Your business stakeholders: potential assets or future liabilities?

Ronny Aoun
Ronny Aoun
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Your business stakeholders: potential assets or future liabilities?

Your business stakeholders: potential assets or future liabilities?

Trust is fundamental to business. It’s an engine of growth. It drives profit and reputation. Trust underpins an organization’s success. When key stakeholders trust your business, its services, its products, its leadership, it means they have confidence in your capabilities and what you provide to them. It might also mean they have confidence in your integrity and values. 

High-trust relationships with customers, vendors, investors, employees and all other key stakeholders yield tangible results: customer and employee loyalty, accelerated growth, increased shareholder value, strong brand equity, to name a few.

Verify, then trust

But in the high-stakes world of business, trusting blindly is a recipe for disaster; it’s why the phrase trust, but verify makes sense for many businesses — but not all.

Financial and professional services organizations as well as public sector organizations, for example, can’t afford to trust, but verify. Institutions that have a fiduciary responsibility to clients and access to large volumes of sensitive customer information need to verify, then trust. They need to enter into all potential new stakeholders relationships with extreme caution and a healthy dose of scepticism.

These institutions are heavily regulated, with clear regulatory guidance on client acceptance (know your clients (KYC) in financial institutions). Specifically, they must be able to identify people and entities that might be involved in fraud, money laundering, and terrorist activities. Simply put, trusting the wrong business stakeholder can damage these institutions’ brand, sink their stock prices, erode shareholder value and make them non-compliant with regulators, thereby incurring hefty penalties.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, on average, more than 25 percent of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation. It’s not a stretch to say that, often, an organization’s most valuable long-term asset is its reputation. 

Be proactive, not reactive

It’s why reputation risk management — within the context of overall enterprise risk management — is critically important. But it’s not just about making sure the people they do business with aren’t committing financial crimes, these organizations also want to be sure they’re aligning with stakeholders that share their organizational values. 

In this hyper-transparent, super-connected age, organizations are getting hit by multiple threats from multiple angles. Behaviour that used to be tolerated in the past is no longer acceptable today. It’s within this context that Valital Technologies was created. How can businesses gather better stakeholder intelligence on the people they might choose to do business with?

Valital is a platform that helps organizations quickly and accurately collect adverse online news on the individuals behind business entities. Have they been engaged in instances of misconduct related to discrimination, harassment, violence, financial crime/fraud, abuse? Are they involved in litigation? 

Valital’s responsible AI-powered intelligent platform uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to scour the internet, collecting and analyzing adverse online news, blogs and tweets from credible and verified sources.

Added to an organization’s existing risk management program, Valital helps organizations make better, more confident decisions about the kind of people they choose to do business with. 

Whether it’s in the client acceptance process, the selection of third-party vendors and suppliers or any other type of business relationship, access to reliable, accurate, quality data goes a long way toward bolstering your organization’s risk detection, prevention and mitigation efforts against the unknown reputation risks posed by potential and current business stakeholders. 

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