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IR Society trumpets best practice at the Tower of London

London, 23 November 2016

At Tuesday night’s annual Investor Relations Society Best Practice Awards dinner at the Tower of London, the IR Society recognised those companies that are leading the way in engaging with the capital markets, building trust, and strengthening corporate reputation.

This premier event in the IR calendar was hosted by the writer, broadcaster, former MP and government whip, Gyles Brandreth and saw almost 600 IR professionals gathered together.

There were two sets of awards presented – the Self-entry awards, with the winners determined by a panel of judges, and the Voted awards, with the winners determined by votes cast by the buy- and sell-sides.

The Society was delighted with the standard and quality of entries this year and with some fiercely fought categories, nineteen different companies collected the nineteen Self-entry awards. Taylor Wimpey triumphed in the FTSE 100 category for best overall communication of company investment proposition, and performed consistently well across other award categories, also achieving a highly commended in the best annual report category.  Best annual report was won by ARM Holdings (FTSE 100), DS Smith (FTSE 250), McBride (Small-cap & AIM) and PhosAgro (International). The inaugural winner of this year’s new award, Best IPO IR Communications, went to McCarthy & Stone.

David Lloyd-Seed, Chair 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. We are doing ourselves proud as an industry in communicating our investment case to the market and ensuring that investors have all they need readily available and easily digestible to understand what our companies do – that of course is the secret sauce that ensures a full and fair valuation – the lifeblood of any IRO. Congratulations to them all.”

In the Voted awards, Shire celebrated winning Best Overall Company IR. A former winner of this award, the Shire team is credited with great execution of bold transactions in a difficult and complex market environment. Congratulations also go to Charlotte McBride at J Sainsbury for winning Best Newcomer to IR and to Greg Feehely, ASOS who was named Best IRO, a previous winner of this award.

Click here for a full list of award winners.

At Tuesday’s awards ceremony, the Society also recognised the service and efforts of those past Chairs and others who have made a significant contribution to the IR industry over the years by formalising the award of Honorary Fellowship. These fellowships will be formally presented at a reception to be held at the IR Society on December 8, 2016.

About the awards
Now in their 16th 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 over 170 entries. The overall quality of entries remains high and the process thorough and competitive.

In 2014 and 2015, we streamlined the awards to reflect changes in the operating and regulatory environment that have led to the need for faster, clearer and more dynamic investor communications. In 2016, we added a new award category, Best IPO IR communications. 

Entries are scored against criteria based on the Society’s guidelines for best practice in investor communications. We also ask companies to add a statement of their own to support the 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 drawn from users of annual reports and accounts. The winners were chosen from the shortlist.

The judging panel for 2016 was:
David Lloyd-Seed (Chair) – IR Society
Hilary Eastman – PwC
Jessica Fries – The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)
Tim Goodman – Hermes Investment Management
Sue Harding – FRC Financial Reporting Lab
Liz Murrall – The Investment Association
Scott Payton – Bowen Craggs & Co
Giles Peel – DAC Beachcroft
Nigel Sleigh-Johnson – ICAEW
Peter Swabey – ICSA
Thomas Toomse-Smith – FRC Financial Reporting Lab
Martin Walker – Alliance Manchester Business School

For the voted awards, which recognise excellence in individual and team investor relations, we were delighted to be working in partnership with WeConvene Extel who has helped us to address a larger audience and voting universe comprising the buy- and sell-sides. The nominations included 274 companies and 333 IROs, of which 23 were newcomers to the industry.

For further information contact:
The Investor Relations Society
John Gollifer - General Manager 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 750 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: 23 November, 2016