On September 19, the time had come again: In cooperation with the Bankhaus Metzler as well as the Chair of Accounting and Auditing at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, the Manager Magazin under the title “Investors’ Darling 2018” once again selected the capital market strategist of the year. Since 2014, the reporting and investor relations activities of the 160 biggest German DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX enterprises have been evaluated by Professor Dr. Henning Zülch and his team in consultation with a jury of capital market experts in the context of the contest. The high-profile board of trustees includes communication coach Klaus Rainer Kirchhoff, Marc Tüngler of the Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz (DSW), the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Metzler Asset Management GmbH, Dr. Rainer Matthes, as well as corporate governance expert Professor Dr. Christian Strenger.
For the first time, the award ceremony was held at the restaurant MainNizza which provided an excellent view over the Main river and the skyline of Frankfurt. Added to the new location, the format was also a novelty. In contrast to previous years, the award ceremony took place prior to the publication of the ranking in the September issue of the Manager Magazin. The mood amongst the CFOs and IR managers present was therefore very excited. Dr. Michael Schneider, CFO of Norma Group SE (MDAX) emphasized the significance of the contest from his point of view; “Investors’ Darling surely has the function of a beacon of excellence for capital market communications in Germany. It also provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on one’s own work and to improve.”
Professor Zülch retraces the success story of the contest over the past five years: “At the latest this year it has become clear that the hardest contest in German financial communications comes from Leipzig. The footsteps left behind by our previous contest “The best business report” were big. But we filled them. Research and practice have learned and will continue to learn from each other through the Investors’ Darling. We have achieved a solid standing within the community. The new format lives up to this even more and is very well accepted by the companies. That makes us happy and proud. We are putting Leipzig back on the map.” Steffen Klusmann, chief editor of the Manager Magazin and soon-to-be chief editor of Spiegel, hosted the event and lead the audience through the program. After a short welcoming speech by Michael Klaus, a member of the executive board of the Bankhaus Metzler, Professor Dr. Henning Zülch explained the main adjustments of the survey methods in comparison to the previous year, talked about the three new key aspects; strategy reporting, CSR-reporting and digital communication, and provided an overview of the results of the single indices. Christian Gilson, founding member and leading data scientist of Hivemind, a spin-out of the Winton Group, presented his company and his work in a short speech.
In between the presentations, the winners of the single indices as well as several special categories were announced:
During his thank-you-speech, Michael Pontzen, CFO of the overall winner Lanxess AG, retraced the company’s development on the stock market over the past few years and explained the importance of good capital market communication from his point of view. Afterwards, the participants of the event spent the rest of the evening with a flying buffet and some intensive networking.