Corporate governance at Axcel
Corporate governance at a private equity portfolio company is very different to that at a listed company. When Axcel invests in a company, it appoints a new board of directors who can contribute relevant experience, leadership and know-how. On behalf of the company’s shareholders, the board is responsible for setting out the company’s strategic direction and supervising management. Axcel is therefore involved in key decisions via the company’s board, which is crucial given its limited holding period of three to seven years. Thus Axcel brings much more to its companies than just capital.
Axcel will normally appoint an external chairman with considerable industrial experience while filling the role of deputy chairman itself. The remaining directors are chosen on the basis of each company’s specific needs in terms of strategic sparring, drawing on Axcel’s extensive network in the Nordic business sector.
The company’s CEO and chairman and the relevant partner at Axcel form an all-important triumvirate with overall responsibility for its development. The three work closely together with regular contact between board meetings.
Axcel also acts as a resource for the company’s board and management by providing functional expertise and manpower in connection with acquisitions, divestments, major investment projects, financing, HR issues and strategic planning. Axcel has developed a concept for this dubbed AXCELerate.
Because it is people who generate results for Axcel’s companies, it is vital that staff are offered competitive terms. Senior employees are offered a package based on the company’s performance, and there are incentive programmes where employees themselves invest in their company. This is the best way to attract and motivate management and other staff.