Governance in portfolio companies of buyout funds

Governance in portfolio companies of buyout funds

Governance in the buyout fund portfolio companies1

Permira’s 2022 ESG monitoring and reporting showed that 70% (2021: 57%) of the buyout funds’ portfolio companies disclosing had a dedicated ESG working group or committee, while 80% (2021: 75%) were monitoring ESG-related KPIs.

We saw similar levels of the buyout funds’ portfolio companies disclosing specific policies on areas like anti-bribery, corruption and whistleblowing.

Further engagement is planned to increase the number of portfolio companies reporting overarching ESG policies and strategies.

Governance policies – role of the board (number of companies reporting)

Separate roles for CEO and Chairperson
Responsibility for ESG matters assigned to board
Incentives to improve ESG performance linked to senior management remuneration

Governance policies - monitoring and reporting (number of companies reporting)

Monitoring any KPIs and/or targets for any environmental, social or governance topics
Report externally on sustainability / ESG-related matters
Dedicated sustainability / ESG committee / working group

Additional policies (number of companies reporting)

Overarching ESG, sustainability policy or similar guidelines
Anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and gifts / entertainment policies
Code of conduct
Audit commitee
Environmental policy
Health and safety policy
Human rights policy, or similar
Supplier code of conduct, or similar

Cyber security and data protection

Cyber security and data protection remain key priorities for the buyout funds’ portfolio companies.


of the buyout funds’ portfolio companies disclosing had a dedicated cyber steering committee or similar (2021: 79%)


of the buyout funds’ portfolio companies reporting had cyber as a standing item to the board (2021: 85%)


of the buyout funds’ portfolio companies provided cyber training (2021: 85%)

In 2022, we continued to use real-time, external, third-party cyber monitoring to understand potential vulnerabilities in the portfolio. The Permira private equity funds are also invested in innovative companies that are tackling cyber security threats worldwide, including Kroll, Mimecast, McAfee and Sysdig.

Environmental performance at Permira

Permira is taking steps to reduce the impact of its own operations on climate change and other environmental factors. This is complementary to our broader ESG engagement with portfolio companies through the investment life cycle.

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1 50 buyout fund portfolio companies (across Permira VIII, Permira VII, Permira VI): ABS, Althea and Vacanceselect (where exits were signed before the end of 2022), and Acuity (a new P8 investment signed in January 2023) were all excluded. For the first time, data for listed companies across buyout and PGO were based solely on publicly available data, where available, otherwise, all data is self-defined and self-reported by portfolio companies and has not been subject to audit or verification by Permira. For companies where 2022 data were not yet available, information is drawn from the most recently available report (e.g. 2021 or 2022).