Corporate purpose and the post-global world

December 2019

Corporate leaders have always had to contend with disparate factors when making decisions about the future of their businesses. Recently, the debate has been about whether the primacy of shareholders or the integrated interests of all stakeholders should drive those decisions. This debate is occurring during a unique geopolitical moment: companies are grappling with the simultaneous and rapid development of disruptive technologies and skepticism about globalization that is challenging the global economic order.

On October 28–29, 2019, members of the Compensation Committee Leadership Network (CCLN) met in Washington to discuss these and related issues for boards and compensation committees. For part of the meeting, they were joined by Maria Ghazal of the Business Roundtable for a discussion on corporate purpose. Paul Laudicina and Erik Peterson of AT Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council (GBPC) joined members for a dinner conversation about geopolitical and macroeconomic trends facing global companies. Members also participated in an off-the-record session with William Hinman, director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. Finally, members discussed issues and trends their compensation committees are addressing as we approach the end of the year. This ViewPoints synthesizes these discussions.