The Transparency Awards: We Have Winners!

I am pleased to share the winners of the 2023 Transparency Awards (the “5th Annual” in the US), as noted in this press release and on the “Transparency Awards” website – both of which also recognize the top transparent companies by industry as well as “Top 20” most transparent companies (scroll to the bottom for each).

As I announce in this 8-minute Award Ceremony video, the “Top 3” winners by category are:

  1. Best Overall Transparency: PayPal

PayPal excels among the S&P 250 by providing information well beyond what is required from the SEC across all five documents. A standout achievement, the company’s disclosures relating to its Board of Directors, ESG strategy, cybersecurity and DEI were top scoring across all documents based upon the objective criteria. PayPal truly exemplifies the meaning of these awards and demonstrates its dedication to clear, concise investor and stakeholder communications. Target and State Street ranked second and third.

2. Best Proxy Statement: Allstate

One of the most important documents that shareholders review, the proxy statement provides the critical information necessary to understand the matters on the agenda for a company’s annual shareholders meeting and should include a sense of a company’s overall values and the nature of its board oversight. Allstate takes top honors offering an easy-to-navigate interactive proxy statement; identifies corporate themes up front; provides Board descriptions, linking individual skills to company strategy; and offers robust ESG and human capital management disclosure. Lockheed Martin and General Electric received the next highest rankings.

3. Best ESG Report: Verizon Communications

The inaugural winner, Verizon Communications, triumphs taking top honors in a category that is rapidly becoming one of the most important documents through which companies communicate with their stakeholders. The company was awarded a precision score of 99%, which measures the completeness and prioritization of voluntary information shared. T-Mobile and Union Pacific ranked second and third.

4. Most Improved Overall: State Street

The award for Most Improved Overall goes to State Street for its dedication to responding to stakeholder needs and commitment to enhancing its corporate disclosure documents year-over-year. The company increased its score by nearly 154%, moving up 80 spots, ranking number three among the top ten U.S. companies. TE Connectivity and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ranked second and third.

5. Best Form 10-K: Moody’s Corporation

The Form 10-K continues to grow in importance as SEC rulemaking focuses on these disclosures, and it provides an important window into a company’s financial health and management’s business strategies. Moody’s Corporation made the leap from fourth to first in 2023. The company goes well above the norm in many areas, using graphics to enhance reader understanding and transparently communicating global workforce statistics on gender and race. ConocoPhillips and American International Group received the next highest rankings.

6. Best Investor Relations Website: Boston Scientific

It is critical that a company’s investor relations website is accessible and concise, making it easy for readers to find the information they seek. Boston Scientific stands out providing an IR website that is exceptionally easy to navigate and is one of only 31% of companies that offer a dedicated annual meeting landing page. Altria and Allstate ranked second and third.

7. Best Code of Conduct: Becton Dickinson (BD)

A clear, concise code of conduct, also known as code of ethics, reflects an organization’s purpose and values, guiding its Board and employees’ behavior. BD provides a user-friendly interface, direct links to policies to ensure accessibility and an easy-to-understand graphic about the reporting process. Procter & Gamble and ConocoPhillips ranked second and third.

8. Most Efficient Plain Language – Proxy Statement: PACCAR

The key to transparent communication is to use simple, easy-to-understand language which helps build value and trust between stakeholders and the company. Top honors are awarded to PACCAR. Williams Companies and Rockwell Automation received the next highest rankings.

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