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Jul 02, 2019

A clear winner: Iberdrola tops Euro Top 100 ranking

A look at what the investment community has to say about Europe’s top-ranking IR team

Spanish electric utilities company Iberdrola has once again taken the top ranking at the IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2019. This is the company’s third year in a row in the number one slot and reflects another impressive performance across all the research categories for which it was eligible.

Indeed, Iberdrola was ranked either first or second in all of the following categories:

– Best financial reporting

– Best use of technology for IR

– Best investor meetings

– Best corporate governance & disclosure 

– Best sustainability communications 

– Best IR by a senior management team 

– Best investor relations officer

– Best overall investor relations.

In fact, the only category in which its name fails to appear is the one for most progress in IR – which is hardly surprising given its already high standard, from which dramatic improvement would be well-nigh impossible. Here is just a sample of the comments made about the company by analysts and investors in the course of the research study:

‘Iberdrola is best in terms of meetings for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a question of access. Whenever you want to reach it, it’s easy and then the management is open enough to discuss details and give access to divisional management as well’ – UK, sell side

‘Iberdrola’s presentations stand out, as does the IRO’s communications, which always provide clear insight’ – UK, sell side

‘Iberdrola has the best website as there is detailed information on wind farms and assets, and it is very clear and easy to follow’ – Spain, buy side

‘In terms of its reporting, Iberdrola makes the relevant information easily accessible on Excel spreadsheets that are always clear and transparent. Not graveyards of unnecessary stuff as some other companies tend to do’ – UK, sell side

‘Iberdrola meets all the standards and requirements to provide visibility and transparency to corporate bodies, and it implements new regulations with ease’ – Spain, buy side

‘Iberdrola’s management gives clear guidance on strategy, the investor relations team is constantly available and it organizes useful events’ – UK, sell side

They all sound like a happy bunch of investment community members, at least as far as their communications with Iberdrola are concerned. But what’s particularly striking is the repeated use of the words clear and clarity, transparency and visibility, accessible and open. There’s a lesson there for other IROs. We tend to think of IR as being fundamentally about honesty and building trust with shareholders. But how can trust be built without providing openness and accessibility? How could a company be usefully transparent if it’s not honest with its investment community?

It may sound straightforward – even obvious – but any IR team that’s struggled with disclosure regulations, a tight IR budget or reticent senior management will know how hard this can be. IROs will be aware that scoring 443 points across the research categories in our survey is no mean feat and that, in particular, performing so well right across the board commands real respect.

The second-biggest total goes to Germany’s Allianz, with 371 points, and the third to EDP – Energias de Portugal, with 274. After these three, the gaps between companies become a good deal smaller – but anyone involved with IR knows how much hard work and effort is needed to satisfy the demanding group of individuals who make up the investment community.

This article is taken from the Investor Perception Study – Europe 2019. Click here for more information or to download your copy now.

Janet Dignan

Janet Dignan is a graduate of Otago University in New Zealand, where she read philosophy. From 1979 to1982 she was head of information at Linklaters, with responsibility for internal and external information resources for its offices in London, Hong...
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