National Awards Provide Framework for Improved Transparency

By Icsa, PRNE
Thursday, November 18, 2010

LONDON, November 19, 2010 - Organisations which have demonstrated best practice in terms of their
disclosure in annual reports had their efforts rewarded at the ICSA Hermes
Transparency in Governance Awards held at the Brewery in the City on the
evening of 17 November. Separate awards were made for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250
companies following a rigorous judging process which involved an analysis of
the most up to date annual reports and accounts of the companies in the FTSE
350. There was also a separate award made for the best report in the small
cap/AIM market. The Awards identify and acknowledge the efforts of those
companies providing excellent governance disclosure, with the aim of
encouraging improvements in governance performance for listed companies.

Speakers at the Awards ceremony included Edward Davey MP, Business
Minister and Roger Carr, Chair of Centrica plc and Chair of Judges.

In the wake of the financial crisis, stakeholders - and shareholders in
particular - have become more precise in their identification of the issues
and subjects they expect to see in annual reports. This is an issue of
critical importance because disclosure is the basis on which investors are
able to judge whether a company is likely to deliver its strategy. Better
disclosure is an essential means of generating confidence, not only for the
company and its investors, but for the economy as a whole.

In choosing winners, the judging panel singled out companies which best
provided evidence, through their disclosure, that they are embedding
governance within their company and are engaging their stakeholders.

    The award winners are as follows:

    Best annual report (Sponsored by Black Sun plc)

    FTSE 100: Aggreko, BAE Systems (Joint winners)
    FTSE 250: Amlin plc

    Best sustainability and stakeholder disclosure (Sponsored by Grant
    Thornton UK LLP)

    FTSE 100: Marks & Spencer Group plc
    FTSE 250: Drax Group plc

    Best audit disclosure

    FTSE 100: Barclays plc
    FTSE 250: Amlin plc

    Best risk management disclosure (Sponsored by Addleshaw Goddard LLP)

    FTSE 100: BAE Systems plc
    FTSE 250: Davis Service Group Plc

    Best board disclosure (Sponsored by ICSA Software International)

    FTSE 100: Marks & Spencer Group plc
    FTSE 250: Halfords Group Plc

    Best strategy disclosure (Sponsored by Simmons & Simmons)

    FTSE 100: Aggreko plc
    FTSE 250: Taylor Wimpey plc

    Best remuneration disclosure (Sponsored by Hewitt New Bridge Street)

    FTSE 100: Legal & General
    FTSE 250: Dana Petroleum

    Best small cap and AIM report

    May Gurney Integrated Services

Roger Carr, Chairman of the judging panel, said:

'A great annual report is a window to see through - not a screen to hide
behind. It is not simply valuable as a snapshot in time, it has been and can
be a catalyst of change. I would encourage you all to take a look at those
that are best in class, both as a marker of current excellence and a
benchmark to beat next year.'

Edward Davey MP, Business Minister, said:

'The UK has been a pioneer in developing high standards of corporate
governance. As a result, our companies are among the very best when it comes
to transparency and effective disclosure - as the quality of these winners
demonstrates. It is important that we recognise the world-class corporate
governance that British companies can achieve and these awards are an
excellent way of spreading those high standards more widely.

'Transparency and accountability, confidence and trust have to become the
norm if we are to rebuild the economy, encourage long term healthy growth and
see a successful, fit for purpose corporate sector.'

ICSA and Hermes would like to thank the award sponsors: Addleshaw
Goddard, Black Sun plc, Grant Thornton, Hewitt New Bridge Street, ICSA
Software and Simmons and Simmons.

Editor's Notes

The list of judges is as follows:

Association of British Insurers (ABI) - Marc Jobling, Assistant Director,
Investment Affairs

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)- Richard
, immediate Past President

Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (AIRMIC) - Julia Graham,
immediate past Chairman

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) - Charles Tilley,
Chief Executive

Financial Reporting Council (FRC)- Chris Hodge, Head of Corporate

Hermes Equity Ownership Services - Colin Melvin, Chief Executive

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) - Robert
, Executive Director, Technical

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) - David
, Chief Executive

Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) - Alec Richmond, Past President

Law Society - Richard Ufland, Chairman of the Committee on Company Law

Man Group plc - Rachel Rowson, Company Secretary

National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) - David Paterson, Head of
Corporate Governance

Railpen Investments - Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance


The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) is the
professional body for Chartered Secretaries and a leading global authority on
corporate governance. Chartered Secretaries are high-ranking professionals
with a broad base of skills unique among the professions. Trained in law,
finance and accounting, strategy, governance and ethics, Chartered
Secretaries provide a focal point for independent advice and guidance to
boards and directors about governance and compliance issues.

Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS)

Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS) helps institutional shareowners
around the world to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and become active
owners of public companies. EOS' team of engagement and voting specialists
monitor its clients' investments in companies and intervene where necessary
with the aim of improving performance. EOS' activities are based on the
premise that companies with informed and involved shareholders are more
likely to achieve superior long-term performance than those without.

As the largest pension fund in the UK, Hermes' parent the BT Pension
Scheme (BTPS), has substantial interests across international markets.
Through pooling resource with other like-minded funds to create a stronger
and more representative shareholder voice, its joint company engagements are
more effective.

For further information please contact: Rosie Hamilton on +44(0)20-7612-7062/ +44(0)7890-649143 or pressoffice at

will not be displayed