The Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI), Canada’s national association representing investor relations professionals, is pleased to announce that Eleanor Fritz has been chosen as the 32nd recipient of the Award for Excellence in Investor Relations and Karen Keyes has been chosen as the 11th recipient of the Belle Mulligan Award for Leadership in Investor Relations. These individuals were honoured at CIRI’s 33rd Annual Investor Relations Conference.
Award for Excellence in Investor Relations
The Award for Excellence in Investor Relations is given by CIRI to honour individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the investor relations profession and to the Institute.
Eleanor Fritz is highly regarded in the investor relations profession and has been a significant contributor to CIRI and the issuer community. She has been Co-Chair of the CIRI Issues Committee since 2010 and Chair since 2018, served on the CIRI National Board from 2009 to 2015 and was a member of CIRI’s Human Resources and Corporate Governance Committee from 2010 to 2015. Ms. Fritz has spoken at various CIRI Conferences and events and moderates CIRI’s IR Issues Update events.
"Eleanor is one of CIRI’s longest standing members and is highly deserving of the CIRI Award for Excellence in Investor Relations. Eleanor has given tirelessly of her time and energy by way of 23 years as a member, including six years on the National Board. Even in retirement Eleanor continues to give generously of her time as Co-Chair of the Issues Committee and as moderator of CIRI’s IR Issues Update events," said Meghan Brown, Vice President, Investor Relations for Great Panther Mining Limited and CIRI’s 2019 Award for Excellence recipient. "Her passion and commitment to investor relations and capital markets in Canada make her an inspiration and a mentor to many."
Ms. Fritz left the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2016 and, since retiring, joined the Board of Governors of the University of Guelph in 2017 where she currently chairs the Governance and Human Resources Committee. In her role as Director of Compliance & Disclosure at the TSX, she managed the department responsible for ensuring issuer compliance with TSX requirements related to continuous listing, timely disclosure, corporate governance and director and officer suitability. She sat on the Continuous Disclosure Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission, was a member of the Sustainability Working Group of the World Federation of Exchanges and the Ontario Chapter Executive of the Institute of Corporate Directors
She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Guelph and a Master of Business Administration from the Western Ontario University.
"To receive this CIRI award truly surprised and humbled me. What an immense honour to be selected by and now stand in the company of the previous award winners! I have benefitted both professionally and personally through my involvement with CIRI and feel privileged to work with such a key organization that helps listed issuers succeed in the capital markets," said Eleanor Fritz.
"I have worked with Eleanor on both the National Board and the Issues Committee. Her dedication and commitment in her many roles have profoundly benefitted the entire investor relations profession," said Yvette Lokker, President and CEO, CIRI. "Her continued contribution to the profession demonstrates her passion for good governance which has inspired IROs across Canada."
Belle Mulligan Award for Leadership in Investor Relations
The Belle Mulligan Award for Leadership in Investor Relations is given by CIRI in honour of the late Belle Mulligan to recognize individuals who have shown singular leadership in one or more aspects of the practice of investor relations.
Belle Mulligan (1940-2009) will long be remembered as a leader and standard setter in the IR profession and as a founder of CIRI. Her passion for IR began through her association with NIRI in the early 1970s and in 1981, she joined a small cadre of IR leaders to help develop NIRI Canada, now CIRI. She served on both the CIRI and NIRI Boards and was cited by one analyst as "adding 10% to the valuation" of the senior gold mining company she represented. Her professionalism won her many admirers, and her engaging personality and generous heart won her a wide circle of friends. She was a mentor to many IROs, urging them to set their sights high within their organizations.
Karen Keyes started her investor relations career working for Marconi plc. In her 20+ years of experience supporting global management teams and Boards in Canada and the UK, she has helped navigate strategy changes, capital raising, M&A due diligence and integration, Board and management changes, capital allocation decisions and shareholder activism. In addition to her many professional accomplishments, she has been a member of CIRI’s National Conference Committee and a key contributor to CIRI’s Editorial Board. Her columns for IR leader have addressed a wide variety of topics relevant to Canadian investor relations practitioners. Most recently, she has been the Project Lead for the newly updated and soon to be released Guide to Developing an IR Program.
"Anyone who knows Karen, knows how passionate she is about investor relations and the capital markets. She strives for excellence and is always willing to help others to achieve it by sharing her experience and insights," said Yvette Lokker.
As Principal of Keyes Principals Consulting, she is applying her significant experience in IR, strategy development and stakeholder engagement to the opportunities and challenges facing issuers. Previous to this, she held senior investor relations roles including: Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Aimia Inc. and Head, Investor Relations, Logica plc. She holds a Master’s of Science in Finance from the London Business School and a Master’s of Arts in International Political Economy from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.
"It is an honour to be accepting this award and even more so, to have contributed to the important work CIRI is doing to equip investor relations professionals to engage with the capital markets in a world of continued change," said Karen Keyes. "The events of 2020 have yet again illustrated the role IROs can play in engaging with investors around material ESG matters and in explaining how their companies’ strategies can adapt to unforeseen events."
CIRI is a professional, not-for-profit association of executives responsible for communication between public corporations, investors and the financial community. CIRI contributes to the transparency and integrity of the Canadian capital markets by advancing the practice of investor relations, the professional competency of its members and the stature of the profession. With close to 500 members and four Chapters across the country, CIRI is the voice of IR in Canada. For further information, please visit CIRI.org.
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President & CEO
Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI)