Real estate boom at IRS Awards
The real estate sector put in a commanding performance last night at the IR Society’s Best Practice Awards in London.
Land Securities bagged the event’s big prize, picking up the award for most effective annual report for a FTSE 100 company for the second year in a row.
British Land, meanwhile, walked away with two awards: best corporate website by a FTSE 100 company, and best use of a website to support the investment story.
A third property firm, Crown Estates, which manages land owned by the British state, won best annual report by an unlisted entity.
Held at the Tower of London, the event saw around 400 members of the IR community gather to enjoy a night out with their peers.
Following a champagne reception and dinner, the awards kicked off with a stand-up routine from Fred MacAulay, a Scottish comedian and regular on UK radio shows like the News Quiz.
The IR Society’s awards are unique in that they focus all their attention on reporting and corporate websites.
For example, the first prize handed out was for best communication of strategy, performance and key performance indicators in the annual report.
The winner – ARM Holdings – was praised by the judges for the way it includes measurable KPIs that are clearly linked to other parts of the report.
Entrants were scored against a checklist before being peer reviewed by experienced IR practitioners and drawn up into short lists.
A judging panel, with representatives from the buy side, accountancy, regulatory bodies and the media, then selected the winners.
BASF empty handed
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the failure of BASF to pick up any awards, despite being nominated four times.
The German chemicals company has swept all before it at IR awards events over the past two years, but last night left empty-handed.
Instead, Wolters Kluwer shone among the international entrants. The publisher picked up two awards: most effective use of online technology and most effective annual report by an overseas issuer.
The night rounded off with a new gong: the IR Society Fellowship Award for a significant contribution to the development of IR as a profession, which went to Bob Cowell, a founding partner of City IR firm Makinson Cowell.
Announcing the award, John Dawson, the IR Society chairman, praised Cowell for his 20 years as an ‘outstanding advocate’ for the IR profession.