Whether it’s through supporting investment products that further a particular social or environmental cause, or by simply by taking a more responsible approach to the businesses I back, I’m a firm believer that where I put my money matters.
And I’m not alone – conscious investing is big business today. Many prospective investors – particularly younger ones, including so-called ‘millennials’ – are keen to understand more about how their money will be used. For them it is still about growth, and about profit of course, but it’s also increasingly about making a positive social and environmental impact.
The way I do business
It’s an approach that I have always taken, and one that really lies at the heart of so much of the work that I do across my various business interests. I think that, for me, there are a number of factors that drive this.
The first is my basic business philosophy. As someone who is so fully hands-on and engaged in whatever project I’m involved in, it makes sense that my business interests will reflect my personal values. I’ve always been someone who likes to get things done, to make a positive change, and to affect people’s lives for the better. So, for example through the projects we support via the Omnia Foundation, I’m able to do that – with a lot of help from some incredibly talented people. Whether it’s the time or money we use to support these projects, or a new opportunity to invest that comes up in another part of my business, it’s always personal for me.
And this touches on another area of my way of working that really demands a consciously ethical approach to investing – I firmly believe that business is all about people. If, as I do, you believe that building great relationships is the key to your success, then you’ll also know that being ethical in the way you invest is crucial. Supporting businesses, individuals or causes that negatively impact society or the environment is hugely damaging, not just to your own personal reputation, but also to the relationships you have with the people who deal with you. I believe that it’s incredibly important therefore to behave in a way that builds trust and respect among the people you want to do business with.
Of course this approach also extends to the places where you invest your money. Once again, I’ve found that the Omnia Foundation has been a great way for me to support people that I truly believe in. Whether it’s helping to fulfil the dreams of chronically ill children through our support for Motorsport for LIFE, or backing a racing team featuring wounded soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan, these are all causes that are making a positive contribution to the world.
But the key here is that I have never approached any of these projects simply because I want to back something that I think is doing good. Instead, for me it is an opportunity to do something far more dynamic and worthwhile than that – while we can invest our money, it is also a chance to share our creative talents as human beings.
At the heart of my approach
And that, once again, comes down to the way I see business: as a chance to meet people, to listen to their stories, to learn from them, and to help them if I can. Here at OMNIA we’ve managed to pull together a hugely talented team of individuals who all bring something fresh to the business – their own talents, their own skills, but also their own beliefs.
By listening and learning from them over the years I’ve been able to seek out new opportunities and directions in which to take my business – and I’ve always put the need for a positive social or environmental impact right at the heart of that.