FAIRFIELD, CT: General Electric on Tuesday unveiled a new and improved version of its IR website, featuring a cleaner design and easier navigation. The new site updates a 2-year-old version in response to feedback from investors.David Frail, manager of financial communications at GE, said that the upgrades aimed to improve the company's transparency by allowing investors to easily access and manage large amounts of information. "We've tried to strike a balance," he said. "You can have the best intentions in the world and post dozens of links on your site, but that may only create a sense of confusion in your visitors." The changes to the IR site, including a new type font and less clutter on the front page, mirror changes to GE's main corporate website. Frail said that the company also increased the amount of information on the site specifically for bondholders, a goal the company has been addressing for the past three years. Lou Thompson, president and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute, said that GE's corporate governance website is "held up as a model," and that all publicly held companies should strive to make their websites more accessible. "More information is not necessarily better information if it's difficult to get to," explained Thompson. GE is considered particularly significant within the world of IR because the company is widely credited with forming the first investor relations department in an American corporation, which it did in 1953. A study of more than 500 IR websites worldwide released September 1 ranked GE's 22nd overall (the fifth-highest American firm) and second in the industrials sector, behind the Swedish firm SKF AB.
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