Waterton is committed to being a positive force in the communities in which we live and operate. We strive to leave every person – and every place – better then we found them. To achieve our mission, we believe in a foundation that includes: responsible business practices, inclusive and diverse corporate culture, strong ethics and governance structure, and community engagement and charitable giving.
Property Operations and Design
We believe that doing the right thing for our associates, our residents and our communities leads to better results for all stakeholders. We also believe it is our responsibility to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. As an organization, we continually seek out and implement environmentally-friendly opportunities and practices that benefit not only the environment, but our residents, investors and associates alike.
We encourage our associates to give their time, talents and resources to local and national causes and provide tools and programs to support community engagement. Aligned, Waterton’s employee-led corporate philanthropic affinity group, was created in 2017 to align our values with our business and inspire employees to give back in ways that reflect and advance the following mission statement:
We improve communities through strategic philanthropic investments and empowering associate volunteerism. We add value to the lives of our associates and the communities we serve. We achieve impactful results on our investments of time, talent and treasure.
Aligned focuses on causes associated with our business, including but not limited to, affordable housing, homelessness prevention and employment training programs. Waterton supports these initiatives through executive leadership, charitable contributions and volunteerism.
To engage in more purposeful giving, in 2018, Waterton established the Waterton Philanthropic Fund, a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) under the administration of the American Endowment Foundation and AllianceBernstein. The fund is designed to consolidate the charitable contributions made by individual Waterton associates, fostering collaboration through collective support of various social and civic services that align with our company’s charitable mission.
Whether participating at the leadership level, providing charitable donations, sponsorships, or day of service work, Waterton is a proud partner with many local and national organizations and charities.
Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
We know that diversity of thought leads to better performance and a more rewarding work environment for associates. Waterton conducts executive training and education on diversity and inclusion, and continues to focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives in our talent attraction, retention, communication and general associate experience initiatives.
Waterton Women, a women’s affinity group, was developed in 2014 to help female associates build strong relationships and rapport among each other and to support their professional development and advancement. The group meets quarterly for training sessions or discussions centered on topics ranging from real estate to self-defense. These are generally followed by networking events or social functions designed to foster social connections among associates.
We recognize that diversity in both the work environment and industry as a whole is integral to creating a platform for success. Demonstrating our commitment toward that goal, Waterton is a founding sponsor of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Foundation, which aims to promote an institutional real estate investment community that is inclusive and accessible. This is achieved through special programs for women and minorities (e.g., scholarships, internships, mentorships and career development opportunities), research and impact assessments, and awareness-building events for industry leaders.
The Real Estate Associates Program (REAP)
Waterton is a platinum sponsor of REAP, an industry-backed, market-driven program that serves as a bridge between talented minority professionals and commercial real estate companies looking for talent. REAP exists because the commercial real estate industry’s professional ranks are less than 1 percent minority at management levels — this translates to fewer than 1,000 people of color in an industry with over 125,000 professionals. During its short existence, REAP has increased that minority cohort by 10 percent, spotlighting a talent pool that was always there but previously unacknowledged.
Shelters to Shutters ("Shutters")
Waterton works with Shutters, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring high quality, motivated and trained labor to our multifamily communities and offer competitive salaries. Shutters transitions individuals and families from situational homelessness to economic self-sufficiency; and is currently operating in 11 cities with 13 partners. Shutter pre-screens qualified individuals who then go through Waterton’s screening and hiring process. If hired, the qualified associate receives reduced compensation in exchange for discounted housing over a period of 12 months and is gradually transitioned to a market pay scale with an approved rental housing discount of 20%. Shutters candidates help fill difficult to hire and high turnover entry-level positions, and generally, Waterton experiences a higher retention rate than industry standards.
Waterton Training and Development Initiatives
Waterton is committed to promoting and expanding diversity in the workplace, and is dedicated to the development of our next generation of professionals. Waterton has a dedicated learning and development department responsible for both corporate and onsite training and development. Waterton incorporated hospitality service best practices into our multifamily operations through our unique training and service program, Resitality®. Resitality® represents a passion for and commitment to investor, resident, and associate service. Resitality® is a culture of service, valued and promoted throughout the organization and focused on bringing a hotel-like feel to our apartment communities. Waterton also supports the growth and development of our associates through Lunch and Learn seminars, reimbursements for qualified tuition, conferences, and seminars.
Waterton Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
Waterton’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy illustrates our commitment to fostering and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee meets at least quarterly to measure the progress of our efforts and to advise on diversity and inclusion initiatives such as:
- Ensuring diversity in hires by tracking applicant demographics with annual growth objectives
- Highlighting and celebrating diversity across various platforms such as Pride Month, Black History Month and International Women’s Day
- Providing training to support diversity of thought and to develop our team’s understanding of unconscious bias and a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives
We have also partnered with several local and national non-profit organizations to promote opportunities for employment, provide educational experiences such as internships and seminars, and to serve our local communities.
Waterton is committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and cultivating a transparent relationship of accountability with our investors.
An affiliate of Waterton is a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Waterton also has an Advisory Board comprising three (3) external independent advisers and Waterton’s two Co-Founders. The role of Waterton’s Advisory Board is to provide additional governance and guidance to the firm’s executive team including: non-binding advice on succession planning, executive compensation, corporate governance, compliance, and strategic long-range growth opportunities.
- Waterton’s Investment Committee is responsible for approving all acquisitions and dispositions made by the Firm on behalf of its funds and client accounts, and ensuring that investments are within the investment guidelines and allocated per the Firm’s allocation policy. Unanimous approval from the Investment Committee is required for all acquisitions and dispositions, with meetings held on an as-needed basis.
- Waterton’s Valuation Committee is responsible for approving the internally prepared quarterly valuations of investments and external appraisals in accordance with the Firm’s valuation policy. The Valuation Committee also ensures valuations are performed in compliance with fund/venture operating agreements and client account requirements. All internal valuations are reviewed by the Valuation Committee which meets quarterly, and requires approval from a majority of the voting members.
- Limited Partner Advisory Committee (“LPAC”) – Each of Waterton’s commingled funds has a limited partner advisory committee (“LPAC”). The LPAC has approval rights over matters concerning investment limitation exceptions, GP conflicts of interest, termination of the Commitment Period, removal of the General Partner, and the dissolution of the Partnership. Schedules permitting, the IAC meets once per year to participate in fund and multifamily market performance updates as well as any General Partner announcements.
We are committed to providing a safe workplace and, in support of that commitment, provide an annual associate training session as well as frequent building safety drills and informational sessions. Our Employee Handbook further details the policies and procedures adopted to ensure a safe workplace for all associates.
Responsible Contractor Policy
We have implemented a Responsible Contractor Policy designed to ensure that third-party contractors and vendors selected by Waterton employ fair wages and fair benefits for workers employed, directly or indirectly, by Waterton through its real estate investments.