On March 31st, IR Magazine hosted its US Awards 2022 where Investor Relations Officers and their team members were recognized for their successful performance in IR during the past year. After two years of hosting the event virtually due to the sanitary restrictions, this year the awards were held in person in New York City.
Awards and nominees are divided into two main categories: Researched and Nominated, which will be explained below. Between both categories there were a total of 29 awards presented during the evening, so we have only selected the most relevant. You can find the complete list of awards, winners and nominees in IR Magazine’s website.
I. Awards By Nomination
In this category, any publicly listed company can submit their entry by detailing their achievements during the year. The entries are later reviewed by a panel made up of investment professionals and IR Magazine’s editorial team. The winners of the Awards by Nomination are presented below. We have included some key takeaways on what makes the winner stand out in each category.
BEST INVESTOR EVENT
Nominees: Ford Motor Company (winner), Hasbro, NI (formerly National Instruments Corp), Sovos Brands, Tractor Supply Company, Travel + Leisure Co.
Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, took over the Company in October 2020, which means ‘Ford Capital Markets Day’ was the first investor event under his management. Seven speakers from the Company’s executive team participated in a 90-minute webcast presentation. The studio where the event took place had a screen in the background that allowed the speakers to illustrate their remarks with professional and persuasive videos. Additionally, certain speakers were recorded at key locations like Ford’s commercial vehicles development lab in London and Michigan’s Central Station, improving the narrative and storytelling. The presentation was followed by a 45-minute Q&A session moderated by Ford’s Executive Director of IR. The format was innovative and engaging since the speakers were gathered in person and questions were asked directly from the analysts’ and investors’ lines. You can find the materials they used in their website, including a press release, presentation, and transcript.
BEST IR WEBSITE
Nominees: Axon Enterprise, Baxter International, First Advantage, Immunic Therapeutics, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, PVH Corp (winner), Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
PVH Corp’s website design definitely stands out from the rest. Even though neutral colors prevail, the fonts that were used and the smooth transitions give it a unique feeling. PVH incorporates pictures from their commercial campaigns into their website and financial reports, creating a cohesive and characteristic feeling in all of their materials. Also, all IR materials are easily available from the IR homepage, including press releases, events and reports. Additionally, they include ‘Tear sheets’, one of the company overall, and two of their most popular brands (Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger), including detailed information about the business strategy, the brand and sales overview. We also discovered two particular sections in their website: Priorities and Stories. In the Priorities section they include 5 statements about the drive, expansion, investment, development, and delivery of the company; while in the Stories section, leadership, management, and results updates are provided as individual articles. Also, you can easily subscribe to their distribution list in their homepage.
BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN IR
Nominees: First Advantage, Medtronic (winner), Take-Two Interactive Software, Zoom Video Communications.
Proper use of social media can become a great opportunity to communicate with investors, analysts, and the market in general, as it is less formal and more natural. Medtronic has taken advantage of this opportunity by using the main social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Their LinkedIn and Twitter pages are consistent with their corporate identity. Even though their posts are not IR specific, they consistently upload content 5 times a week regarding different topics such as the Company’s team and engineers, stories about patients receiving health treatments and even climate action in the US Healthcare sector. Medtronic’s Instagram is characterized by their hashtag #MedtronicStrong used in posts about diabetic patients’ success stories and social matters like International Women’s Day and Black History Month. Constant activity in their social media sets them apart from other companies and shows how IR and social media can go hand-in-hand at times.
BEST ESG REPORTING
- Large Cap: Fifth Third Bancorp, Mondelēz International, Moody’s Corporation (winner), Philip Morris International, Verizon Communications.
Even though all of the nominees disclose their ESG strategies and results in an innovative way (ESG Progress Dashboard and Datasheet from Mondelēz International, ESG Highlights from Phillip Morris International, and Transparency, Green Bond and Human Capital Reports from Verizon), the number of reports published by Moody’s Corporation definitely makes them take the lead. They published 5 reports in 2020, including WEF, GRI, TCFD, SASB, and Stakeholder Sustainability and have 4 sections on their website dedicated exclusively to ESG matters. Moody’s Corporation also includes an updated Statement on ESG Disclosure.
- Small-Mid Cap: Bridge Investment Group Holdings, Energy Recovery (winner), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, The AZEK Company, Trulieve Cannabis Corp.
While all nominees include some or all of the traditional ESG materials, Energy Recovery demonstrated innovation in ESG Reporting with their ESG-focused webinar ‘Charting Sustainable Growth with ESG Principles’, in which the top management provided updates on their sustainability initiatives and on their plan to achieve sustainable long-term growth.
II. Awards by Research
Winners for this category are chosen directly from surveys answered by analysts and investors where they give their opinion on which company provides the best Investor Relations service. These awards are divided by market cap and by sector. Here are some of the results:
BEST OVERALL INVESTOR RELATIONS
- Large Cap: Danaher, Equinix, General Electric (winner), Johnson Controls International, Medtronic, Prudential Financial.
- Mid Cap: Alliance Data Systems, American Airlines Group (winner), Caesars Entertainment, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, United Airlines, WillScot Mobile Mini Holdings Corp.
- Small Cap: Alto Ingredients (winner), DZS, Gogo, PlayAGS Tecnoglass, Wrap Technologies.
BEST IN SECTOR
- Consumer Staples – Conagra Brands, Philip Morris International, Stellantis, Target Corporation, Walmart (winner).
- Energy – Alto Ingredients, ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources (winner), ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, Williams.
- Financials – Alliance Data Systems (now known as Bread Financial Holdings), American Express, American International Group, MetLife, Prudential Financial (winner), Wells Fargo & Company.
- Real Estate – American Tower Corporation, Brixmor Property Group, Camden Property Trust, DigitalBridge Group, Equinix (winner), Prologis.
- Technology – Cisco Systems, Corning, Microsoft, PayPal (winner), Texas Instruments, Visa.
All of these companies are top players and follow IR best practices, such as disclosing information on a timely manner, communicating properly and efficiently with analysts and investors, having their IR website always up to date, notifying stakeholders about future events, and making sure materials (such as reports and presentations) are easily available. Investor relations practices must be efficient and innovative, which is why IR materials should have an attractive design and clearly communicate the Company’s strategy and direction. Actively addressing the market’s concerns is also very important, which is why availability from the top management is always welcome, as well as a proactive IR team.
As always, Miranda IR would be happy to discuss IR best practices and, if necessary, help you improve your IR strategy, website, events or materials to set your company apart from the competition. We have plenty of experience and would be more than happy to assist you.
Contacts at Miranda Partners