Content by Aegon Asset Management
Companies are always keen to have mission statements and corporate values that capture attention. In fact, reading through annual reports can be a little like buzzword bingo.
One of the side effects of the pandemic has been a marked shift within these reports towards wording that is more aligned with social values. Many companies now claim to be focusing on ‘integrity’, ‘people’, ‘community’ – in terms of their employees, suppliers, and customers (commonly referred to as ‘stakeholders’).
While the wording may be new, the concept isn’t – the powerful Business Roundtable (BRT) in the US proclaimed in 2019 that the participating CEOs would commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders. This was a huge shift and was well publicised as the “end of shareholder primacy”.
But was it? Are we seeing progress?