Compensation’s relationship to culture and reputation

December 2016

Wells Fargo’s $185 million in settlements to resolve a multi-year fraud investigation began weeks of non-stop coverage and commentary about corporate culture, reputation, and governance. What would have been a remarkable series of events at any company was almost inconceivable at Wells Fargo, one of the best-run, most admired, and most heavily regulated companies in the world. Andrew Ross Sorkin summed up the disbelief well: “Given all the regulations in place and the billions of dollars poured into compliance efforts, how could something so staggeringly widespread and so blatantly corrupt have happened in the first place?”

On November 3-4, 2016, members of the Compensation Committee Leadership Network (CCLN) addressed that question in Washington, D.C., observing how compensation and incentive programs can affect a company’s culture and reputation.This issue of ViewPoints highlights the conversation on these interrelated and important topics.