Posts Tagged ‘FACTS(R)’



Winter has officially arrived and many of us will be traveling. We tend to blindly trust the various companies that we book to get us from point A to point B, and who host us once we arrive. What do the Trust Across America FACTS ® Framework rankings have to tell us about those in whom we place our trust this holiday season?

The following data compares the Trust scores for ten well-known travel and holiday-related companies, from the highest to the lowest. *See below the rankings for a detailed explanation of the displayed data.

Book with companies that work hard to ensure they are meeting the needs of not only their shareholders, but also their customers and see how your experience compares with your family, friends and business colleagues.

Have a happy holiday season!


*The chart above displays only companies in the Russell 1000 Index that have “above average rankings in their industry. Companies that are below “average” have been omitted. Scores are updated annually.
**No company is perfect. It is unusual for any company to score about an 80% in our rankings.


In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, a comprehensive unbiased barometer of the corporate integrity of America’s largest 2000 US public companies. The Framework identifies companies whose leadership is going beyond doing just what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. The FACTS® Framework is the most comprehensive and data driven ongoing study on this subject. We analyze companies quarterly and rank order showing trends by company, sector and market capitalization. Read more about the Framework at this link.


Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link


Copyright © 2017 Next Decade, Inc.








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Ever since the financial crisis, it’s not uncommon to read articles and studies about trust in banking and whether trust is “up” or “down.” In the past year alone:

  • Ernst & Young reports consumer trust in banks is diminishing. September 2016
  • International Banker claims that trust is often found wanting in today’s banking relationships. December 2016
  • Edelman reports in their 2017 Trust Barometer that in the United States 60 percent of financial institutions bounded forward (in trust) six percentage points from 2016. March 2017
  • And according to The Hill, almost a decade later, public trust in financial institutions remains stubbornly low. April 2017

So is trust in banking up or down? Some of the confusion stems from a lack of definitional clarity. Without a clear(er) understanding of what “trust in banking” means, the entire sector finds itself painted with one broad brushstroke, the reading public is left in an an ever escalating state of confusion, and elevating organizational trust becomes all the more challenging.

Trust? What are we trusting banks to do, or not do? Safeguard our money, earn a good return for shareholders, protect our personal data, treat employees well, provide good customer service, or all of the aforementioned?

Banking? Can global investment banks, regional banks, and/or a local savings and loans be grouped together when discussing trust in banking? Should they be?

For seven years Trust Across America has been researching the trustworthiness and integrity of America’s largest 1500 public companies via our proprietary FACTS® Framework.



This is, by order of magnitude, the largest ongoing study ever conducted on trustworthiness and integrity at the individual corporate level. Our 2017 data concludes that the finance sector remains among the lowest in trust, with an average score of 58.



But our data also tells a more holistic and detailed story, and one that places us in a unique position to discuss trust in the banking industry. Industry is NOT destiny and those more trustworthy financial institutions suffer at the hands of their less trustworthy colleagues. And the headlines above only serve to reinforce this fact.

It’s important to give credit to companies who have earned the trust of a broad range of stakeholders. Understanding that no company is perfect, the following is a list of some of the “banks” that score a “70” or above (on a scale of 1 to 100) according to our 2017 FACTS ® Framework research. Scores in the finance sector range from 40 to 77.

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Goldman Sachs
  • KeyCorp
  • Commerce Bancshares
  • US Bancorp
  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

Headlines don’t always report the “full” story nor do articles and studies regularly or consistently define the meaning of trust. Trust in banking isn’t necessarily “up” or “down.” The level of trustworthiness or integrity of a specific company is determined by how well leadership defines its corporate culture, and understands and embraces the value of trust in meeting the needs of every stakeholder group. Our study continues to point in the direction that trust is not only a measurable business strategy and a business differentiator, but also a direct route to long-term profitability.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017  a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute.

