Chief executives place greater value on trust Article icon


More than three quarters of chief executives are placing greater importance on trust, values and culture in order to build a sustainable future for their organisations, a new report has revealed.

The 2017 Global CEO Outlook, authored by professional services company KPMG, found that chief executives from ten markets, including the UK, US and China, believed reputational and brand risk is the third biggest risk to their business, behind only operational and emerging technology risks.  

Reputational risk, which did not even feature in the top ten risks last year, is expected to have the second biggest impact on growth over the next three years.

Cyber security, which was last year ranked as the biggest risk, has slipped down to number five as two in five respondents say they feel adequately prepared for a cyber event, up from only a quarter who held the same view in 2016.

Three in five business leaders say building trust is among stakeholders is a top three priority, and seven in ten see a correlation between being an empathetic organisation and achieving higher earnings.

But just one in three respondents expect public trust in business to improve in the next three years, while three in five believe that becoming more socially responsible is incompatible with short-term performance objectives.

The report, which surveyed more than 1,250 chief executives, also found that many are concerned about the political landscape, with more than half reporting that it currently has a greater impact on their organisations than in recent years.

As a result, nearly a third of chief executives are expecting to see more protectionist policies in their country in the next three years, whilst 43 per cent are reassessing their global footprint in response to the changing pace of globalisation.

Two thirds of chief executives, however, remain broadly confident about the prospects for the global economy, though this is a decrease of 15 percentage points from 2016.