Executives at private equity firm Abraaj Group view private equity investing as a partnership, which can, in some instances, pull people out of extreme poverty.
That's a far cry from earlier stereotypes of private equity that evoked images of barbarians at the gate. Abraaj even uses a different term for what a lot of others would call private equity: partnership capital.
But partnership capital better reflects Abraaj's approach, officials say.
“Our approach to investing has always been about forming an effective partnership with the entrepreneurs and business owners with which we partner,” according to a written statement from Dubai-based Abraaj Group in response to Pensions & Investments' questions. “For almost a decade now, we have insisted on calling the investments in our portfolio by what they are, "partner companies.'”
Abraaj focuses on environmental, social and governance investments in emerging markets, and its partner companies at times provide essentials such as clean drinking water, electricity and health care.
“Partnership capital reflects our approach to the markets in which we live and work. Investing is about more than profit,” Abraaj said.
“To be clear, we aren't trying to change terminology. For us, it is our investment philosophy and how we believe success is best achieved,” Abraaj's statement noted.