Investor Perception Study
US - 2020 Sample
Winning companies, winning IR strategies
IR game changers
Janet Dignan, founder of IR Magazine, introduces this year's report
Welcome to the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – US 2020. As usual, it offers all manner of insights into what the investment community wants from corporate investor relations departments. But this year’s report is striking for the amount of change it bears witness to. One indication of this is the fact that no fewer than 14 companies in the US Top 100 have risen more than 100 places up the chart since last year’s survey.
The top improver, Incyte, rose from =303 to =44: that’s a rise of an impressive 259 places and, unsurprisingly, there were positive comments about the company’s IR officer Mike Booth, with one sell-sider describing him as ‘by far the best IRO I have dealt with this year’. Another says the company’s presentations are ‘neither too complex nor dumbed down. Incyte gets the balance right to communicate effectively.’
This year’s next-best improver is Covanta, up 255 places from =286 last year to =31 in 2020. Again, there are positive comments about IRO Dan Mannes, of whom one sell-sider says: ‘He provides a consistent and high level of detail, and has worked to greatly improve the company’s disclosures.’
Another individual near the top of the rankings this year is no stranger to the IR Magazine Awards: Cole Lannum, now IRO at Zimmer Biomet, which is ranked seventh overall. Lannum first won an IR Magazine Award back in 2011 when he was with Covidien, which was nominated for seven awards that year – more than any other company. Of these, Lannum collected five trophies in all, including those for best overall IR and best IRO, among others. He continued in a similar award-winning vein at Covidien until 2015 when the company was taken over by Medtronic.
He then joined Mallinckrodt as senior vice president of IR where he remained until 2018 when he took up his current position at Zimmer Biomet as senior vice president of IR. He’s clearly made a difference to its IR program already, with one sell-sider describing him as ‘super on top of the game’, and another noting that ‘overall communications have improved at the company.’
Top of this year’s rankings overall is General Electric. GE was the very first winner of the US Awards, back in 1996. It’s moved around a bit in the rankings since then but has had a sterling record over the past 25 years, with many first places. Interestingly, GE was also the first company – in the world – to appoint an investor relations officer: a leader in every sense of the word.
Many other companies could be singled out from this report but all the individuals and companies mentioned in it deserve recognition. They have all stood out from the crowd in the eyes of the portfolio managers and analysts taking part in the survey – their most crucial audience. Congratulations to them all.
As with so much research, some responses to this will be of the variety, ‘Why did they need to research that? We knew that would be the answer’. But it has to be helpful to be able to demonstrate that such assumptions are supported by facts. And research, as any IRO worth his or her salt knows for a demonstrable fact, is important.
What is also important is knowing they’re in a profession whose value and relevance remain on an upward trajectory. For evidence of how things have changed, here’s a quote from our first US survey back in 1996: ‘Information needs to come through the fax or some other way that is much quicker than the regular mail.’
Yes, times have changed –but some things remain the same. Whoever’s telling the corporate story – IRO, CEO, CFO or someone else – must still tell it honestly and knowledgeably. Perhaps that’s why senior management and IROs have similar significance for the judgment of IR quality. It’s certainly a determinant of which companies and individuals end up at the top of our research category lists. And those individuals and organizations – named on the following pages – deserve our congratulations and respect.
Interested in reading the full report?
US Investor Perception Study 2020
This report documents the highest-ranked companies in the US across a range of IR-related categories, as voted by the US investment community for the IR Magazine Awards – US 2020.
View the full report here.
The complete US Investor Perception Study 2020 contains the following key information:
- Learn which companies are the best current exponents of IR in the US
- Identify the high performers in eight different IR research categories
- Find out why they were nominated from verbatim comments made by the investors and analysts who voted for them
- View the points’ breakdown by research category of more than 190 ranked companies
The full report is only available to IR Magazine subscribers.
Other reports available to IR Magazine subscribers include:
Views from the buy side – insight into investment community views and requirements.
IR benchmarking – analysis of IR activities and resources across regional, market cap and sector peer groups.
Award Winning IR – a series of comprehensive regional reports looking at the best performing companies and individuals for IR, as voted for by the investment community and industry judges.
IR insight and strategy guides– strategic guidance and industry insight on a range of IR topics
IR Magazine subscribers also receive the print edition of the magazine, access to our library of research reports and white papers, and more.
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