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New Poll: Washington, D.C. Policymakers Want CEO's Ideas On Jobs And Education

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, has released findings from a new survey of Washington, D.C. policymakers, institutional investors and the U.S. general public. The survey conducted and released by FTI Consulting's Strategic Communications segment shows support for U.S. CEOs to play an active yet limited role in national-policy debates.

FTI Consulting's CEO as Statesman II: Views from the Beltway and Beyond demonstrates that C-suite engagement in Washington requires an understanding of both policy consequences and political context for success. The report comes at a time when CEOs are being drawn more deeply into the policymaking process, due in large part to the aftermath of the financial crisis; and the enactment of landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act and Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. CEO as Statesman II expands upon a December 2011 poll from FTI Consulting, including a significantly wider point of view with survey responses from institutional investors, Washington, D.C. opinion elites and the U.S. general public.

"Many business leaders have expressed alarm surrounding government oversight of and intrusion into business, but are unsure about the best ways to engage with policymakers. There is skepticism from voters and policymakers regarding CEO activity in the nation's capital, but a recognition that the business community is needed to help solve some of the country's biggest problems," said Jackson Dunn, Senior Managing Director and Americas Head of Public Affairs in the Strategic Communications segment. "The challenge for a business leader today is to know how to engage and on which issues."

The poll reconfirms investors clearly recognize the impact Washington, D.C. can have on portfolios, and shows that investors regard CEO engagement in the political and policymaking process as positive, so long as that engagement is related to the CEO's business or industry. More than three-quarters of investors polled (76 percent) say decisions on Capitol Hill are ranked moderately-high to high, a decline from similar polling in 2011 when 89 percent ranked decision-making in Washington, D.C. as an area of concern. Eight in 10 (79 percent) investors would like their portfolio companies to be more vocal about the impact of policy changes on their respective businesses, while more than half (53 percent) feel public companies should be highly engaged in national policy discussions. 

However, policymakers are far more skeptical of the presence of corporations and CEOs in policy debates. Only 40 percent feel CEO participation in public-policy discussion is positive, a figure that falls to just 34 percent among the general public.

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