Rankings compare corporate disclosure documents for the top S&P 250 publicly traded companies in the U.S.
Labrador, a global communication firm specializing in regulated disclosure documents, today announces the winners of the second annual U.S. Transparency Awards. The rankings compare the efficacy of corporate disclosure documents among the top S&P 250 companies by market capitalization trading on the NYSE or Nasdaq1. The 2020 U.S. Transparency Awards Best Overall is awarded to The Allstate Corporation for its corporate disclosure across its annual proxy statement, form 10-K, investor relations website and code of conduct.
After successfully launching the first U.S. Transparency Awards in 2019, the awards program continues to recognize the quality and completeness of information that top U.S. companies make available to investors. Rankings were determined through review of annual proxy statements, annual reports on Form 10-K, investor relations websites, and, for the first time, codes of conduct. Each company's documents were scored using 129 discrete criteria2 that flesh out the four pillars of transparency: accessibility, precision, comparability, and availability.
"Each year the Transparency Awards criteria evolve and become more specific as the needs of the investor community grow. More than 32,000 data points were collected and reviewed to determine this year’s winners and overall ranking," says Molly Doran, director of advisory & design services at Labrador. "By analyzing disclosure based on the four pillars of transparency, we are able to demonstrate the extent of a company’s commitment to improving the quality and completeness of information that is available to investors. These rankings should encourage companies to adapt and innovate how they communicate to their shareholders."
Best Overall: The Allstate Corporation
The Allstate Corporation receives top honors for Best Overall corporate disclosure with The Bank of America Corporation and Intel Corporation ranking second and third overall, respectively. Companies recognized for Best Overall corporate disclosure differentiate themselves through a number of criteria, including by providing access to the company’s latest earnings presentations within the investor relations website, noting diversity as a priority within the proxy, and citing five or more themes within the Code of Conduct.
"Allstate has a history of strong corporate governance guided by three primary principles: dialogue, transparency and responsiveness," the Illinois-based company said in its most recent proxy statement. "The Board has enhanced governance policies over time to align with best practices, drive sustained stockholder value and serve the interests of stockholders."
Best Proxy Statement: Cognizant
Awarded for issuing the Best Proxy Statement, Cognizant is one of very few companies that discusses each individual NEO’s role and their compensation. General Electric Company received the second highest score for Best Proxy Statement. The Coca-Cola Company, the recipient of the 2019 Best Overall Transparency winner, received the third highest score in the category. All three honorees include a table of contents, company overview, or values statement on the second page of the proxy, as well as mention sustainability as part of the Board’s responsibilities.
Best Form 10-K: Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation issued the Best Form 10-K, including one or more graphics highlighting the company’s performance in the MD&A. American International Group, Inc. (AIG) ranks second and The Allstate Corporation ranks third in the category. These top honorees for Best Form 10-K stood out by including a second color into their form 10-K documents as well as incorporating corporate governance information by reference to the Governance section of the proxy statement.
Best Investor Relations Website: The Bank of America Corporation
The award for Best Investor Relations Website goes to The Bank of America Corporation, with Southern Company and HP Inc. receiving the next highest rankings. The investor relations website for each company clearly identifies a Sustainability or Corporate Responsibility section that is accessible from the IR homepage, and also gives readers access to the company’s latest earnings presentations and current bylaws.
Code of Conduct: Colgate-Palmolive
New to the 2020 Transparency Awards, Best Code of Conduct is awarded to Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate-Palmolive exemplifies the importance of a Code by making the document available in five or more languages, not including English. The Procter & Gamble Company and Tyson Foods, Inc. rank second and third in the category. Increasingly important, the code of conduct category analyzes documentation of each companies’ mission, values and principles and how they are supported by standards of professional conduct. The three Best Code of Conduct honorees have kept the code of conduct current – with the document dated and produced within the last two years.
Most Improved Overall
For the first time, the 2020 Transparency Awards recognize the companies that demonstrated the most improvement across their corporate disclosure documents year-over-year. Most Improved Overall is awarded to Walgreens Boost Alliance, while IQVia Holdings and Salesforce.com rank second and third in the category.
Labrador, the creator and organizer of the Transparency Awards, is an independent agency specialized in communicating compliance. After two decades in Europe and nine years in the U.S., Labrador’s mission remains the same – to design and publish reader-centric documents which generate trust with shareholders, reinforcing their investment decisions. Focusing exclusively on corporate disclosure documents, and with over 300 clients worldwide, Labrador provides a unique insight into industry trends and best practices, and award-winning innovation and initiatives.
1 All S&P 250 companies are ranked, with no entry and no fee; each company will receive its own personal and confidential annual ranking; the list of companies was created on January 1, 2020, and only takes into account companies who filed their proxy statement between August 16, 2019 and August 14, 2020.
2The criteria are objective and selected based on methodologies set forth by an independent panel of stakeholders (investors, analysts, auditors, industry representatives, etc.); the criteria are made available to the public.
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