More than a fifth of companies in the rankings are German
No one who knows anything about European investor relations will be surprised that Germany tops the list for the number of appearances in the Euro Top 100.
Indeed, more than a fifth of companies in the rankings – 22, to be precise – are German. (Perhaps more impressively, among the top 25, a total of 10 firms are German.) Next up in national terms is the UK with 11 – just half Germany’s total – and joint third are Spain and Switzerland, with eight representatives apiece.
But what sets the Germans apart? IR Magazine asked this very question back in 2013, finding that as well as often enjoying far larger IR teams than most other companies, German firms have also taken a thorough and systematic approach to investor relations.
‘The US was doing IR decades before we knew it would make sense to talk to investors,’ says Kay Bommer, managing director of Dirk, Germany’s IR society, in the article. ‘We went through a very steep learning curve. We took an academic approach, studying what others were doing and how we could do it right.’
He observes that Germans are known for their thoroughness, especially on the regulatory front. To illustrate, he points out that the Germans adopted the equivalent of Reg FD long before the Americans did. ‘When it comes to regulation, we’re unbeatable,’ he laughs. ‘Germans like to do things 150 percent.’
Gillian Karran-Cumberlege, a partner at London-based board development and executive search firm Fidelio Partners, previously headed group IR for Volkswagen, and agrees with Bommer’s characterization. ‘German companies tend to be very structured and strategic,’ she says.
‘They originally learned about [IR] best practices from the Anglo-Saxon capital markets, and they approached IR in a very systematic way. German companies are willing to allocate the resources they need to get the results they want – and they’ve applied that willingness to investor relations.’
Find out more about the Euro Top 100 by downloading the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Europe 2016