Meeting the challenge in Canada

Jun 01, 2016
<p>IROs had the chance to reflect on a tough year at the IR Magazine Awards &ndash; Canada 2016</p>

Picking up the grand prix for best overall investor relations (mid-cap), David Carey quoted a country and western lyric that sums up his approach to IR in this market: ‘If you’re going through hell, keep on going.’ Carey, head of IR at ARC Resources, saw his company’s market valuation drop 30 percent in 2015. ‘We’re down another 30 percent this year and may be going into the small-cap category,’ he joked.

Canada’s economy has felt the global slowdown and collapse in commodity prices especially hard. Reeling from the blows, 400 guests gathered in Toronto in February for the IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2016, hosted by financial journalist and author Bruce Sellery.

Canada Awards 2016
The IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2016 was held at The Carlu in Toronto. See all the photos in our gallery from the night

CN, the big winner on the night with six awards, has also struggled with the biting economic headwinds: for a railroad company, a down market means fewer goods to ship. CN’s awards included best overall investor relations (large cap) and best investor relations professional (large cap) for Janet Drysdale, who says CN has responded to the downturn with a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to IR that involves more meetings than usual – and the investment community clearly appreciates the effort.

Other top performers on the night included ARC Resources and Canadian Pacific Railway: each picked up three awards. Alamos Gold, meanwhile, went home with the grand prix for best overall investor relations (small cap) and best IR by a CFO (small cap). ‘I count myself very fortunate to work with a management team that is very IR-savvy,’ said Alamos’ head of IR Scott Parsons.

The nominees were selected by a survey of more than 250 portfolio managers, buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts based in the Canadian market. You can read the research behind the awards in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Canada 2016, which includes interviews with award-winning IR teams, investor feedback on IR practice and rankings for more than 175 companies in Canada. To order a copy, please contact Dahman Djimani at dahman.djimani@irmagazine.com or +44 20 7749 9138.

Canada Top 10 2016

Grand prix for best overall investor relations
Large cap
CN
What the investment community says
‘CN gives you everything you need before you realize you need it. The IR team is not selling to you; instead, it appears balanced and knowledgeable’ – sell side

Mid-cap
ARC Resources
What the investment community says
‘There is more of a focus on IR at ARC than at many other companies; it isn’t treated as a necessary evil. The head of IR, David Carey, is a top guy and treats the investment community as partners’ – sell side

Small cap
Alamos Gold
What the investment community says
‘I think Alamos is the best overall because it provides quick feedback. The IRO used to work in the equity industry, so understands marketing and what we need in terms of meetings. These are the key attributes we need to do our job’ – sell side

Best investor relations officer
Large cap
Janet Drysdale, CN
What the investment community says
‘CN always does a good job. The investor relations director has worked in several different departments within the company, so she knows it inside out. The communication is good and CN makes all levels of management accessible’ – sell side

Mid-cap
Isabelle Adjahi, WSP Global
What the investment community says
‘Isabelle Adjahi is simply first class. She engages with all shareholder groups, retail and institutional, and is very thorough in explaining the company story’ – buy side

Small cap
Lisa Ottmann, Trinidad Drilling
What the investment community says
‘Lisa Ottmann is more knowledgeable than most IROs. Rather than a big team, it’s a one-person show at Trinidad, but despite that she’s easily contactable and does an outstanding job’ – buy side

Best IR by a CEO
Large cap
Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific Railway
What the investment community says
‘CP’s CEO Hunter Harrison is an absolute legend in the industry. When he speaks it really carries weight. He calls it how he sees it’ – sell side

Mid-cap
Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle Mines
What the investment community says
‘Agnico Eagle stands out for its willingness to engage and its clear explanations. Its mine tours are very well organized and management members, including CEO Sean Boyd, are regularly available for meetings’ – buy side

Small cap
Duncan Davies, Interfor
What the investment community says
‘Duncan Davies, CEO at Interfor, has been excellent at setting out his growth model’ – sell side

Best IR by a CFO
Large cap
Luc Jobin, CN
What the investment community says
‘Luke Jobin at CN is a really smart guy. He stands out among CFOs because he is equally willing to talk about the good things as the aspects that need more work. He is never promotional’ – sell side

Mid-cap
Dan Lefaivre, Stantec
What the investment community says
‘The CFO of Stantec, Dan Lefaivre, is clear, stays on message and never oversells’ – sell side

Small cap
Jamie Porter, Alamos Gold
What the investment community says
‘Jamie Porter, CFO at Alamos, is always responsive and when we get quarterly transcripts will summarize them for us, which is helpful. Also, the IRO at Alamos doesn’t mind if I go directly to the CFO: he understands when I need to bypass him, unlike other IROs who can be miffed as they want control of the dissemination of info’ – sell side

Best financial reporting
ARC Resources
What the investment community says
‘ARC provides good communications and you can get hold of the IRO easily. The disclosure in reporting and presentations is always good’ – sell side

Best use of technology
CN
What the investment community says
‘CN uses technology very well, which means it can answer questions, provide lots of detail on conference calls and is quick to respond’ – buy side

Best investor meetings
CN
What the investment community says
‘CN provides good access to its facilities and well-organized site tours’ – buy side

Best IR by a TSX Venture Exchange-listed company
Input Capital
What the investment community says
‘Input Capital goes beyond regular quarterly reporting, producing quarterly operational updates allowing you to get ahead of the mark with the reports. The management team is forthright, honest and clear’ – buy side

Best IR by a Canadian company in the US market
Canadian Pacific Railway
What the US investment community says
‘The IR people at Canadian Pacific are very responsive and rich with information’ – sell side

Other award winners
Most progress in IR: Canadian Pacific Railway
Best corporate governance: TD Bank Group
Best sustainability practice: Northland Power
Best IR during a corporate transaction: WSP Global (Parsons Brinckerhoff acquisition)
Best crisis management: Canadian Natural Resources
Best IR for an IPO: Stingray Digital Group
Lifetime achievement in IR: Sharon Mathers, CIBC

Best in sector
Communications: Rogers Communications
Consumer discretionary: Cineplex Entertainment
Consumer staples: Loblaw Companies
Energy: ARC Resources
Financials: TD Bank Group
Industrials: CN
Materials: Agnico Eagle Mines
Technology: Thomson Reuters
Utilities: Northland Power

Canada Awards 2016 sector winners 
Sector winners: Ron Alepian (left) of National Equicom and Neil Stewart (right) of IR Magazine present sector awards to (from second left): Paul Bradley of Northland Power (utilities), Brian Christie of Agnico Eagle Mines (materials), Janet Drysdale of CN (industrials), Rudy Sankovic of TD Bank Group (financials), Sophia Bisoukis of Loblaw Companies (consumer staples), David Carey of ARC Resources (energy), Pat Marshall of Cineplex Entertainment (consumer discretionary) and Dan Coombes of Rogers Communications (communications)

Canada 2016 sponsors  

This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of IR Magazine 

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