- Question 1. What is the CCP Research Foundation?Answer
The Foundation is a Community Interest Company operating as a social enterprise for the benefit of academic and civil society research projects whose objectives relate to furthering the knowledge, understanding and measurement of sustainable ‘non-financial’ performance within large organisations or particular industry sectors. Projects which are within the scope of the Foundation's objectives and which are supported by the Foundation are herein referred to as “Associated Research Projects” or “ARPs”.
The Foundation is an ‘umbrella’ organisation that will work to procure funding for, and provide academic and expert consultancy support to, ARPs and will undertake other related activities in furtherance of its mission to champion research and best practice in ‘conduct risk’, ‘ethics-led’ decision-making and governance and related questions that impact on "public trust" in the way organisations are run.
The Foundation serves the wider public interest by virtue of its social mission and is held to account through the academic output of the ARPs, the related activities that it supports and its annual regulatory returns. It is a company limited by guarantee and will not pay dividends. All its income will be used to pay for research and related activities subject only to the payment of very modest running costs.
- Question 2. Why "CCP"?Answer
The Foundation owes its origins to the LSE Conduct Costs Project, which many of those who worked on it got to know as the CCP. But CCP also stands for Conduct, Culture and People: three elements that underpin the objectives of the Foundation and will lie at the heart of all research that the Foundation seeks to encourage. The Foundation, in broad terms, is interested in promoting research in areas that have become dominant in the public discourse: ethics, culture, risk, public trust and the relationship between business and the community. But it is focused on independent research that is strictly evidence based and, as far as possible, free of subjective opinion or any "campaigning" element.
- Question 3. What are the CCP Foundation’s Objectives?Answer
a) To support and encourage research projects and related initiatives in the broad field of "Conduct, Culture, People". Such projects (as ARPs) will, typically, focus on ethical and cultural issues in the operation of large organisations or particular sectors of activity, with no geographical limitation;
b) To encourage an approach to research in such ARPs that is strongly evidence-based, tending to identify specific indicators and/or metrics that can, or could, be used for assessing "ethical performance", cultural resilience (or improvement) and trustworthy and ethical conduct;
c) To examine how organisations obtain and are able to retain the level of public trust required or expected in the modern era;
d) To raise the reputation of the Foundation and its ARPs to a level commensurate with the endorsement of a Foundation kitemark system;
e) To act as a channel of funding for the ARPs and the activities it supports and generally encourage such funding, whether by donation or otherwise;
f) To act as a forum for debate in relation to the activities it supports; and
g) To work with academic institutions, and other third parties, that are interested in its activities and, more generally, to encourage civil society engagement in the issues raised by such activities.
- Question 4. What has happened to the LSE Conduct Costs Project?Answer
Not a great deal has changed, save that it is now a project supported by the Foundation (and, as such, is an Associated Research Project). It continues to publish quantitative research into ‘Conduct Costs’ and promote debate on conduct risk and ethics in financial services. The Foundation's Directors, Roger McCormick, Chris Stears and Tania Duarte, were the core team of the project when it was run from LSE and remain directly involved in it.
- Question 5. How will the Foundation raise funds?Answer
It is hoped that funds will be raised from third parties who share the Foundation's objectives and wish to support its research activities. Initial funding has been provided by Roger McCormick Consultants Ltd.
- Question 6. How will funding be used?Answer
Nearly all funding will go directly to paying for research and related activities (such as seminars). Only a small proportion will be needed for overheads. As a Community Interest Company, the Foundation does not work for the benefit of shareholders: it will not pay dividends. Rather, it will work to further the community interest in the research projects that it supports.
- Question 7. What will be the function and composition of the Advisory Board?Answer
The AB will, in due course, be established to provide advice and assistance to the Foundation's Directors on all matters concerning ARPs and the running of the Foundation itself. It will comprise representatives of Partner Institutions (see below) and the ARPs as well as others who have an interest in the Foundation's objectives and would like to make a contribution.
The current members of the Advisory Board are:
- - Professor Francesco Capriglione (Universitá LUISS G. Carli di Roma)
- - Professor Julia Black (Pro Director for Research at London School of Economics)
- - Professor Stuart Bazley (Visiting Professor of Financial Regulation and Compliance Law, BPP University Law School and Regulatory Consultant)
- - Ian Busby (a former Deloitte partner and former CEO of a private equity funded cloud technology business)
- - Dr. Costanza Russo (Lecturer in International Banking Law and Business Ethics and Co-Director Institute for Regulation and Ethics, Queen Mary University of London)
- - Professor Malcolm Forster (Principal Consultant, Freshfields and Visiting Professor of International Law, University College London)
- - Paul Clements-Hunt (Founder at The Blended Capital Group, Partner & Director at Inflection Point Capital Management UK, former Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and original UN backer of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI))
- Question 8. What are the advantages of being an ARP and how difficult is it to have a project designated as such?Answer
There are several. First, your project would have, in principle, the ability to benefit from the Foundation's fund raising activities. Secondly, ‘associated’ status provides an objective stamp of approval for your project's objectives, evidence and academic rigour, which, as the Foundation’s kitemark develops, will enhance the impact of ARP research. Thirdly, you would have access to the Foundation's website to publicise what you are doing. Fourthly, you would have the opportunity to take part in Foundation events that feature the work of more than one ARP. And, fifthly, you would have the opportunity to be represented on the Foundation's Advisory Board, which, apart from enabling you to influence the Foundation's planning and decision-making, would give you access to other ARP people and, also, to representatives of the Partner Institutions. As a forum for discussion, and networking, the Advisory Board will serve as a valuable function to the Foundation and also to its members.
