‘Responsible Investor of the Year’ – Unquote British Private Equity Awards
Bridges was honoured for incorporating impact into every aspect of our investment process, and for sharing what we learn for the benefit of the broader market. In the last year, this has included facilitating the Impact Management Project, a global initiative involving over 2,000 industry stakeholders to build consensus around how we talk about, analyse and measure impact.
The IA50 is an annual list of the worlds’ 50 leading impact investment fund managers, selected for their excellence in demonstrating positive social, environmental and financial impact. Six of the 2017-18 IA50, including Bridges, have managed to raise over $1bn each to put towards investing for social and environmental impact.
Bridges has been included on the IA50 six times since 2011.
Overall ESG Framework – BVCA Responsible Investment Awards 2016
We were very proud to have won the 2016 BVCA Responsible Investment Award for Overall ESG Framework for firms under £1bn in management.
The Awards seek to demonstrate that by managing ESG issues throughout the investment cycle, private equity can drive greater value in UK companies and build more sustainable businesses, making a positive contribution to the environment, the workplace and the community. Environmental, social and governance factors are central to every investment decision Bridges makes – not only to help us guard against negative externalities, but also to help us identify value creation opportunities.
The judges said of Bridges: “Bridges’ strong ESG framework is at the heart of the all the firm’s investment activities and has enabled it to achieve a positive impact. Bridges ’ leadership role in impact investment was also commended.”
‘Private Equity Investor of the Year ’ – HealthInvestor Awards 2016
Bridges was honoured for its innovative approach to healthcare investment across its platform of funds – including backing community-focused pharmacies in the north of England, building high-quality care homes to support our ageing population, and developing employee-owned domiciliary care businesses to improve home care for the old and vulnerable.
The judges said of Bridges: “Successful fresh innovative thinking across a wide range of subsets of the health care sector, historically seen as challenging, marks Bridges out from its peers, and has benefited parts of society usually lost to the efficiency and organisational paybacks that private equity investments bring. Simply a stand out performance.”
‘Best Social Impact Investor’ – Investment Week Sustainable Investment Awards 2016
The award is presented to a financial institution that invests (or lends) money based on sustainable values, helping to achieve a positive impact on society. Bridges was named ‘Best Social Impact Investor’ this year in recognition of the breadth and depth of our work across the sector, both in terms of innovative product offerings and our engagement in social impact issues at national level.
‘Investor of the Year’ – EducationInvestor Awards 2016
The award recognises Bridges’ track record of working with outstanding management teams to build high-growth, high-impact businesses across the education sector.
EducationInvestor highlighted our successful work with Babington Group, a Derby-based apprenticeships provider. It also recognised Bridges’ success in supporting and scaling a number of other education models within the social sector, notably LEYF, a social enterprise that provides high-quality early years education to children in underserved markets across London. We have also invested in Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers, two UK charities that are delivering early intervention programmes – via Government outcomes contracts – to reduce the number of young people becoming NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’).
‘Investing and Financing’ – Finance for the Future 2016
We were delighted to receive the award from Finance for the Future in recognition of the success of the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, the first of its kind in the UK.
The Awards, founded by ICAEW and HRH The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, in partnership with Deloitte, were launched five years ago to highlight good international business practices. They recognise the roles that the finance function, and the wider finance community, play in helping to build resilient organisations by embedding environmental and social issues into decision-making.
The judges said of Bridges: “Bridges has created a truly innovative, scalable market offering. The tailored impact measurement framework clearly links financial and non-financial benefits.”
Social Investment Awards 2016 – Cabinet Office
We were delighted that the Bridges Social Sector Funds won two of five awards at the prestigious Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards 2016. These awards are intended to “highlight the innovation and dedication of world-leading social investors and enterprises”.
The Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF) won the ‘Institutional Social Investment Award’, which recognises an investment deal or product that has created demonstrable social impact at scale. SEF was honoured not only for the impact it has achieved through its own portfolio of investments, but also for the catalytic effect it has had on the broader social investment market. Its investments into some of the first UK social impact bonds have also helped to catalyse that nascent market.
Bridges and Career Connect won the ‘Public Service Transformation Award’ for their SIB-funded programme on Merseyside. Bridges first backed Career Connect’s ‘New Horizons’ intervention programme (which aimed to stop young people becoming NEET, i.e. not in education, employment or training) as one of our first ever social impact bond investments in 2012. The programme was so that it became one of the first SIBs in the world to repay investors in full and ahead of schedule. It has since been recommissioned for a second iteration.
Best Thought Leadership Paper – Sustainable Investment Awards 2015
Our research paper, ‘Choosing Social Impact Bonds: A Practitioner’s Guide’, created in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, came in joint first place at the 2015 Sustainable Investment Awards.
The report was the first piece of research that looked globally across the first wave of Social Impact Bonds to capture insights from early movers and reflect on the lessons learnt so far, to provide a set of practical recommendations for the three key parties involved in the sector: commissioners, service providers and investors.
Access the full report here.
UN Principles of Responsible Investment
The UN-supported Principles of Responsible Investment were established in 2006, in order to help asset owners and managers encourage the integration of ESG issues into investment decision-making, and play an important role in promoting best practice and transparency around ESG issues.
At Bridges, we are a firm supporter of the PRI’s mission. We have been a signatory to the Principles since 2009, and we share its view that greater transparency can help to raise standards across the board.
As such, we are delighted that Bridges has been awarded the highest rating of A+ for our overall approach to responsible investment and our ESG practices in private equity for three years in a row.
For more information about the PRI, click here.
“Venture Exit of the Year” – Unquote British Private Equity Awards 2013
Bridges was awarded the “Venture Exit of the Year” Award at the 2013 Unquote British Private Equity Awards for its role in the creation and success of The Gym Group, a business that was described by the judges as “one of the best they have ever seen and with a great social impact.”
Discovering a gap in the UK market for a low-cost gym concept, Bridges developed the idea in-house, and teamed up with entrepreneur John Treharne to launch The Gym Group in 2007. The Gym provides state-of-the-art fitness facilities in purpose-built gyms which are open 24-hours, 7-days-a-week and are located mainly in underserved areas, offering flexible memberships from as little as £10.99 per month.
The award recognised the successful sale of its majority stake in The Gym Group to Phoenix Equity Partners, of which a minority was rolled over to retain a 25% in the business, enabling Bridges to benefit from the future growth of the business.
‘Excellence in Sustainable Finance’ – FT/IFC Sustainable Finance awards 2012
Bridges was chosen as winner of the 2012 FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Award for Excellence in Sustainable Finance and joint winner in the ‘Sustainable Investor of the Year’ category.
The Awards – hosted by the Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group – honour ground-breaking solutions across banking and finance to pressing social and environmental challenges, and act as a benchmark for institutions focused on sustainable development.
This recognition comes in the same month Bridges announced two successful exits, from The Hoxton Hotel and Pure Washrooms.
‘Property Investor of the Year’ – HealthInvestor Awards 2012
The HealthInvestor Awards recognise organisations and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to healthcare. In 2011, Bridges was named ‘Property Investor of the Year’ for its work as creator and manager of the CarePlaces Fund, a partnership with specialist healthcare developer Castleoak Group which concentrates on the development and construction of first class care facilities with a focus on sustainable design and construction.
Social Investor of the Year – European Venture Capital Journal Awards 2008
Bridges was named Social Investor of the Year at the 2008 European Venture Capital Journal Awards for its work investing in businesses with social and environmental missions or which increase employment in deprived areas. A new category of the European Venture Capital Journal Awards, Bridges is honoured to have been its first winner.