Trust me, I'm listed Practical perspectives on reporting

Too long? Too boring? Read by nobody? A thankless task? Too many reports attract descriptions like these. But when done well, the annual report is the vital calling card of a listed company. It’s in the doing it well that many companies get stuck. How should a report be put together and what should it say? What are the secrets to producing what’s often the first port of call for investors, and increasingly, other stakeholders?​

Reporting expert Claire Bodanis, author of our latest book, Trust me I’m listed: Why the annual report matters and how to do it well is hosting a series of monthly webinars. These sessions will help you broaden your understanding of just why the annual report is so important to business and society, and crucially, of how to do it well.

From March 2021, the webinars will be hosted by Claire's company, Falcon Windsor. The recordings of the series hosted by The Chartered Governance Institute, between July 2020 and February 2021, are available to view below,

At lunchtime on the first Thursday of each month, Claire will discuss hot reporting topics – 'a masterclass in reporting', in the words of Dr Gerry Murphy, Chairman of Tate & Lyle and Burberry – with a different reporting stakeholder.

Upcoming webinars and registeration

3 June 2021: A newly-listed company’s view: necessary evil or valuable exercise? With Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary, Airtel Africa and WK Groenewald, Group Company Secretary, Bytes Technology Group.

Listing has many benefits – but is reporting one of them? Is having a blank sheet of paper a blessing or a curse? How do you set reporting up from scratch for success? What can we learn from those doing reporting for the first time? Claire will discuss these questions with her guests, company secretaries of newly-listed FTSE companies.

Register here

1 July 2021: A risk expert’s view: how can going back to basics help us report well on climate risk? With Tim Mohin, EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Persefoni, and panellist TBC.

Recommendations, requirements, TCFD, ESG, net zero – the climate clock is ticking and companies are being pressed from all sides on what climate risk means for their finances and their future. But how can you analyse climate risk properly? What information are investors and stakeholders looking for? How can you report well on something that’s so difficult to quantify? Claire will ask the experts to share their insights on this thorniest of subjects.

Register here

2 September 2021: A CFO’s view: what value reporting beyond the financials? With Imran Nawaz, CFO, Tesco (TBC).

Annual reports have to do far more than report the numbers – yet many finance teams, and even some CFOs, don’t get involved beyond the financial statements. Why should finance have an interest in the full strategic report? And what should the relationship be between financial and non-financial statements? Claire will debate these and other related questions with the panellists.

Register here

How to access previous recordings

The recordings of the series hosted by The Chartered Governance Institute, between July 2020 and February 2021, are available to view below,

This recording is available to view by everyone, all you need to do is log into your MyCG account and click here. If you do not have a MyCG account, all you need to do is register as a Free Subscriber and then click here.

2 July 2020: Launch event - an interview with Claire Bodanis and Sir Donald Brydon

We kicked off with an interview from Claire and Sir Donald Brydon, author of the recently published independent review of the quality and effectiveness of audit, who has written the book’s foreword. He says: 'In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, it will matter even more that companies tell their story openly and honestly… It is a time for outstanding communication. Trust me, I’m listed will help all those about to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards.'

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6 August 2020: A company secretary’s view from Ben Mathews, Company Secretary, BP and Rachael Matzopoulos, Deputy Company Secretary, The Vitec Group plc

As you begin planning your annual report, Claire, Ben and Rachael will talk about how to prepare for 2021, including reflections on how to make the best of remote working for your teams. They’ll also touch on the challenges of managing the annual report for a dual listed company and a small cap company.

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3 September 2020: An investor’s view from Andy Griffiths, Executive Director, the Investor Forum

In light of COVID-19, annual reports are entering new territory. What are investors looking for? What does this mean for longer-term ESG and sustainability questions? Claire will discuss these and other key questions with Andy, who, as head of the Investor Forum, represents institutional investors’ interests to UK Boards.

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1 October 2020: A regulator’s view from Miranda Craig, Director of Strategy and Change, the Financial Reporting Council

How is the regulatory picture for reporting evolving? What can we expect from the FRC in the wake of COVID-19? What does that mean for 2021 reports and beyond? Claire will ask Miranda to reflect on these and other questions, drawing on her experience as a company secretary and her work on the Brydon Review, as well as her more recent experience at the FRC.

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5 November 2020: A lawyer’s view from Will Chalk, Head of Corporate Governance, and Richard Preston, Managing Associate, Addleshaw Goddard

The annual report often becomes a battleground between storytelling and box-ticking – with the lawyers cast as the bad guys for spoiling the story. Keen advocates of storytelling, Will and Richard have a refreshingly different view. Claire will be exploring with them how to find the right balance, so crucial to a good report.

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3 December 2020: An auditor’s view from Maria Kepa, Director in EY's Audit practice and UK Corporate Governance Team, and Paul Lee, investment and governance expert, and contributor to the Brydon Review

The role of audit and the relationship between auditors and companies is a hot topic, following the Brydon Review which proposed sweeping changes to the profession. How companies are approaching COVID-19 risk in their reporting and how auditors are responding will throw even more of a spotlight on that relationship. Claire will explore these issues with Maria and Paul, and hear the latest view on what’s likely to be a very fluid situation.

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7 January 2021: A board director’s view from Tanya Castell, Independent NED at Handelsbanken PLC and Chris McLeish, CFO, Ibstock PLC

Board directors are responsible for the annual report – after all, they have to sign it off. But how involved really are they in their companies’ reports? How involved should they be? And how would better involvement improve both business management and, in turn, reporting? In exploring these questions, Claire and the panel aim to help reporters with what can be, depending on the Board, a challenge to manage.

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4 February, 12.30pm: An agency’s view from Sallie Pilot, Board Director of reporting agency Black Sun and Lorraine Clover, Group Company Secretary of Reach plc

What is a reporting agency? Do you need one? How can agencies help companies report better? What should you expect from an agency – and what should they expect from you? Companies and agencies work together in very different ways, for better – and worse! Claire will discuss these and other pertinent questions with Sallie and Lorraine.

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