SEC Chariman Donaldson Receives Caux Round Table Award

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Caux Round Table Principles for Business. Written by experienced business leaders from Japan, Europe and the United States, the Principles for Business remain the most comprehensive global guidelines for ethical and socially responsible business decision-making. And, they are the only such Principles drafted by business leaders themselves to reflect both the obligation of business to be profitable and the responsibility to seek profits with a view to the welfare of stakeholders. Business has a fiduciary relation to society; business arises from society in order to meet society's needs. Profit is the reward to be earned by business for fulfilling its mission of service.

To honor the ideal of principled business leadership embraced by the Caux Round Table Principles for Business, the Caux Round Table awarded its first Principled Business Leadership award last night to William Donaldson, Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for moving an agenda of high ideals in business closer and closer to the norm of day-to-day business practices.

Mr. Donaldson graduated from Yale and the Harvard Business School (with distinction). He was cofounder, Chairman and CEO of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a noted Wall Street investment banking house. He helped found, and was first Dean of, the Yale Graduate School of Management. He has been Chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and Chairman, President and CEO of Aetna, Inc.

In his current service as Chairman of the SEC, Mr. Donaldson is forcefully seeking changes in American practices to bring more transparency and accountability to American financial markets.

In his remarks accepting the award, Mr. Donaldson said:

"The Commission has pursued enforcement actions against … individuals [who have violated the securities laws] and we have also pursued new rules that affirm the importance of compliance and ethics in the workplace. But our rules alone won't be enough. Indeed, we know from the course of history that human nature will push aggressive managers and organizations to continue to test new laws. … What's really needed is a change in mindset - one that foster not only a culture of compliance but also a companywide environment that fosters ethical behavior and decision-making."

"This is where having a culture of doing what is right - in the absence of specific rules and even in the face of your competitors' choosing a different path - is vital. This is where the courage and commitment of the firm's leaders is needed to question whether a particular firm practice - no matter what the lawyers say - is truly ethical or is truly in the best interests of clients and customers."

The full text of Mr. Donaldson's remarks is attached as a PDF file (click here to read).

The Caux Round Table Award for Principled Business Leadership was given to Mr. Donaldson by John Whitehead, a member of the Caux Round Table World Advisory Council and currently head of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, that is responsible for rebuilding lower Manhattan, destroyed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The Award to Mr. Donaldson was given in memory of the ideals and high standards of ethical business conduct articulated by the late Kenneth Dayton, former Chairman and CEO of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation and a great benefactor to the people of Minnesota.

The Award read as follows:

"Caux Round Table - Recognition Award for Principled Business Leadership

Presented to William H. Donaldson

Discovery of the right,
Determination to do right,
Perseverance in achieving the right,
And humility when facing the right
Distinguish the Principled Business Leader

Given in memory of Kenneth Dayton this 30th day of November 2004"

During the award program the Caux Round Table also recognized the distinguished services of Charles Denny, Jr., Robert MacGregor and Michael Olson for their work in creating the Caux Round Table Principles for Business and Winston Wallin, former Chair of the Caux Round Table, for his leadership in tasking the Caux Round Table to address in practical detail the challenge of using private capital better for the elimination of poverty in the global community.


Stephen B. Young
Global Executive Director