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IR Awards: Who Wins and Why?

This week we take another break from COVID-19, and take look at Investor Relations awards. Which ones are they? Do they matter? Who wins them, and what can we learn from what the winners do?

At the Mexico level, we only found one survey, from an organization called Valor Compartido which sponsors the LAS20 2019 Awards. The winners were Coca Cola Femsa, Ienova, Cemex (Investor Relations), and Banorte. We could not find out much information on this award, for example who gets to decide the winner, and on what basis, and indeed had never heard of it before investigating this piece. Often corporates can sponsor events or publications and in return receive a reward, but are not aware if this was the case with the LAS20 awards.

At the LatAm level, every year Institutional Investor (II) magazine surveys institutional investors on the best Sell-Side analysts for LatAm, and usually within that report includes a section on best LatAm Executive and IR teams as voted by investors. Despite its flaws, (banks try and game the survey; Brazil is over-represented etc..), this LatAm II survey is extremely important for Sell-side analysts and can directly affect for good or bad their compensation and job tenure. For IR teams the survey is not that relevant, in part because there is such a huge difference between the IR impact of large, mid and small caps companies that makes little sense to compare one to another. Although dominated by Brazil, outside of the country, Mexico’s Cemex, led by CEO Fernando Gonzalez-Olivieri stood out, winning various categories in its sector including for the CFO and Investor Relations team. 

 

We looked at other Investor Relation awards around the world to summarise what investors look for in a winning IR Team. Winners of IR awards were praised for 20 key points:

1.     Their storytelling and clarity in commentary.

2.     Clearly laid out information.

3.     A good variety of materials.

4.     Comprehensive information.

5.     The ease of clicking through websites to arrive at the relevant information.

6.     Thorough, well-integrated and measured approach to ESG communications.

7.     Relevant references to ratings agencies.

8.     Clear identification of risks and realities.

9.     Good use of case studies and customer stories.

10.   Honest disclosure.

11.   Excellent factsheets.

12.   A clear investment proposition.

13.   Clear company financials.

14.   Setting out a clear and simple strategy and business model.

15.   Use of video on websites, as well as a variety of engaging and interactive media.

16.   Intuitive design and use of space, colour and tools.  

17.   Well written and easy to follow reports.

18.   Focus on value creation for investors.

19.   Availability of the IR team.

20.   Providing a valuable insight into the company.

 

The leader in the USA and Europe in IR awards is IR Magazine. We list the companies who won the awards in 2019, as it could be useful to check out their websites and see what they do well. Kudos to Coca Cola FEMSA for being nominated for best IR for a non-American company listed in the US.

 

IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2019, USA 2019:

Best overall investor relations (small to mid-cap) – HUGO BOSS, Hannon Armstrong (USA small cap) / Hasbro (USA mid-cap)

Best overall investor relations (large cap) – Iberdrola, JPMorgan Chase & Co

 

Awards by Sector:

Financials (Europe only), Financials inc. real estate (USA only) – Allianz, JPMorgan Chase & Co

Industrials – Deutsche Post DHL, Honeywell

Materials – BASF, Sherwin Williams

Real estate (Europe only) – Great Portland Estates

Technology – ASML, Salesforce.com

Utilities – Iberdrola, NextEra Energy

Awards by Nomination:

Best financial reporting (USA only) – Comcast Best annual report (Europe only) – Severfield (small cap) / Britvic (mid-cap) / Royal Philips (large cap)

Best crisis management – Banco Santander, Zillow Group

Best ESG materiality reporting – Schneider Electric, Cisco Systems

Best IR during a corporate transaction – Avast, DSW / Red Hat

Best IR website (Europe only) – Northgate Group (small cap) / Valmet (mid-cap) / BASF (large cap)

Best use of multimedia for IR – Hays, Blackbaud

Best IR by a non-US company in the US market – nominations and winner:

Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

AstraZeneca, UK

BP, UK – WINNER

Coca-Cola FEMSA, Mexico

Novartis, Switzerland

 

Links to the full lists of awards and winners from IR Magazine:

Link 1

Link 2

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