The Hartford, Allianz, Aflac Named Among World’s ‘Most Ethical’ Firms

June 4, 2008

Three insurance industry giants now boast the title as “one of the world’s most ethical companies,” according to a Ethisphere, a think-tank dedicated to the research and promotion of profitable best practices in global governance, business ethics, compliance and corporate responsibility.

Ethisphere’s second-annual World’s Most Ethical Companies list recognized Aflac, Allianz and the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. as some of the award winners at the Ethisphere and Forbes joint-conference, “Driving Profit through Ethical Leadership,” in New York City yesterday. The elite list also appears nationally in the Q2 issue of the quarterly magazine of the Institute, Ethisphere Magazine.

Researchers and analysts reviewed several thousand companies throughout the duration of the year. The extensive research process included reviewing more than 10,000 companies on six continents.

“The process was rigorous, and we are confident that the organizations included in the 2008 ranking are the standouts in their industries, forcing their competitors to take a long, hard look at their own efforts—and shortcomings,” Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere Institute. “These companies make a concerted effort to ensure ethical practices remain a top business priority.”

The Institute says the process included reviewing the companies’ codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers; and working with consumer action groups for feedback.

The 2008 World’s Most Ethical Companies advisory panel included Ethisphere editors and researchers as well as attorneys, government officials, professors and other leaders from their respective fields who care about ethical and honest business practices.

“For nearly 200 years, The Hartford has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to integrity and ethical leadership,” said Tom Marra, president and chief operating officer of The Hartford. “The Hartford is honored to be recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as we continue to demonstrate to our employees, customers, investors, business partners and government officials that their trust in The Hartford is well served.”

The Hartford says that over the past few years, the company has engaged in a systematic effort to build a stronger, more cohesive ethics and compliance program for its 31,000-employee organization. The expanded program addresses the evolving ethics and compliance standards in the highly regulated financial services industry and focuses on policies and practices to detect and prevent ethics and compliance-related issues.

“We applaud The Hartford. The Hartford is among the companies honored this year because they have developed impressive and meaningful ethical business practices, making them true standouts within their industries,” said Brigham. “They go well beyond legal minimums, opting instead to bring about innovative ideas that contribute to the public well being. By their actions, they are forcing their competitors to follow suit, or fall behind and truly embodying the notion that ethical business practices are more profitable in the long run.”

Sources: Ethisphere Institute,
www.ethisphere.com
The Hartford Financial Services,
www.thehartford.com

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