Cognizant awarded Best Overall Corporate Disclosure, ranking highest of the S&P 250 publicly traded companies.
ATLANTA (Sept. 28, 2021) – Labrador, a global communications firm specializing in corporate disclosure documents, today announced the winners of the third annual U.S. Transparency Awards. The rankings compare the efficacy of corporate disclosure documents among the S&P 250 companies.1 This year’s top honor is awarded to Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation for Best Overall corporate disclosure.
The Transparency Awards rankings are determined by reviewing the annual proxy statement, Form 10-K, investor relations website, and code of conduct of each company. This review covers 148 different criteria2 that reflect the four pillars of transparency: accessibility, precision, comparability, and availability. In total, more than 37,000 data points were collected and reviewed to determine this year’s rankings. The criteria used in the rankings are available to the public at www.transparencyawards.com/criteria.
Driven by the conviction that transparency inspires investor confidence, and therefore creates value for companies and their stakeholders, the Transparency Awards have become increasingly more relevant. “Each year, the Awards criteria evolve and address more issues as the needs of the investor community grow. This year we added a new award, Most Efficient Plain Language – Proxy Statement, because as disclosure grows in length and complexity to meet stakeholders’ evolving expectations, it also must grow in clarity. Stakeholders are more likely to read, understand, believe, and remember content written in plain language.” says Molly Doran, director of advisory & design services at Labrador. “Because of our extensive set of criteria and comprehensive methodology, the Awards recognize the quality and completeness of information that top U.S. companies make available.”
Best Overall: Cognizant Technology
Cognizant receives top honors for best overall corporate disclosure, with ConocoPhillips and Colgate-Palmolive ranking second and third overall. All three companies created meaningful and accessible (user-friendly) corporate disclosure that spanned their regulatory documents and IR websites.
It is a great honor to be recognized as Best Overall for our transparency and disclosure. We seek to provide transparent and effective communication for our investors, and we strive to be a trusted partner to all our stakeholders, demonstrating exemplary governance throughout our business practices.
– John Kim, EVP and General Counsel, Cognizant
Best Proxy Statement: Southern Company
Recognized for issuing the best proxy statement, Southern Company provides investors with a succinct overview of the company’s strategy in the proxy summary. Duke Energy and Cognizant Technology received the second and third highest scores in the category. All three nominees stood out by including a shareholder engagement section outlining how many shareholders were contacted, who from the company participated in the discussions, and the topics discussed.
Best Form 10-K: JP Morgan
JP Morgan issued the top Form 10-K. A notable feature of the report was the addition of specific information about employee training and recruitment within the newly required human capital management section. Intel ranks second, and Moody’s ranks third in the category. These top nominees for Best Form 10-K stood out by offering an interactive version of the Annual Report on the Investor Relations website.
Best Investor Relations Website: Mondelēz
The award for Best Investor Relations Website goes to Mondelēz, with Norfolk Southern and Cummins receiving the next highest rankings. The investor relations website for each company stood out by making the latest earnings presentation available for download.
Best Code of Conduct: Procter & Gamble
Announced in June 2021, Procter & Gamble was recognized for best Code of Conduct, with PepsiCo and Colgate-Palmolive ranking second and third.
Most Improved Overall: Sempra Energy
The award for Most Improved Overall goes to Sempra Energy for demonstrating their commitment to enhancing their corporate disclosure documents year-over-year. Mondelēz and Linde plc rank second and third in this category.
Most Efficient Plain Language – Proxy Statement: General Dynamics
This year we analyzed the text in each company’s proxy statement based on twelve criteria. Plain language can offer distinct benefits to the reader and the issuing company, because stakeholders can absorb and understand information faster. Our criteria measure whether a document meets threshold plain language standards, such as using commonly understood words and dividing content into manageable chunks. These features make a document more approachable, which readers prefer and may associate with trustworthiness. This award is set apart from the Overall Transparency Awards calculation, and is awarded to General Dynamics. PACCAR and Ball Corporation received the next highest rankings.
Labrador, the creator and organizer of the Transparency Awards, is an independent agency specializing in communicating compliance. After two decades in Europe and 10 years in the U.S., Labrador’s mission remains the same – to design and publish reader-centric documents that generate shareholder trust and reinforce 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 need to apply and no fee. Each company will receive its own confidential annual ranking. The list of companies was created on January 2, 2021, and the data collected between May 10, 2021, and July 31, 2021.
2 The criteria are objective and selected based on our unique methodology. For a list of the criteria and more information about the four pillars of transparency please visit www.transparencyawards.com.