Black Sun & IIRC Event: Bringing Integrated Reporting to Life
Over 60 delegates from the world of accounting, reporting and communications, gathered last week at the Cavalry & Guards Club for the ‘Revealing Hidden Business Value of Integrated Reporting Seminar’ hosted by Black Sun and the IIRC. Delegates where joined by a range of panellists to explore the business benefits of Integrated Reporting including Stephen Pattison, VP of Government Relations, ARM holdings, Helen Perkins, Head of Strategy Communications, ACCA, Tom Rotherham, Director, Hermes EOS and Thomas Krantz, Senior Advisor of Capital Markets, Thomas Murray.
Paul Druckman, CEO of the IIRC, set the scene by sharing with delegates his own experience of promoting Integrated Reporting over the past few months and the increasing momentum of the movement in countries all over the world. He captivated the audience by relaying the four key elements of his visionary for the future. This included; his call for governments to recognise the importance of Integrated Reporting; businesses to understand their broader role in society and investors to also recognise their role in the eco-system. He closed by describing his final aspiration for all reporting regimes to be aligned.
Tom Rotherham of Hermes EOS, also gave a thought-provoking speech aimed at motivating the delegates to recognise the importance of the initiative. He started by highlighting the urgent need for Integrated Reporting in securing the future of business and investors alike. He explained the investor’s need for certain information, noting that “being able to understand a company’s business model – one of the guiding principles of Integrated Reporting –is key to understanding a company’s investment strategy. Investors need to speak the same language as the companies themselves. Integrated Reporting helps facilitate this.”
Thomas Krantz of Thomas Murray and also former General Secretary of the Federation of World Exchanges, mirrored the investor’s urgency for companies to engage with the initiative commenting, “the Capital Markets process is blocked, companies need to take a step back and re-evaluate their activities. The world is short of high volume collateral. Integrated Reporting means a step towards understanding what collateral there is out there.”
Stephen Pattison of ARM Holdings and Helen Perkins of ACCA, both participants of the Pilot Programme, shared their own experiences of their particular journeys towards Integrated Reporting and touched on the some of the benefits they were already seeing as a result. Stephen discussed the need for companies to have a top-line strategy which allows stakeholders to see how all the activities of the business flow from this overarching strategy, in an attempt to demonstrate that the business is a force for good. On a similar vein, Helen discussed the professional body’s clear strategy and sited how the communication of that strategy has helped drive confidence within the business.
Sallie Pilot, Director of Research & Strategy, who moderated the discussion, commented after the event,“I feel encouraged by the discussion this morning and found it useful to hear from the Pilot Programme companies themselves, on how they have benefited from Integrated Reporting. I think that the seminar brought to light the fundamental importance of the relationship between the investor and companies to the future of the economy and I feel that there is still a lot more work to be done in this area. We have, this year, seen some of our own clients taking some innovative measures towards communicating with key investors and the principles of Integrated Reporting are also key components to aiding this process. It is crucial that the investment community and companies alike work alongside each other, if we are to continue to shape the future of reporting together."
Some delegates who attended on the morning commented on the seminar and materials:
“Just thought I’d thank you for an excellent event. One of the most useful events I’ve attended in a long time.”
Rowland Hill, Sustainability and Reporting Manager, Marks & Spencer
“The event today was really good – I thought it was very useful. Tom, in particular, gave the most to think about. Also the take-away research was very good and I’ll be using it.”
Nicola Rogers, Internal Communications Advisor, Tullow Oil