PRI Confirms MiddleGround Capital as First Sub $1 Billion AUM Industrial Focused Signatory
Lexington, KY–September 1, 2020: Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), confirms that Lexington, KY-based MiddleGround Capital is the first sub $1 billion AUM industrials-focused buyout firm to join the organization. The PRI is recognized as the leading global network for investors who are committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
“We are very pleased to welcome MiddleGround Capital as a PRI signatory. In joining the PRI, Middleground is making a clear commitment to accountability and transparency alongside the incorporation of ESG factors into its investment and ownership decisions. We look forward to working with the team,” says Fiona Reynolds, PRI CEO.
By adding its name to the other 3,000 signatories collectively managing over $100 trillion in assets, MiddleGround has agreed to put into practice six voluntary principles that provide a framework for investing responsibly and integrating ESG practices into investment analysis and ownership practices. The six key principles are:
- Incorporating ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- To be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- Promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
- Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
- Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
“We are proud to be the first signatory with assets under $1 billion for the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. At MiddleGround Capital, we believe that we don’t need to wait for government regulation to drive change. Real change happens when the people in charge decide to step up and lead and we are proud to step up and be a leader for industrial funds around the globe. ESG is not something that can just be handled with a policy, it has to be incorporated into every facet of the organization. Joining the PRI is a statement to all of our stakeholders that we welcome transparency and want to be held accountable to the highest standards in the industry,” says John Stewart, founding partner.
MiddleGround has dedicated three resources within each areas of the firm to lead the initiative and has established ESG committees on each company’s board of directors.
“We have always taken our responsibility for corporate governance seriously and we are excited to add the environmental and social elements to our activities. Before we took this step, we had a firm meeting with all employees to get their thoughts on this commitment. This isn’t something that just the partners can commit to, it takes the whole organization as well as the employees of our portfolio companies,” added Scot Duncan, founding partner.
MiddleGround has already attracted a lot of intention for its swift rise in the ranks of lower middle market industrial firms. Two of the three founders started their career in industry rather than in mergers and acquisitions. One of the firm founders is female and women make up 50% of the Senior Management team at MiddleGround.
“We have been dedicated to diversity from the moment John, Scot and I decided to form MiddleGround. There are very few women in leadership positions in private equity and I am proud to be one of the founding partners at a firm that is focused on leading change in our industry. Our team is made up of individuals from all over the country and we believe our diversity helps us to make better decisions. From an ESG standpoint, this is just the beginning for us and our firm,” says Lauren Mulholland, founding partner.
About MiddleGround Capital
MiddleGround Capital is a private equity firm that makes control equity investments in lower middle market North American companies in the B2B industrial and specialty distribution sectors. It is currently investing out of its first fund. MiddleGround works with its portfolio companies to create value through a hands-on operational approach and partners with its management teams to support long-term growth strategies. For further information, please visit: www.middlegroundcapital.com.