Purchase our books at this link

For updates on our Corporate Integrity Monitor, please join our mailing list. To be among the first to review our research and more fully engage in elevating organizational trust, please consider membership in our vetted Trust Alliance.


Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

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Trust Across America Announces

“Top 10” Most Trustworthy Public Companies 2017

via its new Corporate Integrity Monitor 

(the corporate Richter Scale of Trust)


Click here to view Issue #2 of Trust Across America’s Corporate Integrity Monitor.

Methodology: Since 2009 Trust Across America’s FACTS® Framework has been measuring and ranking public companies on five equally weighted quantitative indicators of integrity, forming the acronym FACTS- Financial stability, Accounting Conservativeness, Corporate Governance, Transparency and Sustainability. Our objective model (companies do not know they are being analyzed nor are any internal employee surveys completed) was initially constructed in 2008 and measures the corporate trustworthiness/integrity of the largest 2000 US public companies. Trust Across America’s Most Trustworthy Public Companies ranks the Russell 1000.

This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing study on this subject. We analyze quarterly and rank order by company, sector and market capitalization. We are particularly interested in tracking individual companies and sector trends over time.

2017 Highlights:

Companies in descending order:

  • #1 Dr Pepper Snapple Group (tied) *
  • #1 CSX Corporation (tied)
  • #3 Best Buy Co., Inc.
  • #4 Hasbro Inc. *
  • #5 Johnson & Johnson
  • #6 Xerox Corporation
  • #7 Morgan Stanley
  • #8 Nvidia Corporation
  • #9 Visteon Corporation, Abbot Laboratories, The Home Depot*, Inc. (3 way tie)

* Named for two consecutive years.

No company is perfect. The 2017 highest scoring company(ies) received a “79” on a 1-100 scale.

The “Top 10” companies hail from 9 of 16 sectors. Industry is not destiny.

About the CEOs (as of December 2016):

  • Seven CEOs have served in their position for at least 5 years
  • Both CSX and Xerox have appointed new CEOs in 2017
  • Average CEO age is 58
  • At least four are foreign born
  • Two have no education beyond high school
  • Four possess an MBA or equivalent and three have Master’s in Engineering
  • At least three were, at one time, employed by McKinsey & Company

We are pleased to see the expanding coverage of our FACTS Framework in publications including The Harvard Business Review, Strategic Finance Magazine, The Huffington Post, Globescan Dialogue, the Trusted Advisor Blog,  FCPA Blog, and other publications. This release introduces Issue #2 of a new monthly publication The Trust Across America Corporate Integrity Monitor, available to our Trust Alliance members. 

Congratulations to our 2017 corporate honorees!

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

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Executive Summary of White Paper Recently Published

by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World


Building a trustworthy company will improve both its profitability and organizational sustainability. Supporting this statement is a growing body of evidence showing an increasing correlation between trustworthiness and superior financial performance. Our 2016 report attempts to provide content and context to place trust in the center of more business conversations, to answer the following questions and dispel the myth that integrity and trust are “soft” skills.

  • Why do trust and integrity matter?
  • Can they be measured?
  • Are they profitable?
  • Which sectors are the most trustworthy?
  • Is industry destiny?
  • What are the costs of low trust and integrity and why do they matter as hard currencies?
  • Which companies are some of the most trustworthy and why?
  • How can companies become more trustworthy?

Integrity and trust should start at the top and flow down through the organization. They are not CSR, compliance, HR or leadership “programs” but rather an intentional holistic business strategy adopted by leadership and practiced daily. Vanishing are the days of low transparency, “short termism” and maximization of shareholder value at the expense of other stakeholders.

As trust breaches continue to make the headlines across many major institutions and societies around the globe, organizations that choose integrity and trust as intentional strategies will continue to outperform their peers.

Who will find value in reading this paper?

  • Business leaders
  • Boards of Directors
  • Associations
  • Investors
  • Communications and Investor Relations
  • Corporate responsibility officers
  • Regulators
  • Politicians
  • NGOs

Please register here to request access to the full paper.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 1500 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor.

