A roundup of the winners of the IR Magazine Awards – Brazil 2014

Dec 10, 2014
<p>The class of 2014</p>

In a year when the Brazilian stock market has struggled to perform, amid waning investor interest and political instability, it’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the country’s most experienced IR departments came to the fore at the IR Magazine Awards – Brazil 2014.

Itaú Unibanco, which over the last 10 years has earned plaudits for its investor relations whatever the investment climate, picked up six awards, including the grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap).

The biggest Brazilian bank by market capitalization also topped the Brazil Top 30, a regional ranking based on the performance of companies across all awards categories, replacing last year’s number one, Kroton.

The full research behind the awards – based on a survey of roughly 200 institutional investors and sell-side analysts – can be found in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Brazil 2014 (available in Portuguese). To find out more or to order a copy, please contact Andrea Pion at +1 212 430 6861 or andrea.pion@thecrossbordergroup.com.

Brazil awards 2014 sector winners
IR Magazine Awards – Brazil 2014 sector award winners

Itaú Unibanco

Brazil Top 30 rank: 1

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)
Best annual report
Best investor meetings (large cap)
Best conference call
Best use of technology (large cap)
Best in sector: financials

Also nominated for
Best sustainability practice
Best corporate governance
Best IR by a CEO or CFO (Roberto Setúbal)
Best investor relations officer (large cap) (Marcelo Barreto)

What the investment community says
‘Made a successful IRO transition, and has a great range of institutional relationships’

IR fact
Upon joining the firm in early 2014, new IR head Marcelo Barreto said he plans to further develop Itaú’s investor targeting program and customize the approach toward different investor groups.

Kroton

Brazil Top 30 rank: 2

Awards
Best investor relations officer (large cap) (Carlos Lazar)
Best IR by a CEO or CFO (Rodrigo Galindo)
Best in sector: consumer discretionary

Also nominated for
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)
Best conference call
Best corporate governance
Best investor meetings (large cap)

What the investment community says
‘The executive and his staff are always available by email, telephone or mobile phone. They are very helpful in understanding the company and with access to top management’

IR fact
Kroton’s head of IR Carlos Lazar has truly made a career out of the profession. He has worked in investor relations for 15 years and counting, beginning at IR consulting firms before moving on to the IR teams at Vivo, Energias do Brasil, Banco Daycoval and now Kroton. He has had one role outside of IR, however: Lazar started his working life as an insurance company analyst.

Natura

Brazil Top 30 rank: 3

Awards
Best sustainability practice
Best corporate governance
Best in sector: consumer staples

Also nominated for
Best annual report

What the investment community says
‘It involves the shareholders in a differentiated manner, involving them with regard to the company’s policies, sustainability and culture, and also has respect for the customer’
‘Many of the company’s initiatives are oriented by or based on sustainability initiatives and social responsibility’

IR fact
Natura’s leadership in corporate governance has a long history. The cosmetics firm was one of the first companies to list on Brazil’s Nuevo Mercado, the premium market segment for issuers with enhanced corporate governance. Nuevo Mercado struggled early on, attracting just two IPOs in the first three years. But Natura’s listing in 2004 is regarded as a turning point and by 2007 the premium segment was celebrating its 100th company.

Arezzo

Brazil Top 30 rank: 19

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small & mid-cap)

Also nominated for
Best investor meetings (small & mid-cap)

What the investment community says
‘Good relationship with the market, always accessible and trying to provide the best service to analysts’
‘Management is present at the meetings, promoting visits to the company facilities’

IR fact
Arezzo is a company that got investor relations right from the get-go, and continues to deliver for investors and analysts today. The leader in women’s footwear won best IR for an IPO at the IR Magazine Awards – Brazil 2011 and just three years on has a grand prix to its name. Thiago Lima Borges, the firm’s CFO and IRO, says investor relations has always been a very high priority and the company spends ‘many thoughts and hours’ preparing for its main investor events.

Valid

Brazil Top 30 rank: 23

Awards
Best use of technology (small & mid-cap) (joint winner)

Also nominated for
Best investor meetings (small & mid-cap)
Best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap) (Carlos Affonso d’Albuquerque)
Most progress in IR (small & mid-cap)

What the investment community says
‘A company that has broad vision, with emphasis on market improvement and good information on the operations’
‘[Carlos Affonso Albuquerque] diffused control, unlike some other companies, and has a proactive approach’

IR fact
Valid boosted its digital presence in 2013 with the launch of a new IR website. The reworked site offers a more user-friendly platform for keeping up to date with company news, plus contact details for the entire IR team. And Valid has more tech developments on the way: an IR app is currently in development.

