"Protecting the confidentiality of our clients is fundamental to our existence. Without the trust that this creates, we have no relationship, no clients and no business."

The nature of our business means that we support clients in confidential and sensitive engagements. As a result we have made a formal commitment to confidentiality, and have in place comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure that client confidentiality is protected and trust promoted between us.

Our confidentiality policy covers not only how we protect confidential information, but also how we avoid conflicts of interest; support and train our people to understand and apply our policies; and what we do to ensure that we abide by the highest standards of business ethics.

The values that underpin our organization

The Gap Partnership was born 20 years ago and since then it has grown to become the world’s leading and most trusted negotiation consultancy. We deliver negotiation capability solutions and consulting in over 50 countries worldwide to over 500 global organizations. Operating across Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas and South Africa, every member of our team is an employee, every one of them highly trained and actively involved in commercial negotiations. Our teams are passionate about negotiation and committed to providing our clients with the best negotiation solutions in the world.

When I established The Gap Partnership I did so with a set of values. These values underpinned our business, informed our purpose, passion and cohesion. Today, they remain as much part of our DNA as they did then. We continue to strive to BE THE BEST, we set the bar high. At The Gap Partnership there is no room for complacency or excuses. We constantly INNOVATE, to develop new value adding solutions that enable our clients to achieve their goals wherever they are operating from worldwide. Our people are PASSIONATE about negotiation and working with our clients. We work as ONE TEAM irrespective of role, office or region.

Underpinning these values is TRUST – the dependency for every relationship we have. It comes from transparency, confidentiality, consistency, integrity and always doing what we say we will do. It is something that must be earned. Without it we have no relationship, no clients and no business. It is fundamental to our existence.

As we have scaled our business we have cemented these values in a number of ways, through our culture, policies, processes and working practices. To add to this, we have committed to the principles of Consulting Excellence as defined by the Management Consultancies Association.

Steve Gates Executive Chairman & Founder

Creating conditions for trust

We support our clients in confidential and sensitive engagements. We have introduced policies and processes which serve to protect our clients, provide clear parameters and promote trust between both parties.

Protecting Our Clients’ Confidential Information

  • Clients share sensitive information with us. This information is only shared internally to the extent that it is required to support our engagement with that client.
  • Some clients may require their engagement with The Gap Partnership to remain confidential even within our business. In these instances we have measures in place to protect client anonymity.
  • We avoid unnecessary exposure to any client confidential information that is not required for us to deliver on a specific engagement. All employees are made aware of their responsibilities in this regard.
  • We have policies in place that recognize different levels of sensitivity of client information and the appropriate means by which it should be handled.
  • We recognize that certain consulting engagements may be of interest to third parties and we have in place a policy of not commenting on live engagements.

Avoiding Client Conflicts of Interest

  • We will disengage in respect of any activity where we reasonably believe that a conflict has or may emerge.
  • We equip and encourage our teams to recognize a potential conflict of interest.
  • We are transparent and proactive in communicating with clients our business strategy and how we seek to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Where appropriate we structure our teams to ensure that we avoid any issues of conflict of interest.
  • We assess all material client engagements in order to identify potential conflicts of interest.

Supporting Our People to Understand and Apply our Policies

  • We hold training and awareness programs to ensure all our people understand our principles and policies.
  • Our employee contracts and handbooks are explicit with regards to our expectations of our people.
  • We facilitate an operational governance board that enables all employees to gain real time guidance and direction in order to avoid conflicts of interest and safeguard the best interests of our clients. 

Business Ethics

  • We appoint our consultants based on criteria that include the highest level of integrity and trust. Our culture is one of transparency with a strong set of client-focused values promoted throughout our business.
  • We promote the importance of acting with integrity and do not advocate the use of tactics that, for many, may be perceived as unethical. However, we do highlight these methods so as to create awareness of how others may use them in a negotiation.
  • Similarly we do not advocate dishonesty or misleading behavior in a negotiation but may highlight the need to withhold certain information where appropriate.
  • Where appropriate we promote collaboration in negotiation. This requires trust and integrity from all parties but, we believe, can be the best way to create value.

Ensuring consulting excellence

The Gap Partnership is proud to be a member of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) and we have signed the declaration committing The Gap Partnership to their “Consulting Excellence” framework.

The nine principles of the “Consulting Excellence” framework govern our behavior with clients, suppliers and employees, and resonate throughout our organization. We believe that it is the gold standard for consulting practice, and work hard to ensure that we are true to its principles. The ethos that drives our business is the pursuit of excellence in everything we do, so it’s a natural fit for us to work with the MCA to ensure that this rigor is consciously applied.

The Nine Principles of ‘Consulting Excellence’ The Gap Partnership has committed to:

Ethical behavior

  • We are responsible and good citizens.
  • We conduct our business ethically.
  • We foster an ethical culture.

Client service and value

  • We provide excellent consulting services which deliver the outcomes clients seek and need.
  • We are transparent with clients and respond to their concerns.
  • We always strive to improve the value we can deliver to our clients.

Professional development

  • We undertake training and professional development planning each year.
  • We promote strong core consulting capabilities and specialisms in our consultants and teams.
  • We support our employees’ career progression, professional development and welfare.