Finnish companies impress in Corporate Governance and Share Information
By Freja Nilsson
Finnish companies continue to be strong performers in this year's Webranking. We have ranked the websites of Finland's largest companies to evaluate how well they meet the needs and expectations of their stakeholders, such as analysts, investors, jobseekers, and the media. With an average score of 53.4, Finnish companies have exceeded the European average by ten points.
The Finnish companies provide good information about management and shares. The main area of improvement for the Finnish companies is diversity and equal opportunities information, especially by providing diversity data in numbers.
Nevertheless, the companies' average score of 53.4 is impressive. Looking at the 20 largest companies, the performance is even stronger: with an average score of 61.1, Finland is the best-performing country of all.
Detailed information about management
Finnish companies have really impressive corporate governance sections of their websites, receiving on average 68 points. This can be compared to the European average of 43 points. The companies are especially good at including information about the board of directors, such as age, name, title, and their CV:s. 96% of the companies provide information about the remuneration for the group management, and 94% provide information about the remuneration for the board of directors. This is appreciated information by the stakeholders—82% of the respondents of Comprend's Capital Market survey find remuneration information in numbers important.
Fortum present all necessary information about the board of directors, such as their responsibilities and board meeting attendance. They also include many facts about the members of the board, such as their age, education, and work experience. In this way, they create a good overview of their competencies.
Informative share graphs and presentations of stakeholders
When it comes to providing information about the shares, the Finnish companies also perform very well and a lot better than the European average. Finnish companies have on average received 62 points—25 points above the European average of 38 points.
Many of the Finnish companies provide good share graphs, including necessary information such as market cap, links to press releases containing news that might have affected the share price, and trading volumes from alternative marketplaces.
Cargotec have a share graph that includes all information that an investor might need, such as a comparison function to peers, indicators such as press releases, and the volumes of shares being traded at different marketplaces.
The Finnish companies are also good at including updated information about the shareholders such as presenting major shareholders by type, sector, or geographical distribution. However, few companies disclose how large proportion of the company's shares are being owned by the SRI community/responsible investors (only 2% of the companies did this).
Sampo present their shareholders in a table that is updated every month. The table contains detailed information about how many shares each group owns, both in numbers and percentages, and their amount of votes.
Diversity and equal opportunities information is often missing
Providing careers information is the area where Finnish companies struggle to meet stakeholder expectations the most, but the average score is still on the same level as the European average (40 points).
Most Finnish companies lack information about diversity and equal opportunities on their website—only 19% of the companies include this. Meanwhile, 84% of the stakeholders find such information important, resulting in some discrepancy between stakeholder expectations and what the companies provide. Only 6% of Finnish companies include information about diversity in numbers (such as age, gender, or nationality).
Stakeholder expectations are becoming higher and higher in this area, so it gets harder for companies to live up to them. Since employer branding is becoming increasingly important, companies should put some effort into providing the best information possible to be able to attract the employees they need.
The top performer Wärtsilä have a good example of a careers section and are one of three Finnish companies that provide diversity information in numbers (together with Kesko and Sampo). Wärtsilä include numbers on both gender, age and nationalities.
The top performers in Finland
Wärtsilä top the Finnish list for the fifth year in a row, and Kesko keep the second place.
Fortum have climbed up one placement from fourth to third place. Wärtsilä perform well across all website sections and especially Investor Relations, Sustainability, and Careers. Kesko are also strong in Investor Relations and in providing "About Us" information, such as corporate history and business areas. Like the other Finnish top performers, Fortum are good at providing Investor Relations information and they also have an informative Corporate Governance section.
The biggest climber is Metso Outotec, who have increased their score by 11.5 points by, for example including better sustainability information.