How we co-create value and impact through our portfolio companies
Summa invests in companies that have the potential to outperform financially, while also solving environmental or social challenges. We ensure maximum impact and business success through true partnership and empowerment with our portfolio companies. We call this approach Via Summa.
What sets Via Summa apart is our commitment to supporting portfolio companies' impact and value creation – through products and services that help society reduce harm to the environment, achieve better health outcomes, or build more financial transparency. Impact performance is critical to future value, and a key driver to transforming companies and disrupting industries, all for the betterment of society.
The Via Summa way: How it works in practice
The Via Summa team is involved throughout the life cycle of every Summa investment. The involvement starts already during the diligence process process, where the team is introduced to the management and their vision. We start by understanding key enablers and bottlenecks to reach this vision, and to discuss how Via Summa can best support strategic aims once it becomes a Summa company. Via Summa supports the respective boards and management of each portfolio company through multiple avenues:
(A) Via Summa Essentials – a set of frameworks, routines, and tools to organize our collaboration and to ensure a consistent and high-quality approach. This includes a routine for board meetings, a framework for strategy and making it actionable through objectives and key results ("OKRs"), a datadriven approach to improve organizational capabilities and leadership among others. In addition, it also covers Via Summa Compliance, a framework and toolkit for our portfolio companies to tackle key global governance issues through strong policies and risk management procedures. All our board chairs are familiar with these and implement them during the onboarding phase.
(B) Network of industry and functional experts – these are available to all our portfolio companies, to help with specific challenges and opportunities.
(C) Community events for the leadership of our portfolio to learn from each other and also get access to thought leaders and other top executives for inspiration and networking. We are proud to be trusted partners of our portfolio companies, and always aim to be a supportive and pragmatic contributor to their journey. Stephanie Caspar, most recently divisional president and executive board member at Axel Springer, joined the partner group at Summa in February 2023. She will lead Summa’s work on value creation within portfolio companies as Head of Portfolio and Via Summa.
Stephanie Caspar, most recently divisional president and executive board member at Axel Springer, joined the partner group at Summa in February 2023. She will lead Summa’s work on value creation within portfolio companies as Head of Portfolio and Via Summa.
“I am overjoyed to join Summa and lead the Via Summa work. The Summa thesis is inspirational, and I look forward to working closely with portfolio companies on helping them reach the next level, in our quest to co-create value and impact.”
The three pillars of Via Summa
We believe that people are the biggest success factor for building outstanding companies. Therefore, one of our focus areas is to bring together winning teams of boards, advisors, and management. We partner up from day one to create a space for shared ideas and partnership, working together to define the right strategy and support the execution of projects. We invest in leadership and team development and empower management and boards by providing intelligence, tools, and services to accelerate growth.
To drive sustainable performance in our portfolio companies, we are convinced that thematic expertise is essential. We selected themes that shape our investment focus, such as Circularity & Waste, and have a network of industry experts that work with us as thematic partners, advisors and board members. In addition, Via Summa will complement the thematic approach with functional expertise centered around topics such as technology, finance, operations, and Go to Market.
Thematic expertise and the people dimension are critical to the development of our portfolio, but also the foundation to excel with impact creation. Thus, the business and impact strategies should not only complement, but ideally amplify, one another. Such scenarios are intended to create win-win outcomes for our companies’ customers, suppliers, and broader ecosystem.