• Middle East Investors more concerned about organizational ESG disclosures than the UK, The Netherlands, Canada and Japan
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Abu Dhabi – Edelman, the world’s largest strategic communications company, has today announced the findings of its fifth annual Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors, which identifies pivotal issues shaping investment criteria and outlines how organizations, in the Middle East and around the world, can build trust with the investment community.

The proprietary research, which surveyed 700 institutional investors in seven markets, including the Middle East, and was fielded from August 11, 2021, to September 3, 2021, revealed that 89 percent of Middle East Investors expect companies to face increasing levels of litigation as a result of not delivering on ESG promises - this is higher than the global average (87 per cent), and also for the UK (88%), The Netherlands (85%), Canada (82%) and Japan (80%).

Middle East investors are also more concerned that companies may not deliver on their ESG disclosures and promises, with 86 percent stating they ‘actively look for’ instances of this compared with 84 percent globally, 77 percent in Japan and 74 percent in Canada.

“This new research demonstrates that the rapidly developing sphere of ESG can no longer be considered as solely a Western phenomenon. Investor priorities and expectations are changing rapidly and companies that do not keep up will struggle to win trust.” said Seth Hand, Managing Director at Edelman Middle East. “Our research reveals that investors do not trust company ESG disclosures and do not trust companies to deliver on ESG promises. These are disruptive forces across the investment community that corporate boards and leaders must embrace to ensure competitive cost of capital and fair valuations.”

Commenting on the report, Simon Hailes, Director of Financial Communications, Edelman Middle East, said “Companies across the Middle East, at all stages of their ESG journey, need to be meticulous in establishing clear ESG commitments that are both measurable and achievable.

“ESG is now a fundamental component of a company’s operational and capital allocation strategy and Middle East investors are already applying even more scrutiny in this area than their global peers. ESG is now just as important for Boards and CEOs to consider as any financial metric and needs to be embedded in every firm’s investment thesis, if they are to maintain the trust of their current and future shareholders.”


About Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors 

The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors is a supplement to the Edelman Trust Barometer, which is released annually at the World Economic Forum each January. This year’s report surveyed 700 institutional investors, including financial analysts, chief investment officers and portfolio managers across seven markets (U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, the Middle East and Japan). 

About Edelman Financial Communications

Edelman Financial Communications comprises over 175 specialized practitioners in the US, UK, Canada, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. The group provides strategic counsel to companies seeking to communicate with their financial audiences and provides reputation strategy to companies within the institutional financial services industry. The group also offers specialized expertise in ESG advisory, healthcare financial communications, digital financial communications and financial policy and regulation.

About Edelman 

Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle). 

Media Contacts: 
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