Topping the bill in Canada

Mar 15, 2012
<p>Snapshots of the winners from this year&rsquo;s IR Magazine Canada Awards</p>

The IR Magazine Canada Awards 2012, held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto in February this year, shone a light on the companies deemed by the Canadian investment community to be the best exponents of investor relations.

Here we offer snapshots of those winners, identified by the research study of buy-side and sell-side investors and analysts, to give a flavor of the winners’ success.

The information is drawn from the truly comprehensive Investor Perception Study, Canada 2012, which provides detailed information about Canada’s IR leaders, drawn both from the telephone survey carried out by Mary Maude Research and the interviews with corporate executives undertaken by researchers at IR Insight, the research arm of IR magazine.

It also introduces the IR Magazine Canada Top 50, a league table of the 50 Canadian companies that achieved the best aggregate scores across all categories of the research.

TD Bank Group

Awards won
Grand prix for best overall IR (large cap)
Best IR by a CEO (large cap) – Ed Clark
Best IR by a CFO (large cap) – Colleen Johnston
Best investment community meetings
Best corporate governance
Best IR in sector – financials
Canada Top 50 ranking: 1

What the investment community says
‘TD is the most accessible of all the banks. It also has the most transparent reporting, and the ethos is one of proactive communication.’

What the company says
‘We just do things a little better than everyone else. We don’t do it differently; we do it a little better. We have a mantra around transparency, responsiveness and value-add. Those are the three things that drive everything we do.’ – Rudy Sankovic, head of IR

Backstage at the Canada Awards with TD Bank

ARC Resources

Awards won
Grand prix for best overall IR (mid-cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: 14

What the investment community says
‘ARC Resources provides high-quality IR and is in touch with the market. It knows what we’re looking for and provides it. It tailors
its IR to the individual needs of analysts.’

What the company says
‘We take pride in our financial disclosure, our corporate governance disclosure and our reserves disclosure.’ – David Carey, head of IR

Cascades

Awards won
Grand prix for best overall IR (small cap)  
Best investor relations officer (small cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘The senior management’s accessibility to investors is truly excellent, thanks to Didier Filion.’

What the company says
‘It’s not been a walk in the park but I’m happy analysts and investors seem to acknowledge that we’ve remained committed and transparent, and answered all their questions.’ – Didier Filion, head of IR until February 2012

Canadian Natural Resources

Awards won
Best IR in sector – energy
Canada Top 50 ranking: 6

What the investment community says
‘Canadian Natural Resources has extremely good disclosure and does a good job of explaining what we should expect.’

What the company says
‘[Our mission is] to develop people to work together to create value for the company’s shareholders by doing it right with fun and integrity.’ - Mission statement

Energold Drilling

Awards won
Best IR by a TSX Venture Exchange-listed company
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘Energold has always dealt with the investment community in an above-board manner and has as much disclosure as is competitively reasonable.’

What the company says
‘I am the CEO of the company but I have always been its unofficial IR head as well. I assumed it was my natural responsibility as
president of the company.’ – Fred Davidson, CEO

Backstage at the Canada Awards with Energold Drilling

Crescent Point Energy

Awards won
Best investor relations officer (mid-cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: 17

What the investment community says
‘The IR officer at Crescent Point, Trent Stangl, has it all in terms of knowledge and communication skills.’

What the company says
‘Investors need to have confidence you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do. They have to understand the business plan and be sure you’re going to stick to it. Then IR becomes an extension of the business plan. I just have to be able to articulate that plan: the vision and the strategy.’ – Trent Stangl, vice president of marketing and IR

Backstage at the Canada Awards with Crescent Point

CN

Awards won
Best investor relations officer (large cap)
Best IR in sector – transport
Canada Top 50 ranking: 3

What the investment community says
‘Highly efficient IR from CN, and it never hides anything. Be it floods or fires, it tells us immediately.’

What the company says
‘I have a good group of associates to support me – we really are a team. We work hard and do a good job.’ – Bob Noorigian, vice president of investor relations

Backstage at the Canada Awards with CN

Bombardier

Awards won
Best IR in sector – industrials
Canada Top 50 ranking: 5

What the investment community says
‘The IRO at Bombardier is a tour de force who knows her way round the industry, the boardroom and each segment of the company.’

What the company says
‘I have been very active in the last two years and the results are beginning to show.’ – Shirley Chénier, head of IR

5N Plus

Awards won
Best IR by a CEO (small cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘When 5N Plus acquired MCP Group earlier this year [2011] it was a risky acquisition and the company needed to communicate the rationale with clarity. This was managed well by senior management, and especially by the CEO.’

What the company says
‘Perhaps our ability to respond has been welcome. We haven’t done a large amount of marketing – probably just enough. The message we are conveying is relatively straightforward and easy to comprehend.’ – Jacques L’Écuyer, CEO

Agnico-Eagle Mines

Awards won
Best use of technology
Best crisis management
Canada Top 50 ranking: 7

What the investment community says
‘Agnico-Eagle has set up an online analysts database that we can use to download Excel spreadsheets. [The company] should be recognized for quality, accessibility and handling difficult situations well.’

