Chris Allen, Partner, sets out the importance of doing business “The Palladium Way”.
“The Palladium Way” is at the heart of how we do business. But, for those who haven’t heard us talk about it, what does it mean and why does it matter?
Putting it simply, “The Palladium Way” captures the belief we all share in doing well by doing good. It’s how we manage the firm and approach our investments, looking to deliver strong returns for our investors while doing right by our people and communities.
It’s important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it helps to reassure the founders we’re looking to partner with that we’re mindful of the legacy of their business. We’re not just going to strip it for parts like some other firms might. But secondly, it’s also the way we believe we can best maximize returns and create the most value. In other words, we don’t just take this approach because we’re nice people (although I do think we are!), but because this is how we can deliver the strongest, sustainable growth for all stakeholders.
“The Palladium Way” captures the belief we all share in doing well by doing good.”
So, let’s dig into that. What does it mean in practice for our investment strategies?
Well, to start, most of the businesses we look to invest in have some kind of socially responsible element to them. That’s not to say we would ignore a fantastic growth opportunity if it didn’t have an obvious social angle, but it’s certainly a big tick when we’re going through our evaluation processes.
Then, when it comes to the ways we create value, we’re thinking about where we want the business to be in the future – what can we do to improve the bottom line, but also create a positive impact for employees and the community. To give you an example, we’ll often look to increase diversity at a senior level in these companies. If you have a leadership team that reflects the communities it supports, you’re making that business stronger. Why? It enhances the culture of that organization, helps bring different ideas and perspectives to the table and creates a closer connection with your customers.
“If you have a leadership team that reflects the communities it supports, you’re making that business stronger.”
And our track record of performance highlights the point that this approach really does deliver to best results for investors too?
Exactly. In our industry, performance should be measured across cycles and over decades, not in months. We have performed well consistently for a long time, delivering strong outcomes for our investors throughout tough economic cycles. It underlines the importance – and value – in taking a responsible approach to growth.
You mentioned the confidence that founders have in us. Do you think our ethos is an important factor in businesses wanting to partner with us?
Absolutely. Investing is a two-way process; we source opportunities that we feel are exciting and where we can see a clear path to value creation, but ultimately, the owners of that business need to see us as the right fit too.
We’ve got a real depth of experience partnering with founders and family-owned businesses, taking them to the next stage of growth. We have a good understanding of the challenges these businesses face and are sensitive to their needs. They know that we’ll make sure we look after the legacy they’ve created. We’re also closely connected to the communities we invest in. Take the US Hispanic Market as an example. We have an extensive network here and are involved with a lot of Hispanic businesses and cultural organizations. It means we build deep rooted relationships and have a vested interest in the people and communities doing well.
And what about for our own firm? What does “The Palladium Way” mean for the way we run our own business?
A lot comes down to the culture – that’s very important to us. Since we were founded, our team has been made up of people from a variety of different backgrounds, bringing a wealth of different ideas and experiences to the table. It’s something we really value – both in terms of the way we’re able to drive growth in our investments, but also for creating a business that proud to be part of and feel that they can thrive. We’ve been able to attract a team of extraordinary professionals who share these values. It promotes a very collaborative way of working where everyone at all levels is encouraged to share ideas.
“Since we were founded, our team has been made up of people from a variety of different backgrounds, bringing a wealth of different ideas and experiences to the table.”
Finally, how do you think this sets us apart from other firms?
I think the real difference at Palladium is that this approach isn’t just some mandate from the leadership, it’s reflective of what all our people believe – and has been for over 25 years. Yes, a growing number of firms are now starting to talk about responsible growth and social impact – alongside returns. But, for many, it’s purely an investment play. For us, it’s an ethos. I’ll give you an example; outside of work, many people here use their expertise to support underserved communities or sit on the boards of social organizations. These issues really matter to people here and it’s an authenticity that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. That something that really comes through in our work.