Copyright © 2016, Next Decade, Inc.




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Leaders and their organizations must earn trust before they can build it.

Failure to earn trust leaves the enterprise vulnerable to countless risks. —

Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Trust building can be implemented through the following sequence of actions and initiatives. We call this the VIP Trust Model.



  • VISION & VALUES: Leaders identify, with input from all stakeholders, the organization’s principles or core values. Why does the organization exist and what does it stand for? Write a meaningful credo with buy-in from all silos.
  • INTEGRITY: Practice and regularly communicate the moral principles and purpose of the leadership team and the organization. Hold training for employees in leading with trust in their behaviors and interactions. Lose the “sales scripts.”
  • PROMISES & PROCESS: Ensure that leadership is held accountable for doing what they say they will do, and for regularly communicating the vision, values and promises to all stakeholders. Make this a daily function of your corporate responsibility team in collaboration with compliance and communications.

Implement ways of doing things that translate the principles above into organized group behavior. Internally this includes the hiring and training of employees, structure of meetings, transparency of/fair personnel policies, how decisions are made and accessibility to leadership. With external stakeholders (vendors, customers, community, etc.), trust can be enhanced using quantitative measurement, benchmark and screening “tools” like Trust Across America’s FACTS® Framework.

About the Author:

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2,000 U.S. public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara is also the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a New Jersey registered investment advisor.

Nominations are now open for the 7th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust.

Copyright (c)  2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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It’s no secret that trust is either completely ignored or taken for granted in most organizations. In fact, usually its a pattern of systemic low trust, followed by a crisis, for the word “trust” to even make its way on to the organization’s radar. And then the wrong question is asked.  How do we “rebuild” trust (even though it never existed)? What a mess.

Why is this? These are the 5 most common excuses for ignoring trust:

  1. Boards and C-Suites (in most organizations) have never considered trust as a business imperative or strategy.
  2. Organizational trust is mistaken for compliance which is confused with ethics.
  3. Organizational trust cannot be regulated. It’s voluntary.
  4. When a trust breach occurs, often the punishment doesn’t fit crime so there is little deterrent for repeating the “crime.”
  5. Trust is soft and can’t be measured. And that which can’t be measured, can’t be managed.

It’s #5 that perhaps bears the least weight. There are numerous measurements of organizational trust and trustworthiness. Trust Across America-Trust Around the World has aggregated 5 years of data proving the Return on Trust in public companies. Other global trust experts have validated assessment tools measuring the most important indicators of qualitative trust in leaders, teams, employees, etc.

Organizations choosing  to be proactive about trust must turn over the right rock to find the help they need. It doesn’t come from legal, compliance, risk, crisis management, CSR, sustainability, marketing or traditional leadership expertise. The only way to craft a trust-building strategy that “sticks” is by having the right people do it, and those are trust experts, no one else.

Taking trust for granted is like breathing…until the heart attack makes it impossible. Then the victim tries to find the best Band Aid to temporarily stop the disease when it could have been totally avoided. Leaders who choose to be proactive about trust have a huge advantage over their competitors. All the excuses in the world won’t change that.

Have you answered our June “Pulse” on Trust question? Today is the last day to vote. It will take no more than 30 seconds.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust, and runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Our annual poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Did you know we have published 3 books in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. They are yours when you join our Alliance.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~ Aldous Huxley

We all know someone who has suffered a health scare and subsequently chose to get healthy. A new diet, exercise program and education in stress reduction. While most times the outcome is a holistically healthier individual, the choice is only made in the face of a crisis.

Five years ago Trust Across America-Trust Around the World developed a framework for organizational trust called FACTS. It operates off the same principles as holistic health. Our theory is a simple one. Just like the human body, all it takes for organizational failure is one diseased organ.

