The company faces new expectations from investors – Forbes France

It is difficult to summarize the expectations of all investors because this category is so diverse. An individual shareholder, hedge fundTHE family office, UCITS, the state shareholder and many others have other expectations, beyond the common denominator of creating financial value (we remind you that it is a condition for the existence of a company). And yet it is the difficulty of defining the term “financial value” that is at the heart of the matter.

Some may actually see this as an increase in the share price and others as an increase in the dividend distributed, this financial value may be preferred by some in the short term and by others in the long term. Above all, it can be evaluated according to different calculation models, depending on whether we prevent the development of accounting standards, for example by integrating environmental costs into the company’s activities or not.

Driven by the new concerns of citizens and consumers, companies are being called to account for their impact on society, which goes beyond their sole contribution to increasing the economic and financial wealth of those involved in its activities, employees, managers and shareholders. It is therefore logical that investors gradually and to a certain extent align their expectations from the company with the expectations of citizens.

Today, listed companies cannot simply share their numbers. They must justify their strategy and the compliance of industrial projects with the commitments they have made – often under public pressure – while at the same time evaluating and reporting on the social and environmental impacts of their activities.

In times of crisis, the market has become hypersensitive and requires immediate answers to complex questions that require in-depth audits. The company and its managers must force themselves not to give out any information they are not sure about – and this mastery of communication is also aimed at employees to maintain business continuity and prevent high-level leaks and serial departures – under renewed pressure from the ups and downs of the stock market .

The company transformed itself into an “object of collective interest”, responsible for building a “fairer society” in accordance with the terms of the Pact Act.

The CSRD Directive introduces the concept of fair profit and reflects the modification of Article 1833 of the French Civil Code, expanding the societal interest to take into account the social and environmental.

This development is a paradigm shift that marks the shift of a company owned by its shareholders, in line with the Chicago School and Milton Friedman’s vision, towards the company, the epicenter of collective interests and the vehicle for the transformation of society.

Therefore, the expectations of investors have not changed. They have increased. Their common denominator is the demand for accountability and transparency, which poses the main question for managers: are companies equipped to meet these new expectations?

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