Trust: the overlooked asset

In an era of increasing connectivity and intensifying public scrutiny, trust is the lifeblood of any organisation - a critical asset in ensuring a business’s long-term survival and success. The aftermath of the recent financial crisis has demonstrated both the vital importance of trust, and the severe consequences to economic prosperity when it is undermined by perceived untrustworthy behaviour.

While it is hard to measure, we believe trust should be a key component of boards' and shareholders' agendas as we move into a more volatile and challenging era.

"Society has lost trust in business and we need to regain this trust."

Niall FitzGerald, deputy chairman of Thomson Reuters, speaking at a lunchtime ceremony of the 37th Annual Thomson Reuters Extel survey results, 15 June 2010.

The Building Public Trust Annual Dinner 2010, where organisations are recognised for their excellence in corporate reporting, takes place on 6th October 2010. In advance of the dinner we caught up with three of the judges: Anita Skipper, Corporate Governance Director, Aviva Investors; John Coombe, Chairman of Hogg Robinson Group plc; and Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics, to get their personal views on trust.

In the first in a new series of papers on trust we seek to shine a light on the importance of trust and to generate insights and questions around the pivotal role it plays in business.

Trust: the overlooked asset