Grand prix winners at Ireland’s premier annual investor relations event are Anglo Irish Bank, CRH, CPL Resources, DCC and Newcourt Group.
Companies were selected by portfolio managers, buy-side and sell-side analysts in Ireland, the UK, North America and continental Europe.
An audience of over 200, comprising investor relations officers, CEOs, CFOs and other corporate representatives attended the black-tie event at the Conrad Dublin where Irish corporates were awarded in nine investor relations-related categories. The awards are organised by IR magazine in association with Ireland’s leading professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Anglo Irish Bank picked up three awards including a tie with CRH for the best investor relations by a CEO category won by David Drum (CEO), William McAteer (group finance director) & Matt Moran (CFO) of AIB and CRH’s Myles Lee (CFO) & Liam O’Mahony (CEO). Kingspan Group won investors over in the most progress in investor relations category.
The best investor relations officer category was carried by Allied Irish Banks’ Alan Kelly. Norkom Group won for best new listing in Ireland. A comprehensive list of all winners is attached.
Deirdre Somers, CEO designate of the Irish Stock Exchange said: ’These awards are due recognition of the very strong standards of Investor Relations activities which are now promoted by companies on the Irish market. Going forward it’s important that the very professional standards reflected in the IR activities of these winners serves as an example to all the companies on the Exchange – including the many new companies which have listed on IEX in recent years“.
This is the fifth year of the Ireland awards. The award winners are based on a detailed investor perception study carried out by London-based Mary Maude Research, for which portfolio managers and buy and sell-side analysts from around Ireland, the UK, continental Europe and the US were interviewed and asked to vote for the best companies in various categories.
In addition, investors are asked their opinion on investor relations trends. As in previous investor perception studies the majority of the 80 interviewed felt the standard of IR among Irish companies was extremely high, with 72% saying Ireland compared favourably with the Eurozone and 91% stating Irish IR was on par with or better than that of UK companies.
Standards were felt to be high because of the willingness to travel, communications and the use of the internet and senior management’s involvement in IR. The Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX) was an unknown entity to the majority of respondents (particularly among those based outside of Ireland) with 60% saying they were not familiar with the exchange. However, many respondents thought the IEX was a good idea in principle.
Fay Sanders, international editor of IR magazine, says: "This year’s awards are confirmation of the high quality of IR in Ireland. ’But given the continued economic prosperity in Ireland and the perceived pragmatism and sophistication of Irish investor relations by investors, this should not lead to complacency,’ she warns. ’Irish companies should continually strive to surpass the high benchmark they have set for their shareholder communications efforts“.
Reflecting on the success of Irish companies’ IR activities, Kevin Egan, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), says: ”Corporate reporting in its wider sense plays a central role in communicating a company’s performance and value proposition to the capital markets. Many leading companies are now using enriched narrative in their corporate reporting to provide clear and explicit information on their markets, strategies and how they manage for value and performance“.
”However, a recent PwC survey of Fortune Global 500 companies found that only 15% of respondents report the key performance indicators management would routinely use to develop, manage and operate the business on a day-to-day basis, and only 10% of companies include forward-looking information. It is these management perspectives that investors and potential investors value highly, as they allow them to make a more informed assessment of a company’s performance and value“.
Kevin Egan concluded: ”It is clear that companies who respond to the growing demand from investors and other stakeholders for broader and more relevant information on areas such as market challenges, strategy, risks and available resources will be the companies that will continue to attract investment and enhance shareholder value over the long term“.
The awards and conference are run in association with PwC and are supported by the Irish Stock Exchange. Other sponsors are Business Wire, Davy, Financial Dynamics, Hugin, Premiere Global Services and Thomson.