I am writing this message in the midst of the global battle against COVID-19. We are in unprecedented times. Yet, history has shown that mankind has been tested by diseases for centuries (incl. the Plague in the 14th century, the cholera and different strains of influenza incl. the Spanish Flu) and has overcome each challenge. This fight will be no different. But we need to be vigilant in our commitment to safety, health and medical protocols and always prioritize the health and well-being of our people and communities.
At NSSK, we have had quite a busy 12 months. A snapshot is provided below:
1. We continue to build out our portfolio for Fund II with the onboarding of Reallyenglish and new investments in Next innovation (part of our Total Beauty Platform) and Welfare Suzuran (the base for our Specialty Elderly Care Platform). We also completed the sale and reinvestment in Vati (General Elderly Care business) enabling us to fully exit our original investment while reinvesting in the future with new equity partners. The small-cap regional focused Chubu-Hokuriku Fund is fully invested with the addition of Tokai Tenrei (funeral service business) in 2019 and we recently launched its successor fund.
2. Deal flow was robust with better quality opportunities and more of them. We were introduced to and looked at close to 500 investment opportunities this past year (a record for us). This is in thanks to the regional ecosystem that we have built comprised of regional banks, credit cooperatives, local tax, legal and accounting firms and M&A brokers. A big thank you to our ecosystem partners!
3. Our organization continues to expand with the addition of new 4 professionals and an advisor. When you meet with them, you will understand why we are excited about our growing team.
4. ESG is front and center in all of our activities, deliberations and priorities. The CEO of NSSK is designated as the ESG, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chairman and joined on the Committee with representatives from the Investment, Operations and Holdings teams. ESG KPIs have been set and are now part of all of our reporting packages. While all elements of ESG, i.e. Environment, Social, Governance, are important, the current environment will make us put even higher emphasis on the “S” for Social, an ever increasing need for any responsible company.
The key to overcoming and winning the battle against the COVID-19 shock is to be PREPARED, PROACTIVE and POSITIVE. We need to work together as global citizens to combat this crisis and do it in a caring way. Let us all rise to the occasion and help those in need first.
Please stay safe, healthy and positive in spirit and thank you for your continued support and vote of confidence.