How’s American Business Doing?
Just Capital, an independent non-profit co-founded in 2014 by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II, just released a survey among 43,000 Americans on how well corporate America is doing. The consensus seems to be not so well. Only 41% of all Americans reported that they trust corporations “somewhat” or “a great deal.” This is not a whole-hearted endorsement for the reputation of American business. We’ve got work to do.
At the top of the list as to what makes a “just” company are attributes concerning treating employees fairly, whether it be pay or providing a good work environment. Also important is how companies impact communities and society and deals with human rights. Many Americans say they believe that “just” companies balance stakeholders and shareholders and do not necessarily place profit over purpose. And they vote with their pocketbooks or wallets (what have you) — about 75% say they would be more likely to buy from, work for, or invest in these “just” corporations.
Since everyone is interested in what millennials think, this generational segment is fairly evenly divided in terms of their perceptions about how “just” companies are in general. The older generations — baby boomers and golden agers — are not seeing the virtuous side of companies like they younger cohorts. The older groups are more likely to say that companies are less just than they used to be. I guess that is to be expected. Younger generations tend to be more wide-eyed and optimistic about the goodness that companies can accomplish in general. They have grown up with brands that have literally changed the world and many of them are trying to do so themselves.
Just Capital will be launching a Just 100 in one year according to this article in Fortune. Will be fascinating to see who makes the list and if their financial performance aligns with their good behavior.