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Visualizing How the 50 Largest U.S. Companies are Connected

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How the 50 Largest U.S. Companies are Connected

Visualizing How the 50 Largest U.S. Companies are Connected

For any corporation, the Board of Directors plays a crucial role in corporate governance.

Elected by the company’s shareholders, the board is meant to represent shareholder interests – it ultimately hires the CEO, sets strategic objectives, approves annual budgets, and provides accountability to the shareholders regarding the performance of the organization.

These duties are no cakewalk, and finding capable and experienced board members to help run a multi-billion dollar corporation just isn’t easy.

Corporate Overlap

To locate a qualified candidate, one option is to hire someone that already has experience working on a big corporate board – and because it’s a part-time gig, people can actually be on multiple boards at once.

Today’s data visualization is from Reddit user /r/qwerty2020 and it shows the overlap between boards of the top 50 largest companies in the United States. It reveals that 78% of the multi-billion dollar companies here have at least one board connection with another company on the list.

The Most Connected Companies

Here are the three most connected companies:

3M (7 connections)
The 3M board has 12 members on it, including people like the retired CEOs of Kroger and UPS, and the current CFO of Microsoft.

As for board members in common, there are seven people on 3M’s board that have a connection to one of the other 50 large companies, including: Boeing, Coca-Cola, AbbVie, Proctor & Gamble, Amgen, Chevron, and IBM.

Boeing (6 connections)
Boeing’s board has 13 members, including the CEO and Chairman of Amgen, and Ronald Reagan’s former White House Chief of Staff (Kenneth Duberstein). The former CEO of Allstate and the former CEO of Continental Airlines also serve on the board.

It has six connections to other big U.S. companies through its board, including: 3M, AbbVie, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Bancorp, and AT&T.

Amgen (6 connections)
The large biopharmaceutical company has 13 people on its Board of Directors, including the CEO and Chairman of Phillips 66, the former CEO of Mattel, and a former CFO of Walmart.

In total, it has six people that also serve on other boards: 3M, United Technologies, Apple, Boeing, Chevron, and McDonald’s.

Runners up: (5 connections)
Other highly-connected companies include Walt Disney, Apple, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, IBM, and Procter & Gamble – each has five board members that also serve for other top 50 corporations.

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Investor Education

The Top 5 Factors Shaping Client-Advisor Dynamics

Here are the most common drivers for hiring a financial advisor, along with the top reasons for firing one.

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The following content is sponsored by Morningstar

The Top 5 Factors Shaping Client-Advisor Dynamics

What drives investors to hire a financial advisor?

From saving for a down payment to planning for retirement, clients turn to advisors to guide them through life’s complex financial decisions. However, many of the key reasons for hiring a financial advisor stem from emotional factors, and go beyond purely financial motivations.

We partnered with Morningstar to show the top reasons clients hire a financial advisor—along with the reasons for firing one—to provide insight on what’s driving investor behavior.

Top Reasons for Hiring a Financial Advisor

Here are the most common reasons for hiring an advisor, based on a survey of 312 respondents. 

Reason for Hiring% of Respondents
Citing This Reason
Type of Motivation
Specific goals or needs32%Financial-based reason
Discomfort handling finances32%Emotion-based reason
Behavioral coaching17%Emotion-based reason
Recommended by family
or friends
12%Emotion-based reason
Quality of relationship10%Emotion-based reason

Numbers may not total 100 due to rounding. Respondents could select more than one answer.

While financial factors played an important role in hiring decisions, emotional reasons made up the largest share of total responses. 

This illustrates that clients place a high degree of importance on reaching specific goals or needs, and how an advisor communicates with them. Furthermore, clients seek out advisors for behavioral coaching to help them make informed decisions while staying the course.

Key Takeaways

With this in mind, here are five ways advisors can provide value to their clients and grow their practice:

  • Address clients’ emotional needs early on
  • Demonstrate how you can offer support
  • Use ordinary language
  • Provide education to help clients stay on track
  • Acknowledge that these are issues we all face

By addressing emotional factors, advisors can more effectively help clients’ navigate intricate financial decisions and avoid common behavioral mistakes.

Top Reasons for Firing a Financial Advisor

On the flip side, here are the top reasons clients terminated their advisor, based on a separate survey of 184 respondents:

Reason for Firing% of Respondents
Citing This Reason
Type of Motivation
Quality of financial advice
and services
32%Emotion-based reason
Quality of relationship21%Emotion-based reason
Cost of services17%Financial-based reason
Return performance11%Financial-based reason
Comfort handling financial
issues on their own
10%Emotion-based reason

Numbers may not total 100 due to rounding. Respondents could select more than one answer.

While firing an advisor is rare, many of the primary drivers behind firing decisions are also emotionally-driven.

Often, advisors were fired due to the quality of the relationship. In many cases, this was due to an advisor not dedicating enough time to fully grasp their personal financial goals. Additionally, wealthier, and more financially literate clients are more likely to fire their advisors—highlighting the importance of understanding the client. 

Key Takeaways

Given these driving factors, here are five ways that advisors can build a lasting relationship through recognizing their clients’ emotional needs:

  • Understand your clients’ deeper goals
  • Reach out proactively
  • Act as a financial coach
  • Keep clients updated
  • Conduct goal-setting exercises on a regular basis

By communicating their value and setting expectations early, advisors can help prevent setbacks in their practice by adeptly recognizing the emotional motivators of their clients.

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