Total talks award-winning IR, capital market days and ESG

Nov 11, 2019
Backstage video at the IR Magazine Global Forum 2019

Given all the investor attention on climate change, energy companies have had their work cut out explaining how they are preparing for a low-carbon future. One company to rise to the challenge is Total, which won the prize for best IR in the energy sector at the IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards 2019. 

The awards are based on IR Magazine’s regional surveys of investors and analysts, which cover Europe, Asia and North America. Respondents are asked to name the best companies for IR in a range of categories, such as best investor meetings and best IR by senior management. 

Then, once a year, the research is brought together to determine which companies excel at IR on a global basis. Awards are handed out to companies that come top in each of 10 sector categories. 

Total placed number one in the energy sector, beating competition from US and Thai companies in the short list. There are ‘no surprises, long-term consistency and clarity in Total’s reporting,’ said one member of the UK buy side who took part in IR Magazine’s research.

Speaking at the awards, Matthieu Bouyer, investor relations manager at Total, explained why he thought investors and analysts might have voted for the French oil ‘supermajor’. ‘We try to have a consistency in the messaging we are delivering and in the strategy of the company,’ he said. ‘Since the Brent [oil] price collapsed four years ago, we completely reshuffled our strategy. We believe the consistency with which we communicated [the new strategy] is paying off today.’

Asked if the company had made any IR-specific changes over the last year, Bouyer highlighted a new approach to capital market days. ‘We used to do it in London twice a year,’ he said. ‘Now it’s once a year in London and once a year in New York because we believe it’s a good way to speak to the buy side. Now our CEO and CFO and the top executives are directly there to spend a full day with investors, and with the sell side as well.’ 

At the IR Magazine Global Forum, speakers and attendees spent plenty of time discussing the growing importance of ESG issues for the investment community, and how companies can respond to the demand for more information

Bouyer explained how Total has responded to questions about the impact of climate change on the business. ‘We are an oil and gas company and in the past [few] years, we’ve been challenged about being an oil and gas company, how sustainable that is,’ he said. ‘The new CEO – Patrick Pouyanné – has launched a very strong change at the company, to be not only an oil and gas company, but also an energy company.

‘So we are not only producing oil and gas; we are also producing low-carbon electricity coming from gas or renewables. And this is a big shift in our transition. We are investing and we have been growing that business substantially for the last three years.’

The IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards 2019 took place in Paris on October 2-3. Interested in attending the Global Forum 2020? Click here to register your interest.

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