Investors and stock analysts agree: The best C-suite in the United States can be found at consumer finance company Synchrony Financial.
Synchrony Financial, led by chief executive Margaret Keane, was the highest scoring company in Institutional Investor’s 2020 All-America Executive Team. Investors and analysts surveyed by II named Synchrony the top company in the consumer finance sector, with buy-side and sell-side respondents alike giving the banking and financing firm top honors across all four of the survey’s categories: Best CEO, Best CFO, Best Investor Relations Professional, and Best IR Company.
Synchrony was the only company to sweep all four categories in both the buy-side and sell-side surveys, giving it the highest weighted score out of the nearly 150 firms that qualified this year as Most Honored Companies, a designation awarded to companies with two or more top-three positions in either the buy-side or sell-side results.
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There were a handful of firms that just missed out on perfect scores. These included Sherwin-Williams Co., leading the chemicals sector; UnitedHealth Group, No. 1 in the health care facilities and managed care sector; top real estate investment trust company Equinix; and telecommunications leader T-Mobile US.
For instance, buy-side and sell-side respondents were split over whether T-Mobile or Verizon Communications had the best investor relations function, but unanimously praised the former for its CFO J. Braxton Carter and CEO John Legere. Both executives, however, are expected to step down after the completion of the wireless company’s merger with competitor Sprint Corporation.
Carter’s exit plan was detailed in regulatory filings in March, while Legere’s decision to step down at the end of his contract was announced Monday. In a statement, T-Mobile said Legere would continue as CEO until the end of April 2020, at which point he would be succeeded by current chief operating officer Mike Sievert.
Legere was rumored to be in talks to become CEO of WeWork, but CNBC reported Friday that the T-Mobile exec was not planning to take the job.
Other companies that ranked highly in this year’s All-America Executive Team included Marriott International, the top-ranked gaming and lodging firm; Visa, voted No. 1 in payments, processors, and information technology services; top-rated restaurant chain Domino’s Pizza; and semiconductors leader Texas Instruments.
CME Group and Morgan Stanley earned the highest scores in the brokers, asset managers, and exchanges sector, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. led the large-cap banks division.