The healthiest people I know don’t wait for a crisis to get healthy. They practice it proactively. And in our research of over 2000 companies spanning 5 years, the most trustworthy companies follow the same strategy. Rather than reacting to a crisis, they build trust into their DNA. The healthy individual enjoys a longer and higher quality of life,  and the trustworthy company has greater profitability and longer-term sustainability. And while most people do not practice health proactively, neither do most companies.

Why not? As a CEO told me the other evening over a glass of wine, “I like that word trust. I never considered it as a business strategy.”

Don’t wait for the next crisis to get healthy. Build trust into your business agenda, and practice it proactively.  If you don’t know how, we can help.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

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Do  Trustworthy Companies Sacrifice Profitability?
Not a Chance!





Copyright © 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

Trust Across America, via its  FACTS® Framework has been tracking the performance of the most trustworthy public companies for over 5 years, and the results are nothing short of staggering. Trustworthy companies have produced an 82.9% return vs. the S&P’s 42.2% since August 2012.

But the daily headlines continue to feature countless  stories about bad corporate behavior and the ongoing distrust in business. Rarely do we hear senior management even mention the word “trust” until they are attempting to minimize the fallout from the latest crisis. And what is usually the root cause of the crisis? Low trust, and a failure of senior leadership to place trust on its agenda. If it sounds like a vicious cycle it is, and certainly no way to reverse decades of declining trust in business.

Combine the chart above with the following data and The Case for Trust  becomes increasingly difficult to ignore.

The Hard Costs of Low Trust

  • Gallup’s research (2011) places 71% percent of U.S. workers as either not engaged or actively disengaged.
  • The disengaged workforce (Gallup, August, 2013) is costing the US economy $450-550 billion a year, which is over 15% of payroll costs.

  • The Washington Post reported that “the federal government imposed an estimated $216 billion in regulatory costs on the economy (in 2012), nearly double its previous record.”
  • The cost of the tort litigation system alone in the United States is over $250 billion. – or 2% of GDP (Forbes, January 2012)
  • The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis (Bloomberg, August 2013)
  • According to The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010), 84% of senior leaders say disengaged employees are considered one of the biggest threats facing their business. However, only 12% of them reported doing anything about this problem.
  • According to Edelman globally, 50% of consumers trust businesses, but just 18% trust business leadership.
  • And finally, in the United States, the statistics are similar, but the story is a bit worse for leadership. While 50% of U.S. consumers trust businesses, just 15% trust business leadership.

This trust gap negatively impacts a company’s revenue, market share, brand reputation, employee engagement and turnover, stock price, and bottom line profitability.

The Low Cost of Hard Trust

Building a trustworthy business will improve a company’s profitability and organizational sustainability.

A growing body of evidence shows increasing correlation between trustworthiness and superior financial performance. Over the past decade, a series of qualitative and quantitative studies have built a strong case for senior business leaders to place building trust among stakeholders high on their priority list. While none of these studies are perfect, over the next decade their results will be increasingly difficult to ignore.

In a Harvard Business School working paper from July 2013 called The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance, Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, and George Serafeim provide evidence that High Sustainability companies (those integrating both environmental and social issues) significantly outperform their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market as well as accounting performance.

According to Fortune’s  “100 Best Companies to Work For”, based on Great Place to Work Employee Surveys, best companies experience as much as 50% less turnover and Great Workplaces perform more than 2X better than the general market (Source: Russell Investment Group)

Forbes and GMI Ratings have produced the “Most Trustworthy Companies” list for the past six years. They examine over 8,000 firms traded on U.S. stock exchanges using forensic accounting measures, a more limited definition of trustworthy companies than Trust Across America’s FACTS Framework but still somewhat revealing. The conclusions they draw are:

  • “… the cost of capital of the most trustworthy companies is lower …”
  • “… outperform their peers over the long run …”
  • “… their risk of negative events is minimized …”

 In addition to the chart above, numerous indirect indicators of trust also show a direct correlation to superior financial performance.

