Modern Slavery Act Statement
MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT
Year ended 31 December 2019
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large commercial organisations operating in the UK to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement setting out the steps they have taken to ensure their business and supply chains are free from modern slavery.
This statement is made by BGF Group PLC in respect of itself and the following of its subsidiary undertakings (as defined in the Companies Act 2006): BGF Investment Management Limited; Business Growth Fund Limited; BGF Services Limited; and BGF Investments LP (together “BGF”).
It is made in respect of the financial year ended 31 December 2019.
About BGF’s structure and business
BGF Group PLC is the United Kingdom-based holding company of a group of companies involved in the management of multiple investment funds.
BGF provides long-term, patient capital that management teams use to execute their strategic plans. With a £2.5bn evergreen balance sheet BGF provides funding for growth and equity release via secondary share sales, typically making initial investments of between £2m and £10m in return for a minority stake.
To date, BGF has invested £2.1bn and has been recognised as the most active growth investor in the world, having back over 300 companies since 2011.
As of January 2020, BGF had over 170 employees based in fifteen offices in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Our commitment and policies
BGF is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in its supply chains or any part of its business and operates a zero-tolerance policy in this regard. BGF recognises the importance of the Modern Slavery Act as a tool in combating the egregious and widespread human rights abuses comprised in modern slavery.
Whilst we do not have a formal anti-slavery policy, we do operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are conducting business in a transparent and ethical manner, including a recruitment policy, a code of conduct, an ethical standards policy and a whistle-blowing policy.
Our supply chain and due diligence
During the year, we completed a review of suppliers with whom BGF spent over £15,000 in the financial year, focussing on the:
- nature of the services provided by the supplier; and
- geography of the supplier’s services.
This review involved the Compliance, Legal, HR, Finance and Facilities functions and comprised one-to-one briefings and consultations.
Our supply chain consists principally of regulated professional advisers, individual consultants, financial services firms and providers of office-related goods and services. Nearly all our suppliers are based in the United Kingdom and we endeavour only to use reputable suppliers.
Assessment, management and effectiveness
Based on the review completed in 2019 and given the nature of our suppliers, we consider the risk of slavery or human trafficking within our supply chain to be low. We continue to assess this.
There are currently no known matters of concern in relation to BGF’s supply chain.
BGF makes minority investments in UK and Ireland based businesses. Although our investments are not part of our supply chain and we do not have control over those businesses, we seek to ensure compliance with laws, including the Modern Slavery Act, through warranties at the time of our initial investment and compliance undertakings thereafter.
Our recruitment processes are transparent and we have comprehensive vetting procedures in place, involving the use of external service providers, in relation to the hiring of new employees. We are therefore able to confirm their identities, their right to work in the UK and ensure that their compensation is paid directly into a personal bank account. All employees are paid above the UK’s national living wage.
We provide our staff with training on a range of compliance matters, which includes their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act.
If issues are identified in relation to modern slavery, these will be dealt with by the Legal and Compliance teams.
Priorities for 2020
During the course of 2020, BGF intends to:
- Review and update this statement
- Evaluate the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in any new suppliers
- Pro-actively engage with our investee companies to understand the steps they have taken to comply with the Modern Slavery Act
- Continue to train internally, including in relation to future amendments to the Modern Slavery Act and related guidance
This statement was approved by BGF Group PLC’s board of directors on 16 January 2020 and was approved by the boards of each of BGF Investment Management Limited, Business Growth Fund Limited, BGF Services Limited and BGF GP Limited (the general partner of BGF Investments LP) on 16 January 2020.
Chief Executive Officer, BGF Group PLC
16 January 2020