IR Society 2020 Best Practice Awards - congratulations to the winners!

Today we announced the winners of the Investor Relations Society’s 2020 Best Practice Awards. These awards recognise the companies that are leading the way in IR best practice and stakeholder engagement, thus strengthening corporate reputations and promoting trust and integrity in our capital markets.

 Click here to view the winning companies and individuals.

Our Best Practice Awards are presented across four categories in the self-entry section, with the winners determined by a judging panel of experienced professionals, and four categories in the voted section, which is run in partnership with Institutional Investor and solicits the views of the buy-side and sell-side. 

Despite the incredibly challenging market conditions, the standard of entries this year was exceptional and competition for a trophy was fierce. Our celebrations were undertaken in a very well attended virtual event which gave our audience the opportunity to hear from the judging panel including Paul Lee, this year’s new chair of the judging panel, on the judging process and what excellence looks like in each category, before our fantastic sponsors revealed the winning entries. A replay of the event will be available shortly for those that missed it.  

We awarded 13 trophies to companies across the self-entry categories for their outstanding work in investor relations, and highly commended a further two companies that had demonstrated significant progress in their communications. Our winners included two International double awards, with BASF winning ‘Most Effective Use of Digital’ and ‘Best Communication of ESG’, and Polymetal winning ‘Most Effective Overall Communication of Company Investment Proposition’ and ‘Best Annual Report’.  

In the voted awards, the team at AstraZeneca had plenty to celebrate, winning ‘Best Overall Company IR’ in addition to their Head of Investor Relations, Thomas Kudsk Larsen, receiving the individual award for ‘Best IRO’. Congratulations also go to Andrew Carter at Rotork for ‘Best Newcomer to IR’ and Schroder Investment Management for ‘Best Investor Engagement’. 

Laura Hayter, CEO of the IR Society, said:

“The development and promotion of best practice in investor relations is at the heart of the IR Society, and our annual Best Practice Awards, now in their 20th year, are fundamental to this work. The global pandemic combined with ongoing changes in the regulatory environment and greater demands from investors have challenged IR teams to continue to push the boundaries in best practice IR and to ensure their company’s reason for existence and investment case are clearly articulated. Each year we are delighted by the standard of entries, with this one being no exception. Many congratulations to all our winners, who demonstrated best in class investor relations in their respective categories.”

Paul Lee, Chair of the Judging Panel, said: 

“Fundamentally, investors want honesty in corporate reporting, and in this very difficult year, more than ever that's what people will want, will respect and will be looking for. Companies should be entering these awards. If you're not already proud of your reporting, improve it so you are. If you are already proud of your reporting, then of course, you should be entering.” 

About the Best Practice Awards
Now in their 20th year, the self-entry awards are open to all companies that wish to demonstrate their commitment to leading investor communications. This year’s awards saw approximately 140 entries, with the overall quality of entries remaining high and the process thorough and competitive.

Entries are scored against criteria based on the IR Society’s guidelines for best practice in investor relations. We also ask companies to complete a Q&A-style entry form to support their entry. This gives companies an opportunity to share their approach to the award and to highlight what works for them and their audience. Having completed the scoring on both a quantitative and qualitative basis, with expert input from independent third parties, the shortlists are submitted to a panel of judges. This year’s judging panel of experts included participants from the investor relations profession, investment banks, asset managers, accountancy firms and other professional bodies. The judging of all categories is overseen by a Chair from the investment community. The winners were chosen from the shortlisted entries for each category.

2020 Judging Panel:

Paul Lee – Chair of the Judging Panel, Independent Consultant

Hamish Clark – Fidelity

Hilary Eastman – PwC

Rob Farrington – Citi

Phil Fitz-Gerald – FRC

Will Goodhart – CFA Society

Andy Griffiths – The Investor Forum

Jeremy Richardson – RBC

Hugo Sanders – Wellington Management 

Caroline Stockmann – ACT

Peter Swabey – The Governance Institute

Thomas Toomse-Smith – FRC

Freddie Woolfe – Jupiter Asset Management 

For the voted awards, which recognise excellence in individual and team investor relations, we were delighted to be working in partnership once again with Institutional Investor, who have helped us to address a larger audience and voting universe from the buy-side and sell-side. The nominations included 218 companies and 230 IROs, of which 27 were newcomers to the industry. The ‘Best Investor Engagement’ award included 101 buy-side company nominations.

For further information contact:

The Investor Relations Society

Laura Hayter, CEO                                                            Tel: 020 7379 1763

Kate Heseltine, Head of Policy and Communications       Tel: 020 7379 1763

Notes for editors:

The Investor Relations Society
The Investor Relations Society (IR Society) is a membership organisation that exists to promote best practice investor relations in the UK and beyond. It is run by IR professionals for IR professionals.
Established in 1980, the IR Society’s mission is to promote best practice in investor relations; to support the professional development of its members; to represent their views to regulatory bodies, the investment community and government; and to act as a forum for issuers and the investment community.

The Society has over 850 members from the UK, Europe and beyond, including representatives from most of the FTSE 100, a large number of FTSE 250 companies and a number of AIM and smaller companies as well as IR advisors and service providers. For more information visit www.irs.org.uk or connect with us on Twitter (@IRSocietyUK) or LinkedIn

Published 24 November, 2020

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