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Nov 07, 2016

Global Top 50 ranking: 2016

Garnet Roach reveals the firms that made the 2016 Global Top 50 and the companies taking home this year’s prestigious international awards

From the impending US elections, the slowdown in China, crisis in Brazil and the vote for Brexit to proxy access and another year of increased activism, 2016 has been a big year for big issues. But while markets might fluctuate, best practice IR remains the same – no matter where you operate. 

And that’s what IR Magazine’s Global Top 50 celebrates. Not just the companies that communicate with their shareholders in good times, but those that get their IR right all the time. Each year we combine the data from our regional awards research – covering the US, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Greater China (2015 research) and South East Asia (2015 research) – to determine which companies and individuals really shine among their global peers. 

This year sees Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) take the number one spot from Novo Nordisk, though the Danish firm remains in the top three behind China Telecom in second. Iberdrola and TCL Communications Technology round out the top five, with all five firms set to receive a special award. Other accolades handed out to Global Top 50 companies include the global top IRO awards, global top small/mid-cap, global top use of technology and global top corporate governance (see below and page 64). 

Elsewhere in the Top 50 are some other familiar faces, including ARC Resources, whose outgoing senior vice president of capital markets, David Carey, is our fall issue cover star. There are also some companies in the 2016 rankings that didn’t make the list last year, including 13 that are completely new to the Global Top 50. 

Of those, six are Asian firms – Kerry Logistics, MediaTek, Metro Pacific Investments, PLDT, Sa Sa International and TCL – with the region accounting for 14 firms in the full rankings. As a region, Europe sees 17 companies in the listings this year, the same as North America. But the country with the highest number of companies in the Global Top 50 is the US at 14, including two for the first time in the form of Anadarko Petroleum and Hilton Worldwide Hotels. 

For our global awards, small and mid-caps are defined as companies with a market cap of less than $7.5 bn.

Global winners

Global top IRO

Five winning IROs, listed alphabetically by company
Janet Drysdale, CN
Kelly Youngblood, Halliburton 
Laurence Beltrão Gomes, Lojas Renner 
Peter Hugreffe Ankersen, Novo Nordisk 
Dr Elizabeth Sun, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

‘The challenging economic backdrop plus heightened market volatility necessitated a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to IR,’ Janet Drysdale, head of IR at CN and one of this year’s five global top IROs, told IR Magazine last year. ‘We’ve stepped up efforts to communicate with the sell side, existing shareholders and potential new investors.’ That attitude of giving more in hard times also marks out Drysdale’s award-winning compatriots: Kelly Youngblood, Laurence Beltrão Gomes, Peter Hugreffe Ankersen and Dr Elizabeth Sun – a group that embodies the global nature of the award.

Global top small/mid-cap

Five winning companies, listed alphabetically
ARC Resources (Canada)
Citizens Financial Group (US) 
RWE (Germany)
TCL Communications Technology (China) 
Wright Medical (US) 

This year’s small and mid-cap category is populated by some regulars in the form of Canada’s ARC Resources and Germany’s RWE, as well as Citizens Financial Group and Wright Medical from the US. But TCL Communications Technology climbed the ranks of the All-Asia Top 50 in 2015/2016 from obscurity, having not ranked at all the previous year. The firm came in at number three, taking home two Greater China awards in the process: best IRO at a small or mid-cap company for former auditor and business journalist Kennis Lau, and best IR by a senior management team at a small or mid-cap company for CFO Thomas Liu.

Global top use of technology

Five winning companies, listed alphabetically
China Telecom (China) 
Iberdrola (Spain) 
Itaú Unibanco (Brazil)
Novo Nordisk (Denmark) (US) 

‘Iberdrola is clearly number one for its website because of the way the site is structured and the ease with which you can get what you need,’ says one Spanish sell-sider of the energy firm’s tech efforts, which include an app, interactive tools and an investor discussion forum. What about the other firms in the global top five for technology? ‘China Telecom uses all the available technology’ and Itaú Unibanco keeps up, too. ‘Novo Nordisk’s website is easy to navigate’ with a useful consensus section, while boasts its own platform portal for investors and analysts where they can request callbacks and arrange corporate access.

Global top corporate governance

Fve winning companies, listed alphabetically
Cisco Systems (US) 
Novo Nordisk (Denmark) 
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (Taiwan)
TD Bank Group (Canada) 
Unilever (UK) 

This is another category featuring Euro Top 100 number one Novo Nordisk and Asia Top 50 number one TSMC. Rounding out the group is Cisco Systems from the US, Canada’s TD Bank and Unilever of the UK. While Unilever lost out on the top spot to Novo Nordisk in the regional best corporate governance research category, one buy-sider from the Netherlands says the firm ‘sets the benchmark’, adding that ‘corporate governance and responsibility are key in Unilever’s story.’ TD is ‘at the head of the parade in strengthening corporate governance’ while Cisco acts as ‘a good citizen’ when it comes to governance.

Global Top 50 Gold (ranked 1-20)

1. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Taiwan
2. China Telecom, China
3. Novo Nordisk, Denmark
4. Iberdrola, Spain
5. TCL Communications Technology, China
6. Unilever, UK
7. General Electric, US
8. Continental, Germany
9. JPMorgan Chase & Co, US
10. Honeywell, US
11. DBS Group, Singapore
12. Schlumberger, US
13., US
14. Cisco Systems, US
15. MediaTek, Taiwan
16. Roche Holding, Switzerland
17. EDP – Energias de Portugal, Portugal
18. KASIKORNBANK, Thailand
19. Kroton, Brazil
20. CapitaLand, Singapore

Global Top 50 Silver (alphabetical order)

Allianz, Germany
Anadarko Petroleum, US
Anima, Brazil
ARC Resources, Canada
Arezzo, Brazil
BASF, Germany
Bayer, Germany
Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada
ČEZ Group, Czech Republic
CN, Canada
ConocoPhillips, US
Danaher, US
Delta Electronics, Taiwan
Deutsche Post, Germany
EDP Renováveis, Portugal
Enterprise Products Partners, US
Ferrovial, Spain
Galp Energia, Portugal
Hilton Worldwide Hotels, US
Intel, US
Itaú Unibanco, Brazil
Kerry Logistics, Hong Kong
L Brands, US
Metro Pacific Investments, Philippines
Nestlé, Switzerland
PLDT, Philippines
PTT Exploration and Production, Thailand
RWE, Germany
Sa Sa International, Hong Kong
Santander, Spain
SingTel, Singapore
Sherwin-Williams, US

Garnet Roach

Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of subjects, from technology to...

Senior reporter