Environmental, Social & Governance

AEA’s Long-Standing Commitment to ESG and Responsible Investing

“When we incorporate material, measurable, and actionable ESG opportunities into our deal process – from diligence all the way through to exit – we accelerate the positive impact we have on our investors, our business partners, our employees, our communities and the environment. I am both proud of what our team has achieved and energized by AEA’s steadfast commitment to continuous improvement.”Brian Hoesterey, Chief Executive Officer of AEA Investors

 

AEA’s Long-Standing Commitment to ESG and Responsible Investing

Early on in AEA’s history, we recognized the value of ESG management – both from a corporate reputation and value perspective, and because it is simply the right thing to do. We believe that a strong ESG program paves the way for more sustainable businesses that can unlock greater long-term value and positively impact our society. At the firm level and across our private equity portfolio companies, AEA seeks to integrate ESG considerations into each phase of our work – during the investment process, throughout overall portfolio operations and as AEA continues to advance and invest in capabilities to achieve firm-wide ESG goals.

How we integrate ESG throughout our operations – including private equity portfolio company operations and AEA internal operations – has been one of AEA’s most important ESG priorities.

Looking Inwards:

At the firm level, AEA is particularly focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”). We have a variety of initiatives in place dedicated to supporting DEI across every level of our organization to promote an inclusive environment for all.

Looking Outwards:

With our private equity portfolio companies, AEA has established a strategy for integrating ESG matters into key investment and portfolio management processes and decision making, which includes oversight by our dedicated Risk and ESG Steering Committees. Our ESG efforts were formalized in 2015 for our MMPE team with the adoption of an ESG Policy, which captures the best practices our investment teams have been following for many years.

ESG in Action

Having made private equity investments across many companies and dozens of industries since our founding more than 50 years ago, AEA is well positioned to identify risks, share best practices and partner with businesses to develop customized action plans that address ESG challenges. We structure our actions in this area taking into account AEA’s level of control and the business maturity of the portfolio company.

Our 360° Approach to ESG Integration for MMPE and SBPE Portfolio Companies

Investing

AEA’s private equity investment process seeks to consider and integrate both the risks and opportunities associated with ESG. We leverage our ESG Framework, which was developed with reference to the UN Global Compact, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Principles for Responsible Investment and external subject matter experts, and detailed ESG Review Checklist to identify these issues and opportunities prior to investment. We then work with portfolio company investment teams to help incorporate these potential risks and areas for improvement as well as possible opportunities for value creation into their plans. As part of our ESG evolution, AEA has placed greater emphasis on understanding how ESG trends can be harnessed to drive industry growth, create new markets and provide a competitive advantage.

Portfolio Operations

Once we have made a controlling investment in a private equity portfolio company, we help our management teams develop an ESG action plan. These plans, which are informed by the relevant Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) guidelines, outline the following process:

  • Determine the most material issues for their stakeholders
  • Prioritize those issues based on impact, likelihood and current process effectiveness
  • Develop plans with responsible owners, metrics and monitoring
  • Engage with the Board of Directors in annual reviews
  • Communicate about their ESG efforts as appropriate

Starting in 2020, AEA began hosting an annual ESG Summit, which gathers AEA portfolio companies and outside experts to review key trends, introduce process enhancements, share portfolio company progress and best practices.

AEA Firm Goals

AEA is committed to ongoing ESG learning and improvement as we work towards furthering our ESG goals. Actions we take to stay at the forefront of a continuously evolving ESG landscape include:

