Jim Fish, the fund’s CEO, decided not to cut costs and guaranteed full-time employees the pay for the pandemic, giving small businesses a free month of services once they open their doors.
Fish’s actions reflect a change in temperament in the corporate space in the United States since the end of the Great Financial Crisis. In a similar decision, the Business Roundtable – the association of executives of many of America’s largest corporations – attacked last year the old corporate world principle that decisions should be made to give the best to shareholders.
A year later, Roundtable is struggling to convince its critics that it has not changed its principles, but the crisis generated by COVID-19 has put more pressure on businesses than ever before, and these conditions, investors, academics and activists say openly major changes are needed if the current form of capitalism is to work.
According to a poll quoted by FT, US executives believe, unlike colleagues in other countries, that there are few signs to suggest that capitalist principles are changing radically. But there is a consensus that more work is needed to integrate the idea of ”stakeholder capitalism” into a company’s decision-making process.