There are no particular formalities for obtaining ARP status but, once the Advisory Board is operational, its approval would be required. ARPs do not have to be sponsored by academic institutions or any other kind of institution. They will be judged on merit, not on who is involved.
- Question 9. What are the advantages of being a Partner Institution?Answer
Partner Institutions (PIs) may comprise academic institutions, professional firms, civil society organisations, public sector entities or businesses. They may be partners of the Foundation as a whole or of one or more particular ARPs. They will not be limited to the UK. As with ARPs, advantages will flow from membership of the Advisory Board insofar as this will give first-hand access to research leaders and other influential parties who are interested in the Conduct, Culture and People agenda. It is expected that, in addition to the more formal events arranged by ARPs, the Advisory Board will be a lively discussion forum where good research and policy ideas can be exchanged. It is intended that it should meet at least quarterly.
Certain PIs would be expected to provide funding as part of their involvement. This would, in turn, give opportunities for prominent association with research objectives that the PI wished to be identified with. Opportunities to commission specific research projects may also arise.
Academic PIs would be encouraged to allow individuals from their institution to take part in Foundation activities and ARPs as well as to host Foundation events. Opportunities for research teams comprising individuals from more than one academic PI would arise, with corresponding opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas.
- Question 10. Who will do the research?Answer
That will largely be a matter for each ARP. The Foundation does not wish to "micro-manage" how ARPs are run once it has been accepted that the goals and methodologies of the project in question fit with the overall objectives of the Foundation.
In the case of the Conduct Costs Project, researchers have been drawn from academic institutions as well as the professions, without geographical limitation. That network of researchers remains largely in place. It is expected that the formation of the Foundation will encourage and enable the expansion of this network. There would be no objection, in principle, to the same researcher being deployed on various different ARPs.
- Question 11. How much will research cost and how will funds be managed?Answer
Each ARP will have its own budget. In general, UK academic rates will form the basis of payments to researchers but special rates may be agreed for certain kinds of commissioned "bespoke" research.
The management of funds for each ARP will be arranged on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the requirements of any particular source of funds and the needs of the ARP. As far as possible, the arrangements will not involve funds flowing through the Foundation itself, it being expected that ARPs will usually have their own banking facilities. However, the details of such arrangements will be worked out as the needs of any given project/funder require.
- Question 12. To what extent does the Conduct Costs Project serve as a model for ARPs?Answer
The following aspects of the Conduct Costs Project may be relevant to a future project that seeks to be an ARP (although some of the below is, of course, only relevant to a project concerned with banks):
(a) It publishes data that are drawn from material that is in the public domain but which is not, currently, disclosed in a manner that makes it accessible to the general public;
(b) It presents data in a manner that is reasonably easy to understand, using "plain English" and, as far as possible, avoiding jargon;
(c) It enables comparisons to be made (i) amongst banks (ii) amongst jurisdictions and their regulators (iii) amongst different heads of problem giving rise to conduct costs and (iv) year on year;
(d) Whilst the project encourages debate and discussion it seeks to avoid subjective opinion colouring its presentation of data; it is not, for example, "hostile" to banks or to any particular aspect of banking and seeks to encourage engagement by banks in what it is doing;
(e) The project presents data that are directly relevant to the banks' oft-heard assertions that they wish to "restore public trust" and, amongst other things, invites banks (and others) to explain how the public should reconcile the very high level of conduct costs being experienced by banks with the "restore trust agenda".
- Question 13. What is the "gap" that the Foundation will fill?Answer
There are many other organisations interested in the areas that the Foundation seeks to cover. These include, for example, traditional academic institutions, "think tanks" and various professional or quasi-professional bodies. The Foundation does not seek to duplicate what is being done elsewhere. What it offers are, firstly, opportunities for new and existing projects to derive advantage, financial and intellectual, from, to an extent, combining forces and sharing experiences. Secondly, it offers an opportunity for better engagement between research groups and (i) people working in sectors that may be the object of that research and (ii) civil society organisations and policy makers that have an interest in the outputs of the research. Thirdly, its focus will be on one of the most difficult areas for policy making that has arisen since the financial crisis: the relationship between the citizen and large public and private organisations whose activities no longer command the trust and respect that, pre-crisis, they used to have. Its cross-sector focus on the issues arising from "the trust question" make it unusual, if not unique.