WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, has released findings from a new survey of Washington, D.C. policymakers, institutional investors and the U.S. general public. The survey conducted and released by FTI Consulting's Strategic Communications segment shows support for U.S. CEOs to play an active yet limited role in national-policy debates.
FTI Consulting's CEO as Statesman II: Views from the Beltway and Beyond demonstrates that C-suite engagement in Washington requires an understanding of both policy consequences and political context for success. The report comes at a time when CEOs are being drawn more deeply into the policymaking process, due in large part to the aftermath of the financial crisis; and the enactment of landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act and Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. CEO as Statesman II expands upon a December 2011 poll from FTI Consulting, including a significantly wider point of view with survey responses from institutional investors, Washington, D.C. opinion elites and the U.S. general public.
"Many business leaders have expressed alarm surrounding government oversight of and intrusion into business, but are unsure about the best ways to engage with policymakers. There is skepticism from voters and policymakers regarding CEO activity in the nation's capital, but a recognition that the business community is needed to help solve some of the country's biggest problems," said Jackson Dunn, Senior Managing Director and Americas Head of Public Affairs in the Strategic Communications segment. "The challenge for a business leader today is to know how to engage and on which issues."
The poll reconfirms investors clearly recognize the impact Washington, D.C. can have on portfolios, and shows that investors regard CEO engagement in the political and policymaking process as positive, so long as that engagement is related to the CEO's business or industry. More than three-quarters of investors polled (76 percent) say decisions on Capitol Hill are ranked moderately-high to high, a decline from similar polling in 2011 when 89 percent ranked decision-making in Washington, D.C. as an area of concern. Eight in 10 (79 percent) investors would like their portfolio companies to be more vocal about the impact of policy changes on their respective businesses, while more than half (53 percent) feel public companies should be highly engaged in national policy discussions.
However, policymakers are far more skeptical of the presence of corporations and CEOs in policy debates. Only 40 percent feel CEO participation in public-policy discussion is positive, a figure that falls to just 34 percent among the general public.
When asked about job creation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education all three audiences were open to what business leaders can bring to the table.
- Among institutional investors:
- 53 percent say they would like to see CEOs of their portfolio companies play an active role on policies related to job creation.
- 61 percent say they would like to see CEOs of their portfolio companies play an active role on policies related to STEM education.
- Among Washington, D.C. opinion elites:
- 76 percent say they would like to see CEOs active on policies related to job creation.
- 65 percent say they would like to see CEOs active on policies related to STEM education.
- Among the U.S. general public:
- 73 percent say they would like to see CEOs active on policies related to job creation.
- 61 percent say they would like to see CEOs active on policies related to STEM education.
"Capitol Hill and Wall Street are never going to see eye-to-eye on who is best positioned to solve pressing problems facing this country, whether that is deficit reduction, entitlement spending or tax reform. There is a narrow region where investors, policymakers and the public share a point of view though – it all comes down to job creation and STEM education," said Elizabeth Saunders, Senior Managing Director and Americas Chairman of the Strategic Communications segment. "Given the consensus, it is obvious where CEOs should focus their energy in Washington, D.C."
Elsewhere in the survey, investors agree CEOs would make strong political leaders, as three-out-of-four (74 percent) institutional investors say national challenges would be better addressed if business leaders ran for office, according to the poll. Among Washington, D.C. opinion elites, just 38 percent would like to see more CEOs become politicians, compared to 45 percent among the general public.
The Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting conducted its second iteration of the CEO as Statesman survey online, June 14–July 2, 2013. The survey sample consisted of 140 U.S. institutional investors (i.e., analysts, portfolio managers) from 118 different firms. The total equity of assets managed by the represented firms was $2.3 trillion, with an average equity of $19.2 billion, and a median equity of $941.8 million. The sample was generated from Ipreo by screening for U.S. analysts and portfolio managers.
Analysis comparisons were made across three other FTI Consulting surveys as well:
1. FTI Consulting's first iteration of this survey (i.e., "CEO as Statesman I"), was conducted online, Dec. 9–11, 2011, among a similar sample of 260 U.S. institutional investors (analysts and portfolio managers) at 228 different firms drawn from identical sources.
2. A June 26–27, 2013 FTI Consulting survey was conducted among 300 Washington, D.C. opinion elites. Respondents qualified as Washington, D.C. opinion elites based on their employment in academia, associations, communications, Congress, consulting, Executive Branch, federal government, legal, lobbying, media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofit or think tanks in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
3. A May 29–June 2, 2013 FTI Consulting survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample set of U.S. adults age 18 and older.
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
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