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Adams Street’s Approach to ESG Considerations

Adams Street has long considered environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) considerations an integral part of our investment decision-making process.

Over more than four decades of private markets investing, our investment diligence has considered such factors as a fund’s or portfolio company’s governance practices, the quality, sustainability and transparency of its operations, and the geographic scope, industry-specific attributes, and other impacts of its business.

Principles for Responsible Investment

In 2010, Adams Street formalized our commitment to an investment process that integrates ESG considerations by becoming a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (the “PRI”).

The PRI – a voluntary initiative promoting investor integration of ESG considerations into the investment process and ongoing engagement with respect to ESG issues – has grown its signatory ranks from under 500 at the time of Adams Street’s commitment to over 2,700 at the close of 2019.

Learn more about the PRI

The PRI Principles

As a PRI signatory, Adams Street has adopted an ESG Policy that embodies the six PRI principles:

  1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the PRI principles within the investment industry.
  5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the PRI principles.
  6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the PRI principles.

Adams Street’s Adoption of PRI

Under our ESG Policy, Adams Street commits to integrate ESG factors into our analysis of current and potential investments in a manner consistent with our fiduciary responsibilities. As key elements of our approach, we will:

  • Consider general ESG factors associated with particular industries and geographies and use this information to evaluate potential investments;
  • Evaluate specific ESG factors associated with general partners and portfolio companies and integrate these considerations into our investment decision-making process;
  • Monitor our investments for ESG-related developments;
  • Seek opportunities to raise general partner and portfolio company awareness of applicable ESG-related risks; and
  • Evaluate our own ESG integration efforts and pursue enhancements to our approach.

Integration of ESG Into Our Investment Process

Adams Street supports these endeavors by maintaining an active ESG Committee and providing guidance to aid the firm’s investment teams in considering ESG factors as part of their investment decision-making and ongoing monitoring of investments.

Pre-investment, the consideration of relevant ESG factors plays an important role in both investment and operational due diligence. Post-investment, we take a proactive approach to investment monitoring and evaluate any ESG-related developments.

In weighing applicable ESG factors, we consider both risks that may be associated with negative ESG factors and potential benefits that may result from positive ESG factors.

Dedicated ESG Committee

Adams Street’s ESG Committee has meaningful collective experience in considering ESG factors across investment strategies, sectors and geographies. Convening on a quarterly basis, the ESG Committee:

  • Discusses ESG-related developments relevant to Adams Street’s business as well as the broader investment management industry
  • Provides input on Adams Street’s approach to ESG integration and participates in developing forward initiatives, including by communicating with other institutional investors regarding ESG best practices,
  • Works with Adams Street’s investment teams on a continuing basis to facilitate and enhance their integration of ESG considerations into the investment process.

Adams Street’s Culture

In addition to investing in a manner that reflects Adams Street’s commitment to environmental, social and governance considerations, we maintain a culture that is based on the core principles of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Adams Street upholds an Integrity Policy aimed at ensuring that our firm and our dedicated professionals conduct their business in accordance with Adams Street’s high standards and fiduciary duty. Also integral to Adams Street’s culture are our emphasis on diversity and our support for communities in which we operate.

Diversity & Inclusion

The central tenet of Adams Street’s Diversity and Inclusion philosophy is the importance of recruiting more professionals from underrepresented backgrounds into the private markets industry. We seek to increase access, contribute to education, and engage personnel in outreach opportunities designed to bring diverse perspectives to our team and the private markets.

Meet Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Diversity-Focused Internship Program

Adams Street’s internship program has a multi-pronged strategy:

  • Expose undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds to the private markets industry
  • Provide hands-on industry experience through paid summer internships
  • Build a long-term pipeline of diverse talent, staying connected with interns as they move through their careers
  • Support the industry’s commitment to diversity outreach and recruitment initiatives

Industry Partnerships

Adams Street engages with a number of diversity-focused organizations through event sponsorship, conference participation, mentoring programs, student networking opportunities, and educational symposiums.

Internship Recruiting Through Diversity Partnerships

Each summer, Adams Street recruits interns in partnership with SEO Career, Chicago Scholars Emerge, and #100BlackInterns. These three programs support diverse students in achieving their career goals through meaningful leadership and professional development experiences. Over 10 weeks, Adams Street provides students with exposure to three different investment strategies: direct investing, primary partnerships, and secondary transactions. In addition, interns receive a broader view of the business through additional cross-team training.

Charitable Giving

Investing in Our Communities

At Adams Street, we believe that investing in communities is an essential element of global citizenship. Our firm makes charitable contributions to organizations in the United States, Europe, and Asia that make meaningful differences in the lives of those they support.

In addition to corporate gifts, we strongly encourage employee engagement. Adams Street organizes employee participation in service opportunities, and provides financial contributions through both a matching gift program and a program that supports charitable organizations to which our employees make significant volunteer commitments. In 2019, Adams Street’s employee matching gift program made contributions to approximately 60 organizations.

Meet Our Charitable Giving Committee

Learn More About Adams Street Partners