Who won IR Magazine awards in Canada – and why
The best and brightest in the Canadian investor relations community gathered on February 7 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto to celebrate the IR Magazine Awards – Canada. This year, 24 awards were researched, with an independent research firm surveying investors and buy-side and sell-side analysts, while winners in the other five categories were selected from a short list by an industry panel.
ARC Resources was the biggest winner on the night, for the second consecutive year. The oil and gas producer took home six awards, including best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap) for Bevin Wirzba, best IR by a CEO or CFO (mid-cap) for president and CEO Myron Stadnyk, and best overall investor relations (mid cap).
Agnico Eagle Mines won three awards: best investor relations (large cap), best investor relations by a CEO or CFO (large cap) for vice chair and chief executive Sean Boyd, and best IR in the materials sector.
CGI Group picked up the award for best IR in the information technology sector and the firm’s executive vice president of global communications and IR Lorne Gorber collected the best investor relations officer (large cap) award. Altus Group rounded out the best overall IR awards, winning the small-cap category, as well as best IR by a CEO or CFO (small cap) for CEO Robert Courteau.
Awards by research
Best overall investor relations (large cap): Agnico Eagle Mines
What the investment community says: ‘What I like about Agnico is that you don’t need the chief executive in the room to get the answers you need. Everyone is tuned in and capable, and everyone is so knowledgeable’ – sell side
Best overall investor relations (mid-cap): ARC Resources
What the investment community says: ‘There is full disclosure on ARC’s operations. It emails each quarter with the key highlights, IR and management are easily accessible and the firm attends conferences and holds one-on-one meetings’ – buy side
Best overall investor relations (small cap): Altus Group
What the investment community says: ‘Altus’ IR is professional, proactive and has plenty of value-added’ – sell side
Best IR by a CEO or CFO (large cap): Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle Mines
What the investment community says: ‘In meetings, Agnico CEO Sean Boyd is very impressive. He just knows so much and can answer any question put to him’ – sell side
Best IR by a CEO or CFO (mid-cap): Myron Stadnyk, ARC Resources
What the investment community says: ‘The CEO at ARC is the best: honest and straightforward when answering questions, and that’s surprisingly rare’ – buy side
Best IR by a CEO or CFO (small cap): Robert Courteau, Altus Group
What the investment community says: ‘The CEO at Altus makes himself available and it is always good to interact with him’ – sell side
Best investor relations officer (large cap): Lorne Gorber, CGI Group
What the investment community says: ‘Head of IR Lorne Gorber and the team at CGI are so good. Willing to help and up to speed on everything, they work with you to deliver all you need’ – sell side
Best investor relations officer (small & mid-cap): Bevin Wirzba, ARC Resources
What the investment community says: ‘The IRO at ARC has a technical and financial background. Highly proactive, Bevin Wirzba is also holistically minded and very involved with ESG’ – sell side
Best use of technology: ARC Resources
What the investment community says: ‘ARC Resources has an excellent interactive analyst site, with the financials easily usable for those not running their own models’ – sell side
Most progress in IR: Veresen (acquired by Pembina Pipeline in October 2017)
What the investment community says: ‘The IRO of Veresen has done a stellar job and turned around the IR so that it is now the best among my companies’ – sell side
Best corporate governance: Suncor Energy
What the investment community says: ‘Suncor gets my vote for corporate governance. It may have something to do with the cap size, but it is better than its peers’ – sell side
Best sustainability practice: Suncor Energy
What the investment community says: ‘Suncor produces very good sustainability information in its annual report about extraction processes, and so on. It is clearer about these issues than others in the sector’ – buy side
Best IR during a corporate transaction: Canadian Natural Resources – acquisition of Shell Assets in Athabasca Oil Sands Project, June 2017
What the investment community says ‘Canadian Natural Resources disclosed well post-acquisition of the Shell assets and the value around it, displaying due diligence implicit in the deal’ – sell side
Best IR by a TSX Venture Exchange-listed company: Atlantic Gold Corporation
What the investment community says: ‘Atlantic has done an excellent job of communicating its mine plan and construction progress to investors’ – sell side
Best IR by a Canadian company in the US market: Waste Connections
What the investment community says ‘Waste Connections is always very clear about its strategic direction and keeps us up to date on progress’ – buy side
Awards by sector
Consumer discretionary: Canadian Tire Corporation
What the investment community says ‘I like Canadian Tire’s reminder system and event schedule. There is good access to relevant data on the website’ – sell side
Consumer staples: Dollarama
What the investment community says: ‘Clear, transparent communications from Dollarama, and management is easy to talk to’ – buy side
Energy: ARC Resources
What the investment community says: ‘From ARC Resources, you know you’re going to get excellent marketing materials and a very good, open line of communication when appropriate’ – sell side
Financials & real estate: RBC
What the investment community says: ‘I like that RBC gets an array of executives out for investors instead of just the CEO. This is critical because I want to know that if he doesn’t come to work one day there is a team around him that could carry on running the company’ – buy side
What the investment community says: ‘In terms of IR, CN continues to be the best: everyone in the company knows what’s going on and who the best person is to answer a specific query’ – sell side
Information technology: CGI Group
What the investment community says: ‘Financial reporting from CGI is just the best: everything is clear and straightforward’ – sell side
Materials: Agnico Eagle Mines
What the investment community says: ‘Agnico really understands its shareholders and meets with them often’ – sell side
What the investment community says: ‘There is consistency in disclosure and management is easy to approach’ – buy side
What the investment community says: ‘Fortis now provides good, segmented details, where other companies do not. And, most importantly, it is consistent in style’ – sell side
Awards by nomination
Lifetime achievement: Greg Secord, OpenText Corporation
Greg Secord was described during the judge’s call as an ‘iconic’ member of the Canadian IR community. He has more than 20 years’ IR experience in the Canadian, US and European capital markets and has led more than 50 acquisitions.
Rising star: Jacqueline Wagenaar, Guyana Goldfields
Over the last 10 years, Jacqueline Wagenaar has risen through the ranks in the IR team at Guyana Goldfields, secured the CIRI accreditation in IR, joined the CIRI Ontario board and now mentors new investor relations professionals.
Best crisis management: Home Capital Group
Home Capital Group tackled a series of crises that, in other circumstances, ‘could have been a deathblow’, according to one of the judges.
Best investor meetings: Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial’s IR team was extremely busy during 2017, meeting with more than 200 firms in 13 cities around the world, hosting 65 one-on-ones and participating in several conferences and investor roadshows.
Best financial reporting: ARC Resources (joint winner)
The IR team has added visual aids, including charts, to complement discussions around key financial and operating metrics in the MD&A. It has also added historical data and trend analysis to tell a story of how the company’s performance has evolved.
Intact Financial (joint winner)
The judges praised Intact Financial for its consistency of design and readability across its annual report, online annual report, MD&A, financial statements, sustainability reports and proxy circular.
To find out more about the winners’ approach to IR, including a survey of their resources and objectives, subscribe to IR Magazine now to receive a copy of the Award-Winning IR – Canada 2018 report. Contact Reece Tan on +44 20 8004 5337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article orginally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of IR Magazine.