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Tested, Trusted, Transformed

2023 Corporate Affairs Report

Today, Corporate Affairs (CA) is a critical management function for organisations, their leaders and Boards providing insight, influence and advice on both creating the conditions for growth and how best to navigate fast moving social and economic changes.

While Corporate Affairs rose to the top of the agenda during the pandemic, it is arguably less understood as a discipline compared to marketing and predominantly associated with communications.

Not everybody knows:

  • What are the responsibilities and priorities of a successful corporate affairs function
  • What strategies corporate affairs directors use and how do they measure their impact
  • How does corporate affairs interact with the Boardroom
  • What are the challenges and trends most concerning corporate affairs directors for 2023

We have spoken with thirty Corporate Affairs Directors from FTSE100, Fortune500 and Euronext 100 companies to gain a better understanding of these questions and more.

Insights from our research:

  • No 1 attribute for corporate affairs is an ability to inspire trust
  • 66% of CA Directors report into the CEO
  • 66% of CA Directors sit on the ExCo

Future Priorities identified:

  • No. 1 issue for 2023 is managing a dynamic external landscape including the cost-of-living and energy crises
  • 58% see data and insights as their No. 1 competency to strengthen
  • 41% see the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda as their No. 2 priority area to build

Our Point of View: Today’s more activist, polarised landscape has both demanded and nurtured a new type corporate affairs leader and function. One capable of steering organisations through change, earning permission, protecting reputation and creating momentum that supports growth and value creation. We find corporate affairs is

  • Tested to navigate a perfect storm of crises
  • Trusted by their peers, leaders and Boards
  • Transformed into a multidisciplinary, value focussed function

We hope this report is a helpful guide to understanding in more depth the business of the CA Function, its leaders and how they can best support organisations create value, motivate employees and retain the precious, but hard won, trust of society.

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