This interview originally appeared in the Portland Business Journal, December ’21.
The Partners Group launched its Give30 campaign in 2020, with the goal of giving $30 million in time and money back to employees and the community by 2030. The company also established the TPG Foundation in 2020 as a means of generating large-scale donations through major fundraising events.
Brad Nantz, president of The Partners Group (TPG), discusses what it means to be a philanthropic company and shares TPG’s core values and how they relate back to every company initiative.
The Partners Group works in the insurance and financial services industry yet has made corporate philanthropy a major focus for the coming year. Explain what makes TPG stand out in this regard.
TPG’s purpose statement is: “Make a difference in our communities through our work and inspire others to do the same.” We are intentional about this effort, through our Give30 campaign—it starts with giving our employees a paid day off every quarter to volunteer and then TPG will make up the difference through cash donations every year. So what makes TPG stand out is our intentionality, our declaration, and our commitment we’ve made to donation $30 million over the next 20 years.
Part of the Give30 campaign ensures that TPG will transition to being 100% employee owned by 2030. What does this mean for employees, as well as for clients?
We are an employee-first organization. We want to be an employer of choice, and company ownership by 2030 is one of the things we offer. We fundamentally believe that if we can attract and retain top talent who are the best at what they do and enjoy the work, then that will impress our clients. We also believe that owners serve customers differently than employees, so we want every employee to have access to ownership.
TPG has a set of core values that are at the forefront of every major initiative and decision. Can you talk about those values and how they were determined?
We took a deep look inside our organization to see what was truly important. Our values are deeply rooted in our 40 year history. We studied them for two full years – we tested them, we had focus groups, we reworded them multiple times. They are: Play well with others. Be curious. Be a champion. Own it. Have fun and live well. We have incorporated these five values across our work channels—you’ll hear them in our interviews, in performance reviews, we’ve painted them on the walls, and we use them every day in every meeting.
How does the TPG Foundation factor into the company’s purpose and business strategy?
We created the Foundation in 2020 and then COVID-19 hit. So our big plans had to slow down a bit. The notion of the TPG Foundation is great – it’s another way to distribute funds in support of Give30. The idea is to create a bucket in which we can collect major contributions that will be distributed back to the communities in which we all live and work. We’re looking at 2022 as being a big year for the Foundation.
The Foundation has specified that entities that serve or benefit “the next generation” will be the major funding recipients. Why was this group of beneficiaries chosen?
We will fund programs that help kids and families, because that is where it all starts. We believe in supporting nonprofits that work to provide a better life through education, health, and wellness for the upcoming generations.
Anything you’d like to add?
What we hope to do is encourage other organizations to intentionally give back to their communities—to make it part of their charter, their purpose, their mission. The Partners Group has received many awards over the past 40 years—Best Place to Work, Healthiest Employer, and so on—and we want that success to demonstrate to others you can be profitable while at the same time giving back in a major way. In fact, it will drive talent as well as clients to your doors, like it has at TPG.