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Classroom Slide Presentation Managing a Crisis in Financial Services: Putnam Investments 2003-2004 Crisis Management in Financial Services Putnam Investments case problems and questions Common crisis characteristics How to prepare for a crisis Communication during a crisis

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crisis management in financial services
Crisis Management in Financial Services
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
  • Postscript
slide3
“When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

-- John F. Kennedy

crisis communication
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
putnam investments case problems
Putnam Investments Case Problems
  • SEC offers no clear definition of market timing
  • Poor investment performance and image problems prior to crisis
  • Failure to address crisis proactively
  • Commodity business where very few distinguish themselves on performance alone – reputation is key
  • Assets movement is herd-like and heavily influenced by scandal
  • Putnam senior management failed to appreciate urgency of crisis
  • Putnam became poster child for reform in mutual fund industry
putnam investments case questions
Putnam Investments Case Questions
  • What are the key short and long-term problems Haldeman faces?
  • What should Putnam’s communication strategy be going forward?
  • Identify Putnam’s key constituents. Should the communications strategy and message be different for each constituent base?
  • What internal strategic initiatives should Haldeman undertake to enhance Putnam’s competitive position in the future?
  • How could Putnam have avoided this crisis and what could they have done to be better prepared to handle it?
  • How should Haldeman prioritize his communications and strategic initiatives? What specifically should Haldeman do in his first few days as CEO?
crisis communication7
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
common crisis characteristics
Common Crisis Characteristics
  • Element of surprise:Haldeman shocked to learn mutual fund managers market timing own funds
  • Insufficient information:Market timing not well defined and scope of questionable activity unclear
  • Quick pace of events: Less than 6-weeks after learning of scandal, story breaks in The Boston Globe
  • Intense scrutiny: Media attention grabs institutional and individual investors creating negative disposition toward Putnam

Source: Ray O’Rourke, presentation to Corporate Reputation Conference, New York University, January 1997

reputational capital in financial services
Reputational Capital in Financial Services
  • Very few funds consistently “beat” the market. Reptuational capital, therefore, is the critical determinant of success.
    • Upside example: Strong constituent relationships and positive public image result in asset gathering and retention, even during periods of weak investment performance
    • Constituency groups are Customers, Regulators, Partners, Employees, Investors and Media
    • Downside example: Loss of reputational capital comes from these same 8 constituency groups; threats include rogue behavior by employees, defection by partners, and the threat of legal action by regulators
crisis communication10
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
  • Postscript
how to prepare for crises
How to Prepare for Crises
  • Assess organizational risk
  • Set communication objectives for potential crises
  • Analyze channel choice
  • Assign different teams to each crisis
  • Plan to centralize
  • Create a formal plan

Source: Concealed for Page Case Competition

importance of reputation in financial services
Importance of Reputation in Financial Services
  • The fluctuating value of the company’s reputation has been termed reputational capital and calculated as the market value of the company in excess of its liquidation value and its intellectual capital. It constitutes the residual value of the company’s intangible assets over and above its stock of patents and know how.
  • “Reputational riskis defined as the range of possible gains and losses in reputational capital for a given firm.
  • Difficult to quantify these gains but they exist.
  • “Image is the biggest asset in the money management business.”

-Don Phillips, Managing Director, Morningstar

Source: The Reputation Institute

reputational risk rr in financial services
Reputational Risk (RR) in Financial Services
  • Commercial Bank Examination Manual says reputational risk “is the potential that negative publicity regarding an institution’s business practices, whether true or not, will cause a decline in the customer base, costly litigation, or revenue reductions…can also cause liquidity constraints and significant depreciation in market capitalization.”
  • Companies need to manage reputation risks in the same way as operational or financial risks are assessed, audited, and managed.
reputational risk management cycle
Reputational Risk Management Cycle

Opportunity

Platform

Reputational Capital

CorporatePerformance

Safety

Net

crisis communication17
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
communicating during a crisis
Communicating During a Crisis
  • Define the problem
  • Centralize communications
  • Communicate early and often
  • Get inside the media’s head
  • Communicate directly with affected constituencies

Source: Concealed for Page Case Competition

crisis communication19
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
  • Postscript
slide20

Corporate Communication Strategy Framework

Messages

Constituencies

Corporation

Constituent’s

Response

Source: Concealed for Page Case Competition

corporate communication strategy framework
Corporate Communication Strategy Framework

Messages

  • What is the best communication channel?
  • How should the organization structure the message?

Corporation

Constituencies

  • What does the organization want each constituency to do?
  • What resources are available?
    • Money
    • Human resources
    • Time
  • What is the organization’s reputation?
  • Who are the organization’s constituents?
  • What their attitude about the organization?
  • What is their attitude about the topic?

Constituent’s Response

  • Did each constituency respond in the way the organization wished?
  • Should the organization revise the message in light of the constituency responses?

Source: Concealed for Page Case Competition

crisis communication22
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
  • Postscript
putnam investments case solutions
Putnam Investments Case Solutions
  • Proactively communicate with key constituents
  • Work toward immediate settlement with regulators
  • Put Putnam at forefront of movement toward ethical irreproachability
  • Re-establish corporate culture with emphasis on ethical behavior and client service
  • Launch corporate communications campaign to create differentiated, personal bond with key constituents
  • Install safety net to protect against future crises
  • Recognize scandal as opportunity rather than threat
key takeaways
Key Takeaways
  • Handle issues of ethicality decisively and hold your company to the highest standards
  • Strategic communication is critical to success, particularly during crises
  • Reputation is single most important determinant of success in financial services
  • Constantly re-evaluate corporate culture and value system
  • Never justify behavior as industry norm or “acceptable” according to letter of law
  • Quickest way to rebuild trust with constituents is to admit wrongdoing and take necessary steps to ensure against future problems
slide25
“The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself. The most difficult is the period of indecision - whether to fight or run away. And the most dangerous period is the aftermath. It is then, with all his resources spent and his guard down, that an individual must watch out.”

-- Richard Nixon

crisis communication26
Crisis Communication
  • Putnam Investments case problems and questions
  • Common crisis characteristics
  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Communication during a crisis
  • Using communication strategy following a crisis
  • Putnam Investments case solutions
  • Postscript
postscript putnam television campaign

Commercial 1

Commercial 2

Commercial 3

Postscript: Putnam Television Campaign

Play Commercial*

Play Commercial*

Play Commercial*

*Note: Embedded multi-media in digital file

postscript crisis averted in 2006

Source: Boston Globe, January 4, 2006

Postscript: Crisis Averted in 2006

“ PFTC’s [Putnam’s] cooperation consisted of prompt self-reporting, an independent internal investigation, sharing the results of that investigation with the government (including not asserting any applicable privileges and protections with respect to written materials furnished to the Commission staff), terminating and otherwise disciplining responsible wrongdoers, providing full restitution to its defrauded clients, paying for the attorneys’ and consultants’ fees of its defrauded clients, and implementing new controls designed to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent conduct.”

Source: SEC Settlement Document, January 3, 2006