The Business of Trust

I’ve been honoured by an invitation from the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Research Foundation and the Chairman’s Forum to chair a discussion which is to be held on Wednesday in the Mansion House on ‘The Business of Trust’.


This has been the mayoral theme of Charles Bowman, this year’s Lord Mayor. CGMA, which is the most widely held management accounting designation in the world with more than 150,000 designees, has come up with something called ‘Trust Profit and Loss – a toolkit for boards’.


Here are some of the questions I hope to ask the panel, which includes Douglas Flint, a former chairman of HSBC, and Claire Ighodaro, an experienced former director of Lloyds of London and company chair in the insurance sector.




  • Can you talk about one experience from your own working life which helped to form your own approach to trust?
  • Some people would say that you can’t trust businesses because they are only here to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. How would you describe the purpose of business in general (and your business in particular) and do you have a problem reconciling that purpose with public trust?
  • What is your top priority over the next 12 months in terms of building trust in business?
  • How can the finance profession best contribute to building trust?
  • In the light of the joint parliamentary select committee report on Carillion, the audit profession and indeed the Financial Reporting Council itself is under fire and faces a trust issue. What should the audit profession be doing differently to regain public trust?


I will also be asking the panel what they think is the role of the investment community in exercising better stewardship.