HSBC Holdings won the Hang Seng Industry-category gold prize in the 1995 Hong Kong Management Association's Best Annual Reports Awards. Despite stiff competition from 32 blue-chip companies listed in Hong Kong, HSBC Holdings won by using simple layout and design techniques. Judges were impressed with the straightforward manner in which complex financial data on more than 20 subsidiary companies was presented. 'Simplicity was the aim of the game,' said Jacqueline Higgins, senior publications manager with Hongkong Bank, an HSBC Holdings subsidiary based in the territory. 'Although the report had to include a range of complex data on many of the holding company's associations, the report is easy to read and not cluttered.' The 84-page report was designed in Hong Kong but typeset in London, HSBC Holdings' base. A Chinese version of the report was compiled in the territory. Judges were impressed that financial highlights for major subsidiaries were given in point form on the same page as a brief description of the company. Extra information on subsidiaries, staff and community projects meant data had to be kept concise to keep production costs low, said Jennings Ku Ching-yin, Hongkong Bank's senior design manager. 'At a glance, the document is not glamorous and has few pictures, so it was difficult making the report look interesting,' Mr Ku said. 'We decided to keep design simple, group topics under headings, use basic graphs, coloured lines, different type faces and charts to break up the large amount of text that had to be presented.' However, design was not the only feature of the document. Judges also rewarded the frank and 'down-to-business' group chairman's report. In his summary for 1994, Sir William Purves admitted that the bank was disappointed with results from treasury and capital markets. However, his report also assured shareholders that risk management strategies for the group were adequate. It was the report's section on HSBC Holdings' contribution to society that persuaded judges to give it top marks in the Hang Seng category, said Howard Gorges, chairman of the awards' judging panel. The group donated more than $132 million to charity and community projects and the amount is accounted for in balance sheets in the report's notes section. Following changes to the Securities Ordinance last year, companies were required to give details of directors' emoluments and related benefits. While most company reports do not reveal how much individual directors earn, HSBC Holdings' report lists salaries next to each director's name.