The Top Dogs 2020

We’re pleased to celebrate and showcase 2020’s best FTSE 100 reporters.

 

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We’re pleased to celebrate and showcase 2020’s best FTSE 100 reporters.

 

Reading through the strategic reports of the FTSE 100 this year, four perennial components of high-quality reporting were at the front of our minds:

1. Communication

Word count, tone of voice, clarity, readability, page layout, use of graphics, use of imagery

2. Fairness and balance

Acknowledging what has gone wrong and what could go wrong, avoiding partiality and hyperbole

3. Transparency

Information offered goes ‘above and beyond’, compliance in the spirit of the regulations, as opposed to merely the letter

4. Forward-looking information

The degree to which the report is retrospective or looks to the future

 

In the COVID-19 era, when many reporters will have more complicated stories to share, we believe that these four are more important than ever.

So, which FTSE 100 strategic reports did we think were the best this year? Here’s our ‘Top Ten’ in alphabetical order:

– AstraZeneca

– Experian

– Fresnillo

– Glencore

– Legal & General

– Lloyds Banking Group

– Rentokil Initial

– Standard Chartered

– Taylor Wimpey

– United Utilities

Each report has its own strengths and overall we think the gaps between them are too small to produce a credible 1 to 10 ranking. However, extra plaudits go to Fresnillo, Legal & General, Rentokil Initial and Taylor Wimpey, who did particularly well at the toughest task of all – offering excellent, detailed strategic reports, while making sure the reader can understand it all.

Read on to find out why we thought these ten were the top dogs of 2020...

AstraZeneca

– Comprehensive, balanced employee discussion which positions people as a strategic asset

– Strong connection between marketplace discussion, strategy disclosure and KPIs

– Tricky issues, like Brexit and climate change, discussed in prominent spots

 

Experian

– Business model description demystifies an expansive international business operating in several fast-moving sectors

– Forward-looking strategy discussion and high-quality case studies

– Capital allocation discussed in a sophisticated and meaningful way

– Detailed, clearly written and presented viability statement

 

Fresnillo

– Poor financial performance tackled head-on, in multiple places within the report, without dissembling

– Detailed strategy disclosure, including coverage of longer-term objectives

– Clear and insightful segmental reporting

– Sophisticated TCFD response, including relevant risks and opportunities

 

Glencore

– Convincing investment case, supported by numbers

– Concise but effective discussion of the business’ external context

– Meaningful strategy disclosure incorporating sustainability concerns, with good links to KPIs and risks

 

Legal & General

– Clear effort all the way through to limit big blocks of copy and focus on communicating the most important information

– Great mix of content and visuals

– Climate change and sustainability are recurring themes throughout

– Useful Q&A with the CFO

 

Lloyds Banking Group

– Detailed, relevant discussion of market trends, and the bank’s response

– High-quality strategy reporting, incorporating performance indicators, case studies and forward-looking information

– Comprehensive TCFD response, and strong analysis of current risk themes

– Highly detailed s172(1) statement, incorporating several Board decisions

 

Rentokil Initial

– Fair and balanced tone throughout, particularly in the CEO’s Q&A

– Case studies are accessible, relevant and intriguing

– Excellent segmental reporting, with the focus on markets, growth drivers and strategy

– Meaningful culture discussion

 

Standard Chartered

– Insightful views on the macroeconomic factors affecting the global landscape and the bank’s four regions

– Key risk priorities laid out in detail in a review owned by the Chief Risk Officer

– Detailed stakeholder section and s172(1) statement incorporating Board decisions

– Concise and informative writing style throughout

 

Taylor Wimpey

– Very high-quality marketplace content feels strategic and relevant to the overall narrative

– Clear update on strategic performance, with a very strong link to KPIs

– Just seven principal risks listed

– Communicative Q&A with the Group management team and well-written CFO’s statement

 

United Utilities

– Considerable detail on stakeholders, their interests and how they are considered

– Fair and balanced narrative throughout – challenges are discussed openly and often

– Comprehensive yet accessible TCFD response