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The 2013 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study


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Even five years after the financial crisis, concerns around negative public perception continue to be a front-burner issue at financial services companies. What may be exacerbating this negative perception both externally and internally is risk.

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The 2013 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study

  1. 1. The 2013 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study The 2013 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study Success, Frustration and ChangingViews on the Long Road Back to Recovery
  2. 2. Measuring Reputation Lacking While nearly three out of four (73%) of the executives surveyed say it’s important to measure the impact of a reputation building program among stakeholders, only 36% of companies conducted such measurements in the past year. Long Recovery Three out of five financial services executives (60%) said it could take up to five more years to restore their reputation to 2007 [pre-financial crisis] levels. Regulations Two out of three of the executives surveyed (66%) concur that increased regulatory actions in the past 12 months have made it harder for the entire industry to rebuild reputation. Reputation Busters Negative public perception of the financial services industry (reported by 61%) and the company’s management of a crisis (52%) were the top factors tarnishing reputation this year. A year ago, the top factors dragging on reputation were liquidity and capital challenges, as well as subprime mortgages. Program Effectiveness Only 18% of companies report communications and marketing programs to be“very”effective in improving perception. Half (56%) of executives surveyed say their company’s programs have only been“somewhat”effective. Social Media’s Role The top benefits of social media, according to those surveyed, were increased awareness (18%) and more positive media coverage (17%). Surprisingly, almost as many respondents (16%) reported that social media had no benefits. Looking Inside Most financial services companies (55%) are actively addressing the negative perceptions and concerns of their employees to rebuild reputation. The most successful programs center on increased employee communications (83%), special programs with influential employees (93%) and social media as a employee communications channel (81%). What’s Working Investor relations and corporate advertising (43% and 42%, respectively) are the top activities implemented to address negative perceptions with external audiences, such as customers, investors and suppliers. They were also rated the most effective (93% and 92% respectively). Almost as effective, but not widely used, are CEO programs and initiatives to work with regulators. “A tug-of-war between risk and reputation” Reputation Boosters The most important factors affecting corporate reputation over the past year were: customer satisfaction (82%); financial performance (71%) and a strong brand (69%). Changing Views In 2012, 74% of communications and marketing executives thought more regulation of the industry would allow reputation and trust to improve faster, butin 2013, 52% disagreed or were not sure that reforms would bolster reputation faster. Financial services firms agreed that their industry is currently riskier than or equally as risky as it was in 2007. Financial services organizations are rapidly seeking and trying new com- munications strategies to improve their public image and promote a reformed and better-protected industry — with mixed results. Commissioned by Makovsky and conducted by Echo Research, the 2nd Annual Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study reveals the obstacles to recovery as well as best practices and emerging trends. 68% currently riskier than or equally as risky as it was in 2007 Despite an improving economy and a bull stock market, nearly half of financial services companies reported experiencing an average loss in business. the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars — as a result of ongoing reputation and customer satisfaction issues. Even five years after the financial crisis, concerns around negative public perception continue to be a front-burner issue at financial ser- vices companies.What may be exacerbating this negative percep- tion both externally and internally is risk. 9% loss of business over the past 12 months —
  3. 3. INTEGRAT COMMUNI Research Methodology For the 2013 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study, Echo Research completed 151 interviews with executives and managers responsible for the management and supervision of communications, investor relations or marketing at large and mid-sized publicly-traded and private financial services institutions. The companies surveyed included banks, brokerage firms, asset management firms, insurance companies, real estate companies, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, venture capital firms, credit unions and financial technology firms. Respondents participated during May 2013. The margin of error is +/- 5.0% at a 98% confidence level. Founded in 1979, Makovsky ( is today one of the leading independent global integrated communications firms. The firm attributes its success to its original vision: that the Power of Specialized Thinking™ is the best way to build reputation, sales and fair valuation for a client. With offices in New York City and Washington D.C., the firm has agency partners in more than 30 countries and in 40 U.S. cities through IPREX, the second largest worldwide public relations agency partnership. Makovsky Financial Services Over the past thirty years Makovsky has established a reputation as one of the premier financial services communications agen- cies in the United States, working with clients in every major sector of this complicated and demanding specialty. Investment Banking / Commercial Banking / Retail Banking / Brokerage / Asset Management / Wealth Management Alternative Investments / ETFs / Mututal Funds / Insurance / Financial Technology / Benefits Consulting About Makovsky / 212 508 9600 16 E 34th Street, New York, NY 10016 Contact: Scott Tangney / 212 508 9661