President of Ardian
We are living through extraordinary times. Although this document must stand as an account of our work during 2019, Ardian’s progress and the successes we achieved necessarily give way to more immediate concerns.
As I write, whole continents are gripped by the pandemic that began in the final days of December 2019. Today, millions of people’s livelihoods, hopes and plans are frozen while we wait for this shadow to lift.
At moments like these, our responsibilities are clearer than ever – to our clients, our employees and the many companies we support. My greatest pride today is that Ardian understands those responsibilities and has the strength and determination to fulfil them.
Huge numbers of people depend on our portfolio companies and the exceptional entrepreneurs that lead them: employees, customers, suppliers, families, communities and alongside them the millions of savers whose money we invest. I want to reassure all these people that we at Ardian will do everything we can to protect and sustain businesses and jobs through this crisis, just as we did 12 years ago. We will continue to support our companies and to provide vital liquidity to the secondary market, so that institutions can actively manage their private-market portfolios in the best interests of their savers.
"At moments like these, our responsibilities are clearer than ever."
Ardian has a culture of careful, cautious investment and I am sure this will serve us well in the testing times we all now face. The company we have built over the past two decades is responsible, resourceful and resilient. In the months ahead, we will seize every opportunity to demonstrate these qualities.
Our immediate priorities have been to ensure our colleagues and partners are safe, and to join the fight against this deadly pandemic. The Ardian Foundation has created a dedicated fund, representing 10% of its annual budget. Ardian, alongside its employees, has provided further funds to support hospital care, health workers and medical research. At the same time, many of our portfolio companies are contributing vital products and services to the global "war effort". Finally, we have decided that Ardian will not ask for any state support on its own account. Other companies’ needs are greater than ours.