For more than 20 years Maitland/AMO has been advising some of the world's leading businesses on their relationships with the media, investors, regulators, politicians and other key audiences.
During this time we have helped countless clients explain their vision and strategy and to articulate their core values. To many it seems natural and reasonable that a company can value transparency or innovation or collaboration.
But can a legal artefact really champion these distinctly human traits? Are we just deluding
ourselves when we describe a company as trustworthy, or for that matter deceitful?
That is just one of the questions we aim to address as part of the Maitland/AMO Values Project, which is designed to add to our understanding of the role values play in helping businesses become more investible.
We will also explore where values come from and ask which are most commonly expressed. How well understood are they internally and externally? How easy are they to live up to? Do values vary by sector, by country and by corporate form?
In this first report we look at the FTSE 100, identifying the most commonly held values; we look a little deeper into the financial services sector and we ask more generally what makes for a good and useful set of values.
In July 2015 we reviewed the corporate websites and annual reports of all FTSE 100 companies in
order to capture their corporate values. In some cases we found values stated explicitly as a list of individual nouns and verbs. In others they were expressed in more narrative form, sometimes as part of a declaration which also encompassed vision, mission and purpose.
We allowed ourselves a degree of interpretation. For example, ‘Team’ was described as a value by one business; we interpreted this as ‘Teamwork’ as it can be more accurately described as a value.
Seventeen of the companies in the FTSE 100 do not publish a set of values either on their corporate websites or in their annual reports, but 83 do and what they declare makes for fascinating reading.