Australia’s Fortescue Takes Two Top Titles at the 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards
U.K.’s ArcelorMittal Associated with Three Awards, Including Lifetime Achievement
Companies, Individuals Win from Four Continents for Success in Challenging Times
London - May 21, 2014
Fortescue Metals Group Limited took top billing, winning two of the most prestigious titles at the 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards. The Australian iron ore producer and mining giant won “Rising Star” and “Metals Company of the Year” honors Wednesday night for its ascension from industry newcomer to the world’s fourth largest iron ore producer in less than a decade.
The Platts Global Metals Awards, which recognize exemplary performance in a dozen categories across the steel, metals and mining complex, were presented at a black-tie gala in London, attended by more than 200 industry executives. Program host Platts and event emcee CNBC’s Karen Tso bestowed ten additional awards on companies and individuals hailing from four continents.
“We congratulate the winners and finalists for their notable achievements and contributions to the industry during the past year,” said Larry Neal, president of Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemical and metals information provider. “Tonight’s winners have navigated a challenging financial environment, and their accomplishments are a clear indication that the metals sector is poised for growth in the coming years.”
In its selection of Fortescue for the “Rising Star Award,” the Platts Global Metals Awards’ independent panel of judges llauded the Perth-based company for forging its own path, swiftly rising in the sector and becoming one of Australia’s corporate success stories. Founded in 2003, the up-and-comer entered an iron ore market already dominated by multinational companies. Employing innovative techniques to decades-old maps, the company discovered huge iron ore-rich deposits in Western Australia, and 10 years later, achieved record iron ore production of 80.9 million tons. Today, Fortescue operates four iron ore mines, boasts the world’s most efficient iron ore transportation methods, enjoys global customer relationships and has large untapped resources.
Fortescue’s many accomplishments within a short period of time also inspired the program’s judges to unanimously select it from the entire list of Global Metals Awardsfinalists as winner of “Metals Company of the Year.” Judges highlighted the company’s powerful comeback from financial difficulties in 2012 and its proven track record of job creation in Western Australia among key factors that led to its dual win.
Awards Acknowledge Exceptional Executives’ Achievements Amidst Challenging Environment
Two standout leaders – Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa Inc. and Chandra Shekhar Verma of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) – tied for the hotly contested “CEO of the Year,” a top title that honors chief executives who demonstrate strong leadership and clarity of vision and judgment. Judges were impressed that both CEOs solidified their companies’ respective leadership in the aluminum and steel sectors despite difficult operating environments.
In selection of Alcoa Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer Klaus Kleinfeld for the “CEO of the Year” title, judges pointed to his decisive leadership during the recent global economic recession. Kleinfeld took the reins of the 126-year-old American aluminum giant in 2007 and employed an ambitious strategy which called for growing the company’s value-add business while curtailing smelting costs. Despite the challenging market and economic conditions, Alcoa’s value-add business accounted for 57 percent of its revenues in 2013, and the company delivered a total shareholder return 45 percent better than its industry peers.
“CEO” honors were bestowed on SAIL’s chairman Chandra Shekhar Verma for his comprehensive leadership style, which one judge highlighted as fostering the financial success of “the most important steel player in India.” Verma became SAIL’s chairman in 2010 and steered the company of more than 100,000 employees through an extensive modernization and expansion program. The judges lauded Verma for improving the company’s operational performance to 112 percent of saleable steel capacity utilization while also demonstrating a strong commitment to social responsibility, all while simultaneously chairing two other organizations.
While this year’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” drew an impressive list of finalists, the judges were most taken with ArcelorMittal’s Gregory Ludkovsky. After coming to the U.S. in 1979 with $56.40 in his pocket, Ludkovsky, a Russian native, fought for a research position with Inland Steel, which Mittal Steel later acquired in 1998. Today, as vice president of ArcelorMittal’s global research and development (R&D), Ludkovsky presides over 11 laboratories and some 1,300 researchers. Not only did his success in blending the R&D units in North America and Europe following the ArcelorMittal merger catch the judges’ attention, but also his development of high-strength automotive steels that promote passenger safety. Judges said Ludkovsky’s enthusiasm for his work and commitment to the industry made him a worthy recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
ArcelorMittal also snagged two other top recognitions: “Industry Leadership Award –Steel” and “Deal of the Year,” which it shared with Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation for the complex, 50/50 joint-venture acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Steel USA.
The judges’ rationale for according these and other awards may be found in the Platts Global Metals Awards event publication at this link. Following are the 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards winners:
Breakthrough Innovation of the Year
CEO of the Year
Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Inc.
Chandra Shekhar Verma, Steel Authority of India Limited
Corporate Social Responsibility Award
Gerdau Long Steel North America
Deal of the Year
ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation
Industry Leadership Award – Aluminum
Industry Leadership Award – Raw Materials & Mining
London Mining Plc
Industry Leadership Award – Scrap & Recycling
Upstate Shredding LLC
Industry Leadership Award – Steel
Lifetime Achievement Award
Greg Ludkovsky, ArcelorMittal
Metals Company of the Year
Fortescue Metals Group Limited
Metals Mover of the Year
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.
Rising Star Award
Fortescue Metals Group Limited
Full details of the 2014 winners and additional information may be accessed in the media kit or via the Platts Global Metals Awardswebsite.
This year’s Awards program was supported by co-sponsor CME Group, a leading and diverse derivatives exchange, and several executive sponsors: Jefferies, a global investment banking firm; Novelis, a leader in the global aluminium industry; and Thomson Reuters, a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.
Next year’s Platts Global Metals Awards will be held Thursday, May 21, 2015, at The Savoy.
Platts will hold its sister, founding event, the 16th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, on December 11, 2014, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
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