24.6.2020 Anette Tuomainen

Purpose and profit CAN go hand-in-hand – being a B Corporation

Transparency in asset management: kill the hidden fee bogeyman
#HCPSPIRIT - Cultural work as part of existence

Being a B Corporation helps monitor responsibility

We have worked on our sustainability report of 2019 this spring under the lockdown. Reflecting our responsibility transformation throughout past years has made us think what drives us forward. Since we strive to be an Asset management to be proud of.™ we are happy about being a B Corporation as we are constantly searching for improvement. We want to do good, and with the impact assessment we go through being a B Corp has given us a great tool to take stock.

Think, Act, Measure.

As to date, we are the first and only Finnish B corporation in Finland.

B Corporation certificate is awarded to for-profit business that balance purpose and profit. B Corporations are required an impact assessment which measures their actions towards the surrounding community and world. Last year we have demonstrated that we can combine these two – create more profitable business, more return on investments for our clients and similarly increase our sustainability efforts.

Certificates can be a way of greenwashing. Performing at the bare minimum, while using them in marketing. In contrast, a good way to use B corporation certificate, in our opinion, is as an internal tool. We use it to track how much we have developed and what else is there still to be done. For value-driven companies it can be a way of pushing towards your purpose.

“B Impact Assessment gave us an opportunity to receive an outside perspective on what HCP does. This, in turn, has helped the company to discuss and promote more about our unique way of contributing to a better world.” our Investor Relations Manager Jo Iwasaki explains.

You can’t pour from an empty cup

In the year 2019 we reached our highest performance, attaining almost 100M€ in assets under management. We succeeded exceptionally in creating value for our clients through our funds. For instance, HCP Focus fund became the most consistently top-performing equity hedge fund globally, and in the spring of 2020 its success reached new highs, becoming the top performing stock fund in the world measured with 5-year return.

At the same time, we have been faithful to our commitment to sustainable organisation. A key factor that enables us to act smart is our teal organization structure. Responsibility is a companywide theme. It doesn’t tie only to management. Teal organization empowers everyone in the company to participate, also when discussing sustainability themes. For a team made up of people with different ideas and background, it is an advantage if everyone is able to put forward their visions into use. Different views of what is sustainability make way for more creative thinking and diverse actions.

We want employees to bring in their own passions. What would I like to use time, effort and money on? We use Nordic KPI to measure how much we are contributing to society. In addition to taxes and tax-related contributions, using a certain percentage of our revenue for supporting cultural causes in the form of #HCPSPIRIT projects equals a bigger amount when we are doing well economically. In the end, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

What we have especially focused on during past years is improving transparency and disclosure. This is due to the nature of financial industry – the grey area in asset management and dishonest usage of the client’s trust which we have actively spoken about. What we can do is to conduct our operations ethically towards clients and other stakeholders and be open about it, hopefully inspiring the industry towards improvement.

All of this proves that responsibility and economic performance can go hand-in-hand. There are yet many sustainability themes we want to incorporate.

Jo states that “HCP has come a long way from where it has started. We have always been keen to change the culture of the financial service industry, and #HCPSPIRIT – our collaboration with community around us and beyond – has been running for many years. For the business of our size, we are punching above our weight. But that’s a viewpoint of a business, not that of the public. What do people expect from businesses today? A lot, lot more. People want to see businesses taking stance, and use their influence to change the world for better. So we cannot stay and be comfortable being where we are. We need to think and act – it never stops to be a force for good.”

You can find more information about our responsibility effort from our website and CSR report of 2019 coming out soon.

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About the Author

Anette Tuomainen works as a Junior Communications Manager at Helsinki Capital Partners as Miika Koskinen, who is responsible for marketing communications and customer experience, is finishing his journalism studies. Anette became excited about HCP for its visionary investing, responsible values and identity attached to cultural actors. From her opinion, these make HCP stand out positively in the investment services industry.

Transparency in asset management: kill the hidden fee bogeyman
#HCPSPIRIT - Cultural work as part of existence

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