I work for a major investment bank, one of the top 3 in the world, with tens of thousands of employees and a CEO who makes tens of millions of dollars a year. As a rank-and-file employee, I obviously have little dealings with the CEO; except he frequently sends emails to all employees asking them to donate money to charity through our corporate charity fund. This charity emails are the only time I ever hear from our CEO – he apparently doesn’t feel it’s important to explain his strategy to employees or to give pep talks, but he does feel it’s important to ask us for money. Apparently, this behavior is not unique to this CEO – the previous CEO did exactly the same thing, and the pattern seems to be the same for all our competitiors. Why?
One might assume giving to charity is a form of advertising for the firm, or a way of generating goodwill. But it seems unlikely that this could affect the firm’s bottom line – the vast majority of our profits are from trading activities, and people trade with whoever offers the best price (without even looking at whether that company engages in philantrophy.)
So why does our CEO spend so much work-time focused on charity then?