FOR all of their prominence in the profession, it’s a remarkable thing that so little is known about how the esteemed IR Magazine Awards for investor relations are chosen.
Another commentator, fellow IR blogger Peter Schiefelbein, had some interesting things to say about them recently, but as I understand it the awards are chosen by buy- and sell-side analysts (and a few individual investors on occasion). They get called up out of the blue and asked to name their top picks.
That means the fate of aspiring award seekers is in the hands of a group that should have some idea of who is good or bad in IR circles.
Or do they? Have a clue, I mean. This story posted on IR Magazine‘s website today makes me wonder. It is about Project Turquoise, an alternative trading system being put together by a group of brokerages to compete with the London Stock Exchange.
The story contains this nugget taken from IR magazine‘s Investor Perception Study, UK 2007/2008:
Only 22 percent of respondents believe ATSs pose a threat, while the rest were unsure or felt unable to comment.
That means 78% of the respondents are clueless on this topic. Either the Chinese Wall between research and trading is remarkably solid in the UK, or the IR Magazine awards are based on the opinions of a bunch of ignoramuses.
UPDATE: Neil Stewart, executive editor of IR Magazine, has written a detailed response to my post on the Cross Border Group blog. Seems I misunderstood the sentence I quoted and only 38% are ignoramuses. See re: How informed are IR magazine award pickers?