Press releases 2001
30 January 2001
BEST PRACTICE INVESTOR RELATIONS WEBSITE ESTABLISHED AND AWARDS PLANNED
The London Stock Exchange and the Investor Relations Society today announce two initiatives to assist and encourage UK companies to improve their communications with investors through corporate websites.
With the support of the Department of Trade and Industry's Future and Innovation Unit and with contributions from City financial organisations, a new website has been created which provides guidance on best practice in investor communications on the internet for UK listed companies. The contents of the site - www.irbestpractice.org - are the result of several months of deliberation by a panel comprising representatives of the London Stock Exchange, Investor Relations Society, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, the Quoted Companies Alliance, the National Association of Pension Funds, the IR Group, ProShare and the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers.
The panel will continue to meet quarterly to review the content of the site and to update the criteria in line with current best practice and the changing regulatory and legal framework. The panel will review its own composition on a regular basis and its membership has recently been increased to include a representative of Hemscott.NET.
In addition, in recognition of the impact the Internet is having, and will continue to have, on investor communications in its widest form, the London Stock Exchange and the Investor Relations Society, together with the DTI, will be hosting the Investor Relations Website Awards dinner in London on 28 March 2001. There will be six awards, all recognising achievement in the specific area of investor relations on the Internet.
Don Cruickshank, Chairman of the London Stock Exchange and President of the Investor Relations Society, said: " These are welcome initiatives in a rapidly developing and increasingly important area of investor communication. The Internet provides companies with unparalleled opportunities to reach out to investors. The challenge is to do this in a considered and mature way. The new website should provide companies with a means of benchmarking their investor communications on the Internet easily and effectively on a regular basis."
John Pierce, Chief Executive of QCA, said " The Internet has already revolutionised the availability of corporate information for both institutional and private investors. This excellent initiative from the IR Society and the LSE will hopefully focus SQC's attention on the potential benefits that can accrue from a proactive Internet IR strategy."
Michael Cooling, Chairman of the Panel and Director of Research at the Investor Relations Society, commented: "The website is open to everyone interested in investor relations and we welcome any feedback. Its content is not designed to be prescriptive in any way. Companies, we hope, will find it is a practical, commonsense guide to current best practice and will feel it makes a useful contribution when reviewing the investor relations elements of their websites."
For further information please contact:
London Stock Exchange
Tel: 020 7797 1222
Investor Relations Society
Tel: 020 7379 1763
Notes to editors
UK companies and the investment community, both institutional and private investors, will be able to review the set of criteria that can serve as a reference for best practice and a centre for useful advice on investor communications as the site evolves. All those visiting the site are welcome to comment on its content and provide ideas for future additions.
The best practice criteria on www.irbestpractice.org should assist both those voting and the panel which will review the votes cast to reach a decision on the winners in each category.
There are six awards in total:
Best IR Website for a FTSE 100 Company
(sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales)
Best IR Website for a FTSE 250 Company
Best IR Website for a Smaller Quoted Company
(sponsored by the Quoted Companies' Alliance)
Best Corporate Website (for service and content) for Institutional Investors
(sponsored by the National Association of Pension Funds)
Best Corporate Website (for service and content) for Private Investors
(sponsored by Hemscott.NET)
Best Innovation in an IR Website
(sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry)
All those interested in voting can do so electronically by registering on the site and casting their votes for any or all of the six awards. Companies who believe they have developed innovative ways of communicating with shareholders are encouraged to put their names forward for the Innovation Award. Voting cards will also be available.