Covid: Positive engagement
In early 2020 it become clear that the Covid outbreak had evolved from being a localized health emergency in Asia to a full-blown global pandemic. It was equally clear that a credible business response was needed. At Pantheon, we have increased regular dialogue with our underlying fund managers, carried out detailed assessments of the immediate and medium-term impact on our portfolios, and introduced a program of regular and transparent communication with clients.
But as a responsible private equity investor, we are also acutely aware that our sector will be judged not only on the performance and resilience of our portfolios through and after the current crisis, but also on the wider impact of the companies we back during this challenging time.
Biotechnology companies contributing to the development of treatments and ultimately a vaccine for the virus
Healthcare businesses manufacturing essential equipment or providing care
Industrial companies retooling to produce disinfectants, hand sanitisers and personal protective equipment
Information technology companies providing software to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system through better scheduling, remote care provision and support services.
In other cases, our portfolio companies have contributed indirectly by donating services and equipment to hospitals and key workers, and many of our GPs themselves have donated tens of millions of dollars to support local communities and the families of portfolio companies.
Some examples of the positive impacts our portfolio companies have had during the crisis include:
GP: Lilly Asia Venture Remote radiology reporting service provider in the UK
Providing software for free to NHS radiologists, so they can utilise the platform to review X-Rays from home rather than needing to travel into a hospital. The company is also providing its operational support and diagnostic tools free of charge.
GP: Lilly Asia Venture Biotech company based in China
Developed one of the first Covid vaccine candidates along with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, which was subsequently awarded the first vaccine patent in China.
GP: Hg Capital Care services support company based in Germany
Offered six months free access to Medifox Connect, an online portal through which families can easily exchange personal messages, pictures and videos with loved ones in receipt of care, who were required to shield at the height of the pandemic.
GP: American Industrial Partners
Created a PPE Task Force to support customers’ transition to manufacturing and distribution of protective equipment, by helping current PPE manufacturers upscale production, assisting current soft/sewn goods manufacturers convert their production facilities, and leveraging partner network to help match the demand for PPE with supply.