From Deutsche Bank:

  • 100% concurrence on Lower Cost of Capital (“… academic studies agree that companies with high ratings for CSR (corporate social responsibility) and ESG (environment, social responsibility, governance) factors have a lower cost of capital in terms of debt (loans and bonds) and equity.”)
  • 89% concurrence on Superior Market Performance (“,,,studies indicate companies with high ratings for ESG factors outperform market-based indices”)
  • 85% concurrence on Greater Performance on Accounting –Based Standards (“… studies reveal these types of company’s consistently outperform their rivals on accounting-based criteria.”)

From Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which compared values-based and sustainable banks to their big-bank rivals and found:

  • 7% higher Return on Equity for values-based banks (7.1% ROE compared to 6.6% for big banks).
  •  51% higher Return On Assets for sustainable banks (.50% average ROA for sustainable banks compared to big bank earning 0.33%)

These studies are bolstered by analyses from dozens of other respected sources including the American Association of Individual Investors, the Dutch University of Maastricht, Erasmus University, and Harvard Business Review.

Business leaders may choose to continue to challenge the business case for trust but the evidence is mounting. There is not only a business case but also a financial case for trust.  Trust works.

Please share your comments and suggestions! Email: Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named One of 25 Women Who are Changing the World by Good Business International.

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Copyright © 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

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 We hear lots of “talk” about trust but see very little action in building it. Trust is not as confusing a term as many make it out to be.

  1. Trust cannot be legislated
  2. Without trust at the top, trust in the middle is hard to maintain
  3. Ethics and compliance are related to trust but not the same
  4. Hanging a corporate credo on the wall doesn’t build trust
  5. Growing quarterly earnings does not make a company trustworthy
  6. Trust cannot be owned by one corporate silo
  7. Corporate responsibility or sustainability are not substitutes for trust
  8. Trust CAN be measured
  9. Trust is a hard currency, not a soft skill
  10. The business case for trust has been made


More information on building trust in your organization can be found in our award-winning TRUST INC. series of books and on our website at



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Trust Inc.

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Last week we announced the results of our 4th annual “Most Trustworthy Companies,” ranking almost 2500 US based, publicly traded companies on 5 indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Utilizing our proprietary FACTS Framework, Trust Across America picks up where other lists leave off, analyzing Financial stability, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate governance, Transparency and Sustainability from several independent data sources.


The “Top Ten” companies are shown below.

#1 Manpower Group (MAN), human resource consulting firm

#2 Hormel Foods (HRL), food producer

#3 Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), commercial real estate

#4 CA Technologies, Inc. (CA), computer software

#5 The Boeing Company (BA), aerospace

#6 CBRE Group (CBG), commercial real estate

#7 Capital One Financial Corporation (COF), bank holding company

#8 The Sherwin Williams Company (SHW), general building materials

#9 Lexmark International, Inc. (LXK), office equipment

#10 Delta Airlines (DAL), transportation


The full press release is reproduced here.


This week we compare the performance of this group to the S&P 500.


Are you surprised about the recent past performance of these companies against the S&P 500? We aren’t. The business case for trust has been proven once again.


One-year return for “Top 10” vs. S&P 500:  38.8% vs. 17.59%, or 120% higher.

Two-year return for “Top 10” vs. S&P 500:  65.74% vs. 33.29%, or 97% higher.

Five-year return for “Top 10” vs. S&P 500: 240% vs. 114.81%, or 109% higher.

*Returns do not include dividends but the yield is similar to the S&P 500.

*While the returns show past performance of the ten companies, a live portfolio being rebalanced monthly has a similar profile.


Investors can choose to support trustworthy companies who are doing business “well” and are also highly profitable. This creates a virtuous cycle whereby less trustworthy companies may be inclined to focus more on corporate culture and  less on quarterly returns.

For more information, tools and programs on building trust in your organization, please visit us at Trust Across America.

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