. For sure we care about quarterly results and short-term results, but we’re also willing to make large capital investments or transformative investments later in the life cycle.
The permanent capital base that we have as being part of a pension fund allows us to do that.
Mark: That connectivity with the members and with the management teams is something that’s quite unusual in financial services and I think gives us a real purpose, a real raison d'être of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
Michael: We’ve been investing in the private equity asset class for over 30 years. We are not a fly-by-night organization just dabbling in private equity. We’ve been in it for 30 years. We intend to be in it for the next 50 years.