The IR Society Celebrates Best in Class IR at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London

At Tuesday night’s annual Investor Relations Society Best Practice Awards dinner, the IR Society recognised those companies that are leading the way in IR best practice and stakeholder engagement.

At Tuesday night’s annual Investor Relations Society Best Practice Awards dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, the IR Society recognised those 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.

This premier event in the IR calendar was hosted by the comedian, Suzi Ruffell, and saw over 370 IR professionals gathered together.

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, led by Paul Lee, Head of Stewardship & Sustainable Investment Strategy at Redington. In addition, there are 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 changing market dynamics, the standard of entries continues to rise, and competition was fierce. We awarded 11 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. Royal Dutch Shell triumphed in the Large Cap category for ‘Best IR Communications and Engagement’ programme. ‘Best Annual Report’ was won by Berkeley Group (Large Cap), Britvic (Mid Cap), and Halfords (Small Cap). This year a new award was introduced, ‘Best Innovation in IR’, for which WPP and Valmet were the winners in the Large Cap and Mid Cap categories respectively.

In the voted awards, the team at AstraZeneca had plenty to celebrate once again this year, winning ‘Best Overall Company IR’ in addition to former Head of Investor Relations at AstraZeneca, Thomas Kudsk Larsen, receiving the individual award for ‘Best IRO’. Congratulations also go to Claire Kane at NatWest and Chris Manners at Barclays who were joint winners for ‘Best Newcomer to IR’. For the second year in a row, Schroder Investment Management won the ‘Best Investor Engagement’ award.

Click here for a full list of award winners.

Laura Hayter, CEO of the IR Society, said:

“This event celebrates one of the Society’s key reasons for existing – to promote best practice in investor relations and I would like to thank all those who put their work forward for an award. Those companies shortlisted for Tuesday’s awards have all shown how to adhere to and deliver best practice principles, and the quality of their entries, from the largest to the smaller companies, was extremely high. Each year we are delighted by the calibre of our nominees, with this one being no exception. Many congratulations to all of our winners, who demonstrated best in class investor relations in their respective categories.”

Paul Lee, Chair of the Judging Panel, said:

"It was a pleasure to again chair the panel for these awards, and a privilege to work with my distinguished and diligent fellow judges. We happily had some great entries to sift through and were able to identify some very worthy winners among them. It is great to see IROs rising to the challenges that we have all faced in the last year, of needing to find new methods of communication and new ways to bring messages to life."

About the Best Practice Awards
Now in their 21st year, the self-entry awards are open to all companies that wish to demonstrate their commitment to leading investor communications. 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.

2021 Judging Panel:

Chair of the Judging Panel: Paul Lee – Redington

Habib Anous – Independent

Hamish Clark – Fidelity

Hilary Eastman – PwC

Phil Fitz-Gerald – FRC

Katya Gorbatiouk – London Stock Exchange

Andy Griffiths – The Investor Forum

Ken Lee – London School of Economics

Angus Prentice – IR Society

Jeremy Richardson – RBC

Hugo Sanders – Wellington Management

Sue Scholes – Independent, Former Chair of the IR Society

Caroline Stockmann – ACT

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 267 companies and 432 IROs, of which 17 were newcomers to the industry. The ‘Best Investor Engagement’ award included 90 buy-side company nominations.

For further information contact:

The Investor Relations Society

Laura Hayter, CEO                                                             Tel: 020 7379 1763

Robert Dann, Head of Marketing and Operations              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 or connect with us on Twitter (@IRSocietyUK) or LinkedIn

Published 24 November, 2021

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