IR Society voters name Shire as best in show

Dec 05, 2014
<p>UK IR body&rsquo;s annual awards also honor BASF, Barclays and Go-Ahead Group</p>

BASF proved that its multiple award wins at the IR Magazine Awards ‒ Europe are no fluke when the German chemical company picked up another pair of awards at the IR Society’s annual Best Practice Awards dinner in November.

The event, which welcomed 500-plus IR professionals to the Honorable Artillery Company in London, marked an opportunity to recognize the top IR performers in the country with two sets of awards: self-entry prizes, where winners were determined by a panel of judges, and voted awards, with victors chosen through votes cast by the buy side and the sell side.

BASF, a frequent winner at the IR Magazine Awards, scooped two international awards for best digital reporting and the best use of digital communications at the IR Society’s event. Barclays, meanwhile, won the same two awards in the FTSE 100 category.

In the voted awards, UK pharmaceuticals company Shire won the award for best overall company IR. The IR Society said the award ‘recognized Shire’s professional and proactive approach in reaching out to the markets and analysts, its sector-leading business understanding, and its level of management access.’

Elsewhere, there were individual wins for Rupert Taylor Rea, investor relations officer at insurer RSA, for best newcomer to IR, and for David Walker for best IRO for his work at UK recruitment company Hays.

‘This event celebrates one of the IR Society’s key reasons for existing: to promote best practice in investor relations,’ notes Sue Scholes, chair of the society. ‘I would like to thank those who put their work forward for an award. The standard was high and the judging decisions difficult – and that’s how it should be.’

The society reports that more than 200 companies and individuals submitted entries this year. Each was scored according to the organization’s guidelines for best practice in investor communications and, for the first time in 2014, the strength of a supporting statement was given with each entry. Scored applications were then reviewed by a panel of judges.

‘Our winners – both voted and judged – all understand what differentiates their company and are able to communicate this clearly and consistently,’ says Scholes, who served on the judging panel this year. ‘Congratulations to them all.’

Guests on the night also took the opportunity to remember Roddy Child-Villiers, the former and long-standing head of IR at Nestlé who passed away earlier this year. Child-Villiers was posthumously presented with the IR Society Fellowship Award, which recognizes individuals for their significant contribution to the industry. In this case, the recipient was also noted as ‘a redoubtable support and advocate for professional investor relations.’

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