Connecting investors to trailblazing companies

Euronext believes strongly in the power of annual reports, to showcase successes, communicate a firm’s vision and enable them to be matched to the perfect investors, writes Arlene Harris

17th November, 2019
Orla O’Gorman, head of equity listing Ireland at Euronext

In March 2018, Euronext became the new home of the Irish Stock Exchange, which was founded in 1793. As the largest market operator in Europe – operating exchanges in six European locations, with a presence in 11 – Euronext is the listing venue of choice for over 1,440 companies and is number one in Europe for technology companies.

And as sponsor of the recent Chartered Accountants Leinster Society Published Accounts Awards, Euronext recognises the importance of published accounts and is proud to be associated with the event.

“The PAA awards are very personal to us in the Euronext team,” said Orla O’Gorman, head of equity listing Ireland. “As an exchange, we enable investors to invest in these fantastic companies and that cannot be done unless there are trusted accounts which tell the company story in a clear and transparent way. That to me is what the annual reports are about – the latest chapter in a company’s story. They showcase their successes, reflect on the past and communicate the vision and ambition for the future.”

Joining Euronext has transformed the market opportunity and experience for Irish-listed companies. Earlier this year, the trading in their shares migrated to the Euronext pan-European single order book and this has given them access to a larger pool of investors and Euronext corporate services.

The exchange, which has 1,000 employees, had its own IPO five years ago and has gone from strength to strength since.

“As an exchange, our fundamental purpose is to enable capital to get to the places it needs to get to, as efficiently, safely and transparently as possible,” said O’Gorman. “By connecting European economies at their core (the exchange), we can bring Europe closer together and strengthen our community.

“And by matching European investors, funds and pensions with innovative companies from across the continent, we can help to fund the growth of the real economy and make sure the future of Europe is a prosperous one.”

Of course, markets are constantly evolving, and Orla O’Gorman says the transition to a low-carbon economy is likely to require one of the largest reallocations of capital in human history (90 trillion over 15 years, according to the OECD).

“How that capital is allocated will play a pivotal role in the successful transition to a green economy,” she said. “As an exchange, therefore, we must empower investors to discover and participate in sustainable investments in a way that is both trusted and transparent. As such, in our new three-year strategic plan, Let’s Grow Together 2022, one of the core pillars is Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainable investing. We have committed to the development and active support of innovative and sustainable products and services for clients and other members of the financial community.

“One of the key strengths of Euronext is the federal model we operate. While yes, we are a pan-European group, there is a fundamental belief that each exchange should build on and maintain our local strength and identity, while leveraging the expertise throughout the group. The result is that we now have huge breadth and depth of expertise across the group – Dublin for example, is the centre of excellence for debt, funds and ETFs in Euronext and we are the number one venue in the world for listing debt.”

Being top of their game is important for Euronext and this is why they understand the importance of recognising excellence in business.

“Awards ceremonies are an important part of the calendar for every sector,” said O’Gorman. “A company’s annual report is their opportunity to tell their corporate story in their way to all stakeholders. It is still one of the most important communication tools that a company has.

“So excellence in reporting needs to be rewarded. In our fast-paced economy in which these companies operate, I believe that it is so important to stop and reflect on this excellence, and to recognise and reward their success. So big congratulations to all the winners at the PAA Awards.”

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