Investors think this is the biggest threat to business

Global survey reveals investors' concerns

Investors think this is the biggest threat to business

In our increasingly connected world, the threat that cyber attacks pose to businesses are a large concern for investors.

A global survey by PwC which compares the concerns of investors and analysts with those of business leaders, found that 41% of investors say they are extremely concerned about cyber threats, seeing it as the largest threat to business.

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Cyber threat has risen from the fifth biggest concern in 2017 to the first in 2018. But while almost two thirds of investors believe businesses should prioritize investment in cyber security, just 47% of CEOs agree.

“The top concerns of investors and CEOs emphasise the different internal and external perspectives on, and day to day experiences of, businesses,” said Hilary Eastman, head of global investor engagement at PwC. “While on-the-ground challenges such as finding the right skills are high on business leaders’ agendas, investors are preoccupied with the impact that wider societal trends, such as geopolitical uncertainty, populism and protectionism, have on businesses generally.”

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Investors rank geopolitical uncertainty (39% extremely concerned), speed of technological change (37%), populism (33%) and protectionism (32%) in the top five threats to growth.

Investors agree with business leaders that global economic growth will improve in 2018, but they are more concerned about disruption from technology, customer behaviour, and distribution channels.

“Investors expect disruption to have a bigger impact on business than CEOs, which might be affecting investor confidence in growth over the longer term,” Eastman added. “Effective communication between businesses and investors is key to addressing caution. If businesses can clearly demonstrate the actions they’re taking to combat investors’ concerns, they’re more likely to be able to attract long term investment.”

She concluded that businesses that taking into account the perspective of investors can help CEOs focus on the areas of their business where they need to build confidence.