Worth Beyond Wealth: A New Era Begins
The Worthy 100 issue signifies a major shift in how we think about worth, both as it pertains to our brand, as well as the meaning of the word itself. Traditionally characterized as the accumulation of financial assets, we strongly believe that worth is defined by a more comprehensive amalgamation of variables that encompasses one’s impact on community, society and the world. This is Worth Beyond Wealth.
While individuals wrestle with their sense of worth, businesses have also debated for many decades their responsibility across multiple stakeholders, not just their shareholders. The past couple of years have been pivotal for how the business community is embracing its responsibility to society. In 2019, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote his famous letter, in which he highlighted the link between profit and purpose. “Purpose is not a mere tagline or marketing campaign; it is a company’s fundamental reason for being—what it does every day to create value for its stakeholders.” Fink continued by connecting purpose with the need for financial success: “Profits are essential if a company is to effectively serve all of its stakeholders over time—not only shareholders, but also employees, customers and communities.” This means that while profits are necessary, there will be cases where leaders will have to make decisions that align with the core values of their organization even if they have the potential to diminish profits.
That same year, nearly 200 CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations signed the Business Roundtable declaration that redefined the purpose of a corporation, which signified a renewed, definitive commitment by the business community. Earlier statements by the Business Roundtable had consistently said that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders, whereas the new declaration asserted that companies should “serve not only their shareholders, but also deliver value to their customers, invest in employees, deal fairly with suppliers and support the communities in which they operate.”
We recognize that this new sensibility and alignment among leaders of business and finance is combining with and responding to a profound shift in sentiment among citizens worldwide, especially younger generations who are increasingly focused on the threats to society. Future generations increasingly have the financial power to make change as they scrutinize and choose the companies they work for, spend money with and invest in. The urgent and growing concern about climate change is also forcing traditional companies to address emission and sustainability issues in a way that might often affect the bottom line. Additionally, there is increased public trust in business relative to other societal institutions and the expectation that it can and must step in where governments have failed.
The inaugural Worthy 100 list celebrates entrepreneurs and executives who are using their influence and affluence to make a positive impact on the world. This list replaces Worth’s decade-old Power 100 list, which recognized the most powerful people in global finance. We now believe that the most important way to think about power is to evaluate how it is being used to impact positive change. From successful tech entrepreneurs to athletes and celebrities, we have assembled an impressive group of people who deserve recognition for how they are leveraging their success to make a difference.
Worth has an amazing 35-year history of covering wealth management and luxury lifestyle; we do not intend to abandon that. Our goal is to enhance our content with a focus on topics related to conscious and stakeholder capitalism, ESG and impact investing, diversity and inclusion and, more broadly, the mission and purpose of business.
I am proud to lead our brand through this next chapter and appreciate the support of our team, our community and our partners. If you are interested in joining us on this journey, please do not hesitate to reach out.