In celebration of B Corp Month 2024, we’re delving into the core of what makes us and our fellow B Corporations unique. As a B Corp investment manager, we’re uniquely positioned to both advocate for and implement the change we wish to see in the world.

Celebrating B Corp, beyond the badge

Being a ‘B’ is about much more than a letter. It’s something deeper and more fundamental than a label. Being a B Corp gets down to the essence of a business.

For the B Corporation movement, it’s not enough to be the best in the world; we’re striving to be the best for the world. This means putting equal weight on people, the planet and profit in everything we do.

Our journey is part of a long tradition of businesses that have sought to blend profit with purpose, from historical enterprises like Rowntrees to today’s Benefit Corporations and France’s Enterprises À Mission.

The growing global community of B Corps[1] is a testament to the increasing value placed on stakeholder-aligned business models.

Read about when we first announced becoming a B Corp, here.

Being a B Corp-certified investment manager

What does it mean to be a B Corp as an investment manager? When we talk about investment, it’s important to recognise the far-reaching impact of the financial sector.

The financial sector touches every aspect of our lives and has the capacity to shape our future.  

The right investments can drive sustainable growth, support entrepreneurial spirit, advance education, tackle poverty, regenerate our natural ecosystems, and bridge gaps in inequality. If we need air to breathe, we need capital to eat, drink, shelter, learn, grow and thrive.

Every investment decision has the potential to influence the well-being of our planet and all its inhabitants. So, when we think about being a B Corp as an investment manager, it’s a tremendous opportunity, matched by an equally significant responsibility.

B Corp investors: Agents of sustainable change

As a B Corp investor, we’re equipped with a unique set of tools to advocate for and implement the change we wish to see in the world. This approach eliminates any disconnect between the change we encourage our investee companies to deliver and how we operate ourselves, which facilitates integrity-led engagement.

Because of this, our actions are guided by a comprehensive set of values that consider the welfare of all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

This accountability framework not only influences our product offerings, but also enriches our boardroom conversations and our engagement with the companies we invest in.

We’re building our investment solutions on this ethical foundation, aiming to foster an inclusive and sustainable economy.

Governance as a lever for change

Despite the progress, the current landscape reveals a significant need for improvement in corporate governance.

Looking at the MSCI All Country World Index (MSCI ACWI), which is a widely recognised stock index that’s globally used as a benchmark and a guide to asset allocation, it’s clear that a notable portion of companies still overlook crucial aspects of stakeholder-aligned corporate governance, like employee satisfaction. Others fail to adequately report on their stakeholder engagement practices altogether.

This gap underscores the extensive work that remains in encouraging more businesses to adopt stakeholder-focused governance.

You might also be interested in: B Corp Finance Coalition UK calls for legal change to finance companies’ governance frameworks

This Way Forward

At Tribe, prioritising stakeholder-aligned governance isn’t just a policy; it’s part of our mission.

We actively engage with fund managers and businesses to champion better governance practices. We’re currently supporting one of our portfolio companies in their journey to become a B Corp, and we work alongside three other B Corp-certified fund managers.

We also support calls for corporate and stakeholder governance reform, like the Better Business Act.[2]

This B Corp month, amidst the celebration of all we have achieved as a community, we call on our community and beyond to join us in advocating for governance reform.

While there are no simple solutions to the complex challenges we face, effective governance is a lever we can pull to make a lasting difference. And luckily, this happens to be where the B Corps community excels.

Let’s continue to lead by example, showing the world the power of business as a force for good.

[1] Reflecting on our impact in 2023, B Corporation

[2] Better Business Act