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Novo's Commitments

Novo A/S is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and responsible for managing the Foundation’s assets and as such:

  • The major shareholder in the Novo Group’s three publicly listed companies, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S.
  • Shareholder in a number of life science companies worldwide, as well as manager of a portfolio of financial assets.

In the Novo Group we believe that:

  • Health, well-being and prevention and combating of disease will be increasingly prioritised by a growing number of people worldwide.
  • Sustainable development will be prioritised even higher across the world; this will entail greater demands for improved utilisation of the world’s natural resources.
  • The natural sciences, and in particular biotechnology in its broadest sense, will continue to be crucial in endeavours to increase public health, combat disease and improve the utilisation of nature’s resources.

Read more about our commitments in the drop-down menus below.

The Charter for Companies in the Novo Group

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Present as well as future companies in the Novo Group must demonstrate willingness, ability and resolve to meet the following criteria:

  • Company products and services make a significant difference in improving the way people live and work.
  • The company is perceived to be an innovator – in technology, in products, in services and/or in market approach.
  • The company is among the best in its business and a challenging place to work.
  • The company delivers competitive financial performance.

Companies in the Novo Group commit to:

  • Value-based management
  • Open and honest dialogue with its stakeholders
  • Continuous improvement of
    • financial performance
    • environmental performance
    • social performance
  • Reporting in accordance with relevant, internationally approved, conventions.
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Novo’s Mission

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Novo’s Mission is

  • To ensure that the Foundation receives sufficient dividends to cover its grants.
  • To ensure that the Foundation obtains a competitive return on its holdings in Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, as well as from the other companies and financial assets in which Novo invests.
  • To actively support the individual company in achieving its own goals, including competitive financial results.
  • To expand the business areas of the Novo Group according to the Foundation’s vision, which is to make a significant contribution to research and development aimed at improving the health and welfare of people.
  • To support the application of life sciences by investing in seed and venture portfolio companies.
  • To maintain the 'Charter for companies in the Novo Group'.
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Novo’s Cornerstones

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Novo’s Cornerstones are the values that guide our interactions – internally and externally – and our management approach.

IN OUR INTERACTIONS

Insight
In our interactions we strive to provide deep knowledge and innovative solutions.

Commitment
In our interactions we strive to achieve ground-breaking and long-term results.

Professionalism
In our interactions we will act in a proper manner emphasizing high integrity.

Trust
In our interactions we emphasize building relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

IN OUR TEAM

Insight
In our team we are curious and eager to learn.

Commitment
In our team we are dedicated and focused on generating outstanding results.

Professionalism
In our team we are reliable and focused on making things better.

Trust
In our team we enjoy freedom with responsibility.

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Governance

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Novo A/S is the major shareholder in the publicly listed and independently operating companies Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S and as such represents the interests of the Novo Nordisk Foundation through participation on the boards of the companies in the Novo Group.

As a first principle, no director can be elected to more than two of the three bodies: The Foundation, Novo A/S, and the operating companies.

Novo owns approx. 25,5% of the share capital in Novo Nordisk and Novozymes. Through the existence of two share classes, A shares with 10 votes per share and B shares with one vote per share, Novo has majority voting power – approx. 70% - at the two companies’ Annual General Meetings (AGM). It is the basic philosophy to consider the interests of the minority shareholders. Together with Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo A/S owns 51% of the shares in NNIT A/S.

Despite the majority voting power, Novo exercises its ownership in an unobtrusive manner. This is first and foremost manifested by the fact that the Novo Nordisk Foundation and Novo together strive to hold only three out of eleven seats on the Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk and two out of nine in the case of Novozymes. Consequently, the management of Novo Nordisk and Novozymes can carry out their businesses without having to seek approval from the main shareholder for programmes, projects, budgets, etc.

Thus, Novo can and does concentrate on its reason for being: To administer the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
 

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The NOVO Group

Novo Novozymes Novonordiskfonden Novonordisk NNIT