SISPE-sponsored investments take the form of funds and stand-alone investments. Many of our stand-alone investments are structured to eventually become anchor investments in one of our funds, but permanent, stand-alone investments that meet our general criteria are also possible.
The origins of SISPE Capital Management are found in the story behind the Rerum Novarum Fund. The founders of SISPE saw businesses that were cornerstones of their Catholic parishes go through private-equity sponsored transactions, watched nervously as the support that those businesses gave their parishes and schools hung in the balance, and decided that there had to be better options that could serve both the economic and non-economic goals of the business owners and their community while still delivering attractive returns to investors.
Rerum Novarum – Fund I
Our first fund is the Rerum Novarum Fund I.
The founders of SISPE saw businesses that were cornerstones of their Catholic parishes go through private equity sponsored transactions. They watched nervously as the support that those businesses gave their parishes and schools hung in the balance. SISPE was born from the conviction that there had to be better options serving the goals of business owners and their community while still delivering attractive returns to investors.
Rerum Novarum was the encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 that articulated the proper relationship between labor and capital in Christian society. It addressed the interests of workers and the larger community while fully respecting the legitimate rights of private property. Written in the middle of the industrial revolution—in the same age, but in the opposite spirit as the work of Marx and Engels—it struck a balance between the dignity of the human person and the principles of private property and it explained the moral duties that holders of capital and workers owed to each other. The encyclical was a seminal event in the development of Church social doctrine and has been commemorated and applied to then-current Popes, most notably Pius XI on its 40th anniversary (Quadresimo Anno) and Pope John Paul II on its 100th (Centisimus Annus).
Rerum Novarum Fund I invests capital primarily from Catholic investors to support growth or ownership transitions with a special emphasis on preserving and expanding Catholic-owned businesses. The Fund’s economic goal is to earn a sustainable and attractive annual cash return on its investments. The Fund’s ultimate non-economic goal is the ensure that its portfolio businesses continue to provide family-supporting jobs while simultaneously providing philanthropic support that sustains Catholic parishes and schools. This allows all parties to achieve a better balance between their own economic goals and the common good of the community that depends on both the investors and the companies within the community.