What the company says
‘[The online database] not only helps stakeholders but also is actually a fantastic tool for me.’ – Dmitry Kushnir, IR manager

TELUS

Awards won
Best financial reporting
Best IR in sector – technology
John Wheeler, head of IR, won the lifetime achievement award this year
Canada Top 50 ranking: 4

What the investment community says
‘The amount of detail in TELUS’ annual report and quarterlies is impressive, especially the information on pay structure and management compensation.’

What the company says
‘Giving a broad range of guidance helps us stand out from other companies. Our track record of hitting our consolidated targets is nearly 80 percent.’ – John Wheeler, head of investor relations

Backstage at the Canada Awards with John Wheeler

Precision Drilling

Awards won
Most progress in IR
Canada Top 50 ranking: 35

What the investment community says
‘Precision Drilling has really improved its IR by appointing a senior person to the position. With all his knowledge, he has now become the go-to guy.’

What the company says
‘We’ve been transparent on the strategic direction of the company and we have consistently delivered on our goals.’ – Carey Ford, vice president of finance and investor relations

Scotiabank

Awards won
Best IR during a corporate transaction
Canada Top 50 ranking: 11

What the investment community says
‘All the banks have excellent IR, from presentations and meetings to the level of disclosure and transparency, but I find Scotiabank the most proactive.’

What the company says
‘Acquisitions have played a significant role in our story over the last several years.’ – Peter Slan, head of IR

Barrick Gold

Awards won
Best practice of corporate social responsibility
Canada Top 50 ranking: 15

What the investment community says
‘Barrick Gold is the only one of my companies to produce a quarterly report that looks at the impact of mining on the environment.’

What the company says
‘We know we aren’t perfect but we are very determined to do our best to serve the communities where we operate and remain a good corporate citizen.’ – Susan Muir, senior director of IR

Baytex Energy

Awards won  
Best IR by a CEO (mid-cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: 30

What the investment community says
‘Anthony Marino attends a lot of conferences and holds one-on-one meetings with investors. He presents well and is technically adept, and is also good at relating the business to the finance man.’

What the company says
‘Being honest, open and accessible is the only way to maintain credibility in the market.’ – Anthony Marino, CEO

Dundee International REIT

Awards won
Best IR for an IPO
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘It’s a real team effort at Dundee; the investor relations people have good access to senior management and can get answers from everyone.’

What the company says
‘I think our IPO has been successful despite turbulent times because our executives at Dundee have a long track record of creating value for our investors.’ – Barbara Wallner, vice president of communications

lululemon

Awards won
Best IR by a Canadian company in the US market
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘Both the CEO and the CFO of lululemon are clear about what they need from the company’s performance to give shareholder value.’

What the company says
‘Great results make IR look good but management also cares about shareholders, making sure they understand the vision.’ – Joe Teklits, head of IR

CML Healthcare

Awards won
Best IR by a CFO (small cap)
Canada Top 50 ranking: 50=

What the investment community says
‘The IR team at CML consists of the CFO and the IRO and, although neither has a background in healthcare, both are excellent at talking through the financials and able to explain anything I don’t initially understand.’

What the company says
‘Without a CEO, I was the one analysts and investors reached out to for updates on the business, our divestitures and our search for a new chief executive. That has helped me develop a good relationship with the Street.’ – Tom Weber, CFO

Shoppers Drug Mart

Awards won
Best IR in sector – consumer goods & services
Canada Top 50 ranking: 21

What the investment community says
‘The investor relations team gets back to you quickly with anything you ask for, and is sufficiently knowledgeable to answer questions without going to senior management.’

‘Both the chief executive and the chief financial officer at Shoppers Drug Mart perform well at investor and analyst presentations.’

Goldcorp

Awards won
Best IR in sector – materials
Canada Top 50 ranking: 2

What the investment community says
‘Goldcorp is such a huge company and I get to see management two or three times a year, which is unusual for a company of its size. IR is perceived as an important and fundamental component of the corporate culture and is well organized.’

What the company says
‘There are new investors coming into gold every day. It’s an educational effort bringing them along the curve from merely investing in gold to evaluating ways to use that gold price by looking at the mining firms that produce it.’ – Jeff Wilhoit, vice president of investor relations

Corus Entertainment

Awards won
Best IR by a CFO (mid-cap)  
Best IR in sector – leisure & media
Canada Top
50 ranking: 25

What the investment community says
‘The business managers at Corus are always straightforward and forthcoming, and management is highly accessible.’

What the company says
‘Over the years we have learned that our investors want to talk to the CEO and CFO. We work closely together and that gives us
a consistent message.’ – Tom Peddie, CFO

RioCan REIT

Awards won
Best IR in sector – real estate
Canada Top 50 ranking: n/a

What the investment community says
‘RioCan provides timely and detailed disclosure and the IR team is experienced enough to understand what we need.’

What the company says
‘We don’t have a cookie-cutter disclosure pattern. We follow just one rule: we have nothing to hide.’ – Raghunath Davloor, CFO  

Enbridge

Awards won
Best IR in sector – utilities & pipelines
Canada Top 50 ranking: 9

What the investment community says
‘Enbridge has the strongest IR team. The presentations are short, concise and to the point.’

What the company says
‘[Our CEO and CFO] have a strong commitment to supporting the IR function and are very good at making themselves available to investors.’ – Jonathan Gould, director of IR

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