For many years, we have adopted an operating philosophy which has guided our growth and helped us attract strong management teams with visions for the future success of their businesses. The following are five key guiding principles, which underpin our culture of measuring, monitoring and rewarding all of our key stakeholders for their success:
1) Partnership Philosophy with our Operating Management Teams
We believe equity ownership by operating management teams is essential. Our partners enjoy a decentralized organizational structure with autonomy over front-line operating decisions, while equity ownership allows direct participation in the financial outcomes of their decisions. With significant equity or equity-like interests in the businesses they operate, our management teams' interests are aligned with our shareholders in building long-term value.
2) Focus on Organic Growth
Since inception, we have managed our businesses with a primary focus on sustainable organic growth. We command leading positions with modest market shares in very large, multi-billion property service sectors, which provides us with significant opportunity for organic growth. We place the highest priority on strong client retention and winning against our competitors each and every day through repeat business and driving "word of mouth" referral opportunities. We look to incrementally improve our operational execution and client service delivery across all of our companies and leverage our differentiators to win new business. Our performance-based compensation arrangements are structured to reward our management teams and employees for achieving this successful growth.
3) Ongoing Investments to Enhance Operational Excellence and Support Growth
We have a keen focus on operational excellence. As a large publicly traded company with strong free cash flow and balance sheet, we have ample capital to continually invest in our most important assets - our people and our infrastructure in support of our valued clients. Retaining and promoting key operating managers is one of our most important practices. Training of front-line employees who deal with our clients on a day-to-day basis is critical for ensuring they meet our high standards of customer service. Our management and employees are well-equipped to ensure best practices and a high degree of professionalism in our businesses. We also make ongoing investments in our infrastructure, including technology, operating systems and mobile applications, to deliver seamless and highly responsive service to our clients. Our willingness to invest in our people and infrastructure also ensures sufficient capacity and resources towards continued growth of our operations.
4) Service Excellence Culture
Our services are delivered through well-known, market-leading brands, each of which aspire to define service excellence in their respective markets through a strong focus on customer experience. Our people and teams are extensively trained and highly engaged to deliver service excellence to our clients each and every day. This long-standing dedicated focus and progress on client service excellence is measured using the Net Promoter System ("NPS"), developed by Bain and Company, which has been adopted across all of our businesses. The founder of NPS, Frederick F. Reichheld, is one of our directors.
5) Disciplined Tuck-Under Acquisition Strategy
We augment our organic growth with tuck-under acquisitions that add further value across many of our businesses. The markets in which we operate are large and highly fragmented which provides us with significant opportunity for consolidation. We maintain a rigorous discipline around our valuation and deal structure parameters to ensure that we exceed our targeted return on capital hurdles on these acquisitions for our shareholders. In many cases, we enter into partnership arrangements with the operators of the companies we acquire which can be a key differentiator with prospective sellers. See further details in the "Becoming Our Partner" section of our website.