ABC Brasil

Brazil Top 30 rank: 30

Awards
Best use of technology (small & mid-cap) (joint winner)

Also nominated for
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small & mid-cap)
Most progress in IR (small & mid-cap)

What the investment community says
‘The company fully redesigned its brand, logo, message and communication channels, as well as its internet portal (including the IR website)’
‘The company uses technology on its website to present information, either according to the layout and/or in dynamic spreadsheets’

IR fact
Like Valid, its co-winner in the best technology category, ABC Brasil has recently launched a new IR website, released as part of a wider upgrade of the company’s corporate image. Users of the site now have new ways to source and play with company information, says head of IR Alexandre Yoshiaki Sinzato, such as a dynamic spreadsheet function that allows you to download customized batches of financial data.

Abril Educação

Awards
Most progress in IR (small & mid-cap)

Also nominated for
Best investor meetings (small & mid-cap)
Best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap) (Sandra Matsumoto)

What the investment community says
‘The company proved to be more efficient in a sector that has grown a lot’
‘It overcame the lack of credibility of the market, and invested in professionals who improved relationships with investors. Welcome change in corporate attitude’

IR fact
Abril Educação, one of Brazil’s fast-growing education companies, acquired a number of new assets during 2013 to complete its diversification plans. The decision by the investment community to award it the most progress in IR gong may be down to the hard work put in by the IR team to explain the newly diversified business, says head of IR Sandra Matsumoto. The company kept investors fully informed about the benefits and strategic rationale of the transactions while never minimizing the risks involved, she adds.

Anima Educação

Awards
Best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap) (Leonardo Haddad)

Also nominated for
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small & mid-cap)
Best IR for an IPO

What the investment community says
‘[Leonardo Haddad] facilitates communication with other management officers and is very efficient in leading IR’
‘The firm consolidated the new phase of the education sector, making it very attractive in the Brazilian stock market, while solidifying the role of education companies in the Brazilian market’

IR fact
Leonardo Haddad has quickly established his IR credentials in the eyes of investors and analysts. The winner of the best IRO trophy at this year’s awards only took up his IR duties in 2013, a few months before higher education firm Anima’s IPO. Haddad originally joined Anima in 2006 and continues to work in the treasury alongside his new IR responsibilities.

Arteris

Awards
Most progress in IR (large cap)

What the investment community says
‘The company introduced a new controlling shareholder and established improving communication with analysts as one of its priorities, including CEO and CFO participation’
‘Proactive, good market expectation and great communication’

IR fact
Alessandro Scotoni Levy, IRO at highway operator Arteris, picks out three factors that have helped improve investor relations over the last two years. The company has begun carrying out perception studies to help identify ways to improve the IR function, he explains. In addition, a new IR manager has been hired to help meet the demands of shareholders, other investors and analysts. Finally, Levy points out that Arteris’ new controlling shareholder, Spanish firm Abertis, has ‘encouraged and prioritized’ more active communication with the capital markets.

BB Seguridade

Awards
Best IR for an IPO

What the investment community says
‘Biggest IPO in a time of great volatility. Promises have been met by the company. Innovation: no other retail bank in Brazil took its insurance subsidiaries public. Massive retail presence during the IPO operation’
‘The IR team performance and the pre and post-IPO work met the analysts’ expectations’

IR fact
One of the most impressive aspects of the April 2013 IPO of BB Seguridade, the insurance unit of state-owned Banco de Brasil, was the company’s ability to demand such a high price for such a large offering, commented analysts at the time of the flotation. The firm sold more than 500 mn shares and raised a total of $5.7 bn, making it easily the largest IPO of the year.

Randon

Awards
Best investor meetings (small & mid-cap)

Also nominated for
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small & mid-cap)
Best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap) (Hemerson de Souza)
Best use of technology (small & mid-cap)

What the investment community says
‘Provides a lot of time for questions and answers’
‘[Hemerson de Souza] is a centered professional, in tune with the expectations and realities of the company, and provides strong transparency on both positive and negative results’

IR fact
An IR stalwart, Randon’s four nominations and one award in 2014 came as no surprise to seasoned watchers of the IR Magazine Awards – Brazil. The manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers and railcars won three awards last year, picked up five nominations in 2012 and walked away with two gongs in 2011.

Other sector award winners

Vale
Brazil Top 30 rank: 4
Best in sector: basic materials

OdontoPrev
Brazil Top 30 rank: 8
Best in sector: health

Ultrapar
Brazil Top 30 rank: 9
Best in sector: energy

Cemig
Brazil Top 30 rank: 13
Best in sector: utilities

Bematech
Best in sector: industrials

CCR
Best in sector: industrials

Brazil 2014 sponsors

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