b'Strategic report Governance Financial statementsWe spoke to Dr Mark Payton (CEO), Julian Viggars (CIO) and Q Dr Mark Payton: Jill Williams (Investment Director) about what being a responsible business really means.How do you plan to developWhat will this entail?your strategy to incorporateJill Williams: This coming yearenvironmental, social andwe will increase training for the governance issues (ESG) investment team on ESG related into your investmentrisks and opportunities. We will decisions and portfolioclearly define processes and management strategies? increase visibility of ESG withinThis will be athe investment decision making journey, with attainment on anprocess; for example, seeking increasing basis across thethoughts on ESG at deal appraisal, investment cycle, from dealincluding ESG in investment papers origination and assessment,and committee discussions, as well through ownership and towardsas embracing the monitoring and realisation. review of ESG, developing key performance indicators and targets. We have started this & In the medium term we will process by my appointment as ESG increase ESG consideration in ourproject leader, and the training that investment analysis and decisionsIve undertaken with the British both pre and post investmentthisPrivate Equity & Venture Capital will embed a unified approach andAssociation (BVCA). measures across the investment process, through deal sourcing and A due diligence, then ownership How will this translate and exit.across your portfolio?Jill Williams: We have reviewedJulian Viggars: This will have to be the UNs PRI which are a voluntarydriven by the portfolio companies and aspirational set of investmentmanagement teams, assisted by principles that offer a menu ofMercia. We will support these teams possible actions for incorporatingwith the development of ongoing ESG issues into investmentconsideration post investment at practice. This provides a globally- board level. We would like to see accepted framework and ESGESG on the board agendas because roadmap; in the longer term, wewe know that managing compliance would like to think that this journeyand risk is aligned with managing results in us becoming a signatoryfor value and should thereforeto the PRI. lead to strategic advantage. This increased focus will allow boththe portfolio and Mercia to create and protect value, ultimately, we believe, generating market-leading returns. Mercia Asset Management PLC 45Annual Report and Accounts 2020'