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May 23, 2024

Who’s in the frame to become a new European champion of IR?

Awards short lists show great variety in the continent’s top IR performers

In my last column, I wrote about how summer was on the way. How foolish I was to commit this to the record: London has since been awash with rain, in a meteorological development that most Brits will be all too familiar with.

Although the prospect of sunbathing in the park is perhaps a bit more distant now, the chance to crown the latest European champions is still very much alive. And no, I’m not talking about the upcoming UEFA European Football Championships – which kick off in Germany on June 14 – but our very own IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2024.

And while we will share the earlier portion of the evening with England’s crucial Group C tie with Denmark, our eyes will be firmly on the IROs and listed companies that snag some of those coveted golden IR trophies.

One thing that crossed my mind as I helped put together this year’s short lists – which have just been published here – is the wealth of IR talent on display in Europe. This is true across every region in which we hold awards ceremonies, of course, but only on the continent – and perhaps in South East Asia – can you see such an array of different industries, sectors and nationalities represented.

The most-nominated company this year is Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola, leading the pack with six nominations across varied categories. It will duke it out with ASML, Norsk Hydro, Novo Nordisk, Schneider Electric and UniCredit for the title of best overall investor relations (large cap) which is, for many, the IR world’s equivalent of the Henri Delaunay trophy. I make that a six-way tussle between Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, France and Italy; football fans will not be surprised that England does not register among the finalists.

Elsewhere in the nominations, however, there are six companies that have secured spots on three short lists each: Schneider Electric, Germany’s BASF, Dublin-based Kenmare Resources, Spain’s Banco Santander, Italian tire-maker Pirelli & C and British pharmaceuticals company GSK.

And if you cast your eye across the full cast of nominated companies, you can also see corporate representation from Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Moldova, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Turkey. I make that almost as many countries as the 24 teams that will take to the football pitch next month.

It makes me reflect on the wealth not only of IR talent, but also of companies that are seriously considering their communications across the financial markets and striving to give investors exactly what they want. And for investors and other stakeholders, seeing their preferred outfits perform well on the field must be very gratifying. Not a million miles away from the feeling of seeing Harry Kane lift up a nice silver trophy in a few weeks…

Who knows: maybe we’ll see a few people wearing full kits dedicated to their favorite listed companies soon?

Let me know what you make of our latest awards short lists – or who you think will win this year’s Euros tournament – via LinkedIn, or email us at

Laurie Havelock

Laurie has been part of the IR Magazine team for more than a decade, starting out as a reporter and research editor before becoming editor in 2023. He was previously acting business editor at the i newspaper and deputy business editor at The Daily...