SIAS launching two new corporate governance awards this year

SINGAPORE - The Securities Investors Association (Singapore) or SIAS is launching two new awards this year aimed at honoring companies with the best corporate governance and shareholder communications practices, and those that adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

In collaboration with NUS CGIO and Thomson Reuters and other industry awards, SIAS will launch the Sustainability award and the Shareholder Communications Excellence award at its 18th Investor Choice Awards this year. The ICA will be presented on Sept 19.

"With the introduction of 'comply or explain' on Sustainability Reporting for all SGX listed companies from financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, we feel strongly that now is the time to encourage more companies to adopt ESG principles and to recognise companies who do well in sustainability," SIAS president and CEO David Gerald said on Monday (July 10).

"When the haze last hit Singapore, companies that were not environmentally friendly saw their products taken off shelves in supermarkets. Investors are becoming more sophisticated and are looking at sustainability with greater interest, especially in evaluating risks," he added.

Companies that excel in communications with their stakeholders will also be recognised this year.

Mr Gerald noted that many mid and small cap companies, as well as some big cap firms tend to scramble around for professional help when hit with a crisis.

"Some companies do not even have an investor relations function," he said. "When they have a crisis, they are going to have to spend half a million dollars hiring lawyers, accountants, IRs to resolve the crisis."

"That's why we are introducing the shareholder communications award because we want better communications between shareholders and companies. We believe our capital markets should function smoothly."