  • Focusing on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across all levels of our organization and investing in human capital through recruiting and retaining top talent
  • Leveraging third-party experts, market-leading frameworks and our deep subsector knowledge to effectively identify and assess ESG risks and value opportunities
  • Utilizing our dedicated ESG leadership team to develop and share best practices across the firm and our diverse portfolio
  • Conducting external expert presentations on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and sharing ESG best practices and program development updates with a focus on recent ESG trends and implementation skills
  • Encouraging our investment teams to stay current on material ESG issues related to their respective portfolio companies
  • Supporting the DEI and talent-focused initiatives we have in place to enhance AEA’s culture and support a diverse workforce, including AEA’s Women’s Leadership Network, Sponsor of Students for Educational Opportunity, HBCU Summer Internship Program and our partnership with Out 4 Undergrad. Read more about the programs that push our culture further on our Culture and Talent & Careers pages

 

Talent Initiatives

The Associate Program

Our entry-level program where new hires gain firsthand diligence, underwriting and portfolio management experience

Learn about the associate program
The Associate Program

Investing in Change

Recruited associates join a specific investment group for the duration of the program that allows them to gain evaluation, diligence and underwriting exposure to new opportunities as well as participate in portfolio company management of existing investments

Many of our investment partners began their AEA careers in the Associate Program, which is designed to train and mentor future thinkers and value creators in a collaborative environment with exposure to professionals firmwide. Many of our associates have gone on to pursue a wide range of opportunities, including promotion within AEA, business school, roles at other investment firms and entrepreneurial ventures leading business operations.

The Women’s Leadership Network

A forum for our female professionals to develop and build relationships both within and outside of AEA

Read About the women’s leadership network
The Women’s Leadership Network

Investing in Change

We value attracting, retaining and furthering the professional development of talented women

The Women’s Leadership Network (“WLN”) provides our female professionals with access to opportunities to network and build relationships across the firm, develop and hone leadership skills and collaborate with one another, with the goal of advancing their careers. We believe the WLN encourages diversity of thought and demonstrates AEA’s commitment to inclusivity and developing diversity in leadership.

WLN Highlights:

  • Content driven events including keynote speakers and roundtable discussions to help drive important conversations in and out of the workplace and develop key skills to advance in leadership roles.
  • Social events to build and strengthen bonds among AEA’s female professionals and between WLN members and male colleagues other professionals at AEA.
  • Firm level programs, involving employees at all levels and across all groups, that highlight social issues, including and beyond gender diversity.
  • Establishment of cross-group mentor-mentee relationships
Sponsorship for SEO Program

AEA is a proud partner to the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (“SEO”) Alternative Investments Fellowship Program (“AIFP”) which supports investment banking analysts who are traditionally underrepresented in the alternative asset industry

Learn about our SEO sponsorship
Sponsorship for SEO Program

Investing in Change

AEA is a partner to the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (“SEO”) Alternative Investments Fellowship Program (“AIFP”)

AIFP sponsors educate, mentor and provide access to first and second-year investment banking analysts who are traditionally underrepresented in the alternatives industry. AEA commits to mentoring new fellows every year through junior and senior-level AEA employee participation

SEO Program Highlights:

  • Promote diversity in the alternatives sector
  • Provide AIFP Fellows differentiated access to career development and advancement
  • Maintain meaningful connections with in-depth exposure and hands on mentorship
HBCU Internship Program

Summer internship program for students enrolled at historically black colleges and universities (“HBCU”)

Learn about the HBCU Internship Program
HBCU Internship Program

Investing in Change

AEA launched its inaugural summer internship program in 2021, which targets students enrolled at historically black colleges and universities

Over a 10-week period, summer interns gain valuable alternatives experience by rotating through AEA’s investment groups, including AEA MMPE, AEA SBF and AEA Private Debt, and our robust training program. In addition, each intern is assigned an AEA mentor to provide guidance and support throughout the program

Internship Program Purpose:

  • Provide early investing exposure to talented diverse students
  • Position interns competitively for future career opportunities, regardless of their field of choice
  • Facilitate long-term relationships among summer interns and throughout AEA

Continue Learning About AEA

Our History

Over 50 years of supporting and growing businesses for long-term success

Our Team

Collaborative, one-firm mentality. No names on the door

meet the AEA team
Talent & Careers

Committed to identifying and developing talent

Working at aea