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Airbus Group Tops List of Most Honored Companies in Institutional Investor's All-Europe Executive Team Ranking

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 03/25/14 -- Airbus Group, the commercial aircraft and defense company, has the top-rated management of any major European company, according to Institutional Investor's annual ranking of corporate leaders as seen through the eyes of investment professionals.

Complete survey results can be found at

Institutional Investor asked analysts, portfolio managers and sell-side equity research professionals to name the best CEOs, CFOs, and investor-relations professionals at the European companies they cover, and to evaluate these companies on their performance in each of eight IR attributes, including Access to Senior Management, Quality & Depth of Answers to Inquiries, Transparency of Financial Reporting & Disclosure, and so on.

Airbus's Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Enders, is regarded as the top CEO in the Aerospace & Defense sector by both buy-side analysts at leading investment management companies and sell-side analysts at securities firms. Both sides also name Airbus's Harald Wilhelm as the top Chief Financial Officer in the sector, and give top marks to the company's Investor Relations team and its top IR professionals, Philippe Balducchi and Julie Kitcher. That clean sweep makes Airbus the Most Honored Company in the ranking.

Other Most Honored Companies from the Netherlands are:

  • Unilever in Food Producers
  • ASML Holding in Technology/Hardware
  • Gemalto in Technology/Software
  • SBM Offshore in Oil Services

Analysts recognize these companies for taking firm action to ensure that their companies have the right product mix and geographic presence to generate growth and shareholder returns in an environment where the European economy is expected to recover at only a modest pace. Last year Airbus agreed to change its name from European Aeronautic and Defence Space Co. and consolidate its defense and space activities into a single division to cut costs and underscore the importance of the group's dominant business, producing civil airliners.

"We just faced reality," the CFO says, "both in terms of the budget situations in our countries and the enhanced competition in exports." The group needed to slash costs and streamline the military business while doing as much as possible to leverage the strength of the commercial aircraft division. "The common denominator is, face reality," CFO Wilhelm, 48, tells II. "Be hands-on, don't spend too much time with the long-term-strategy vision type of thing, but really enhance the margins of the company and its cash flows. And it's been important to show clearly to investors how we're doing."

Survey results reflect the opinions of 832 buy-side analysts and money managers at 457 firms, and from roughly 1,238 analysts from 139 brokerages and independent investment firms. Votes from buy- and sell-side participants are tabulated separately.

About Institutional Investor

Now entering its fifth decade, Institutional Investor has distinguished itself among the world's foremost financial publications with groundbreaking journalism and incisive writing that provide essential intelligence for a global audience of finance and investment decision makers. Institutional Investor also produces a host of proprietary research and rankings that serve as the industry-standard benchmarks for fixed-income, equity research, and money management professionals and executive teams. For more information, visit

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