The survey typically runs from June to September and spans the preceding 12 month period. The results are made public in October and the Awards are presented during a ceremony.
Which companies are part of the survey?
Each year, we review the selection of companies that will be screened. For many years, the market capitalization was used as a hurdle to cross. Needless to say, some smaller companies felt unhappy when they were left out.
Over the past few years, our approach has been more pragmatic. Our first concern is to further increase the quality and the reliability of the survey results. This requires a minimum number of analysts, so the available analyst resources are crucial in the company selection process. Clearly, bigger companies enjoy wider analyst coverage than smaller ones. But with some 30 small and mid caps adding to the bulk of the Bel20 members, we feel the current selection of about 50 companies is a good representation of listed corporate Belgium.
Who participates in the screening process?
A major characteristic of the Award is the nature of the survey. Award winners are selected on the basis of a thorough screening of all relevant aspects of financial information and communication. Although members of the financial press and investor associations have participated in the past, local financial analysts continue to play a crucial role in the screening process. We are proud that almost all Belgian analyst teams are represented.
A clear trend in the past few years is the growing participation of buy-side analysts (analysts working for institutional investors like private bankers or asset managers). This reflects our policy to widen the participation of the analyst community beyond the traditional sell-side analyst teams.
The arrival of the euro was a breakthrough for cross border investing, taking away currency risk. As a result, Belgian listed companies made it more frequently onto the radar screens of international investors and analysts. That is why in 2011 and for the first time in the Award history, we invited analysts from a number of analyst teams outside Belgium to take part in the screening. Since then, we have continued our efforts to broaden the commitment of analysts from outside Belgium.