In 2021, according to REI's annual report, the co-op invested $128.9 million in employee profit-sharing, retirement and performance incentives. That number makes up about 8% of REI's headquarters staff and less than 1% of their total workforce. This investment was part of an effort to ensure that REI employees have access to rewarding and meaningful work opportunities.
The co-op also invested heavily in employee development, providing training and education programs that enable workers to expand their skills and knowledge. This year, REI also invested in new technology and resources to help employees better serve customers and to become more efficient and productive.
2021 was an excellent year for the Romanian investment market, with transactions of over 1.25 billion euros. The biggest deal saw IMGB investing in a Romanian real estate fund, while the second biggest deal saw MAS REI buy out their JV partner's stakes in a private equity fund. The Romanian investment market has seen a huge surge in activity over the past year, with investors from all over the world taking advantage of the opportunities on offer.
On January 11, a delegation of workers from the REI store in Cleveland, Ohio, held a meeting with the CEO of the company. The meeting focused on the need to ensure that employees have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. The company's leaders discussed the importance of providing employees with a living wage, access to health insurance, and other benefits such as access to outdoor gear, through rental gear, and investment in environmental journalism.
Another important development in the REI investment space is the retirement of Chuck Leitner as CEO of CBRE investment Management. Leitner, who had been with CBRE since 2007, assumed the CIO post for CBRE REI from January to November 2022, when he decided to retire. He was replaced by Steven Wells, who is president of REI investment Inc. and a former district foundation board president in Washington Township.
REI also had a successful 2021 when it came to the number of funding schemes they were involved in. According to REI data, a total of seven funding schemes in the first half of the year, with investment ranging from large-scale real estate projects in municipalities or investment in increasing energy efficiency of public buildings.
The investment firm also announced the launch of a new venture capital fund, the REI Ventures Fund, which will focus on early-stage startups in the outdoor and sporting goods space. The fund is expected to provide financial capital and business expertise to startups, in order to help them develop products and services that will benefit the outdoor industry.
In addition, REI has announced plans to expand their employee benefit program, which includes an increase in the retirement plan match, a new tuition reimbursement program, and additional paid leave days. These changes are expected to help REI invest more in their employees and in their communities.
REI also announced a partnership with the National Park Service to help support the preservation and protection of national parks. Through the partnership, REI will provide financial and educational resources to the NPS, while also creating opportunities for employees to volunteer at national parks.
In 2021, REI also made investment in sustainability, including the launch of the REI Sustainability Fund, which will invest in companies that are leading the way in developing and implementing sustainability solutions. The fund will also focus on investing in innovative technologies that will help protect the environment and reduce the company's carbon footprint.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, REI also announced a partnership with a number of conservation organizations to help protect and restore public lands. The co-op is also planning to invest in renewable energy projects and to increase its use of renewable energy sources.
Looking ahead to 2022, REI will continue its investment in employee development, technology, and sustainability. The company is also looking to expand its venture capital investment and to invest in more early-stage companies.
REI has also announced plans to invest in improving its customer experience, by expanding its online offerings and providing customers with more options to purchase products and services. The co-op is also planning to invest in improving its stores, in order to create a better shopping experience for its customers.
In conclusion, REI investment have seen success in 2021, with investment ranging from employee profit-sharing and retirement plans, to venture capital funds and sustainability initiatives. Looking ahead to 2022, the company will continue to invest in its employees, technology, and sustainability, while also expanding its venture capital investment and customer experience.