Stewardship offers practical and entrepreneurial solutions to the shortcomings of capitalism according to new business book ‘Entrusted’
‘Entrusted – Stewardship for Responsible Wealth Creation’ offers workable ideas and approaches by which investors and companies can resist short-termism and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental challenges.
Co-written by Ong Boon Hwee, CEO of Stewardship Centre Asia, and Mark Goyder, founder and trustee of Tomorrow’s Company, the book draws on business success stories, both East and West, offering a fresh perspective for business leaders, investors, and policymakers
LONDON (8th October 2019): Capitalism has undoubtedly contributed to social and economic progress. However, in recent years it’s been increasingly defined by its most negative characteristics: short-termism, greed, irresponsibility, disregard for the planet and future generations.
This reality is increasingly acknowledged by its biggest advocates. In August, 200 CEOs, including the leaders of some of America’s most powerful companies, issued a statement departing with decades of business thinking, the orthodox view that corporate purpose is to maximise shareholder profit. In the future it would be about investing in employees, dealing fairly with suppliers, and protecting the environment.
Though this statement is a significant departure, the shareholder versus stakeholder argument remains unresolved. Ong Boon Hwee and Mark Goyder look beyond this sterile debate, arguing that both sides emphasise what can be taken out of a company rather than what gets put in. Stewardship represents a fundamental shift in approach.
As co-author Mark Goyder elaborates: “Stewardship puts the company first, and in doing so, goes beyond a decades-old shareholder versus stakeholder debate. It’s time we moved beyond this to wealth creation that puts people first. We look for inspiration to owners of long-lived family businesses. There we find a desire to pass on a business, with its assets, relationships, and values, in better condition than they inherited them.”
Companies, politicians and citizens increasingly recognise the need to reinvent capitalism, but aspiration is meaningless without a framework that puts aspiration into practice. Entrusted is unique in its combination of thinking and practical recommendations.
As Ong Boon Hwee, co-author and CEO of Stewardship Centre Asia, explains: “There is a growing urgency for leaders of today and tomorrow to make stewardship the driving force behind all business decisions if we are to address two fundamental questions. Firstly, how do we make our system of wealth creation no less adventurous, but at the same time more human, more honest, more responsible, more inclusive, more engaging and more respectful of the needs of our grandchildren? And secondly, how do business leaders, investors, and policymakers create, lead and influence companies that we can all have trust in and be proud of, and thereby shows the way to a better form of capitalism – one which serves society as well as feeds and safeguards future generations?”
The authors drawn on over 70 years of combined business experience. They describe achievements of leaders and owners, East and West, who are stewarding companies with a clear purpose, a long-term approach, and an ownership mentality. The principles of stewardship have contributed to business success and survival for centuries. It is a remedy to the short-termism that defines today’s capitalism.
To humanise capitalism, the ‘golden thread’ of stewardship should link asset owners, asset managers, investors, shareholders, board directions, regulators, and policymakers. The authors include an itemised agenda for all economic actors from individual savers to the boards of companies and Governments.
The 260-page Entrusted: Stewardship for Responsible Wealth Creation is published by World Scientific Publishing, and is available at major bookstores including Kinokuniya, Times, and is priced at S$28 (paperback – 978-981-120-756-3(pbk)).
Notes to editors
Entrusted is available to buy now.
The launch will be followed by an event in London on 22nd of October.
To set up an interview with the authors, or for a review copy of the book, please contact the following.
For more information, please contact:
Fire on the Hill
London WC2H 8EL