IROs lead investor meetings as demand grows

Jan 13, 2015
<p>Companies estimate that IROs held more than 130 one-on-one meetings in 2014</p>

A third of firms say their IR professionals are meeting investors alone – up slightly from 2009 figures – according to NASDAQ’s investor targeting study.

At 59 percent, however, the majority of investor one-on-ones are attended by both IR and senior management, while 8 percent of meetings are overseen by only the CEO, CFO or other member of the C-suite.

‘As demand for investment dollars continues to rise, it’s not surprising companies are allocating more time to meet with investors,’ states the report. ‘This is increasingly true for IROs, who are meeting with more investors and often meeting with them alone, in line with the growing demands from the buy side for IROs to be more strategic and a proxy for the CEO and CFO.’

The average 130 meetings between IROs and investors over the course of 2014 compares with 80 overseen by the CFO and 60 led by the chief executive. These figures are up by an average of five and 10 meetings, respectively, on 2009, says NASDAQ.

‘Most IROs we surveyed indicate they are spending more than 15 days on the road for meetings with investors in the US,’ adds NASDAQ. ‘For meetings with investors in Europe and Asia, most IROs report spending one to five days [on the road].’

Looking at meetings with investors from the US, Europe and Asia, the majority of the 532 companies surveyed say they met with investors from each region in 2014 with the same frequency as in the previous year. That said, 30 percent say they met with US investors more frequently, 19 percent increased contact with European shareholders and 15 percent met Asian investors more often.

The most popular questions asked of IROs focus on strategy, says NASDAQ, with financials in second place and the company’s vision for the future following in third position. Capital allocation and questions concerning the balance sheet make up the top five queries.

Part of this could be down to the credentials of today’s IROs, says Brian McMahon, global head of investor targeting at NASDAQ OMX. ‘With IR roles increasingly filled by executives with buy-side and sell-side experience, we are noticing companies’ increasing willingness to place IROs front and center, moving beyond the role of gatekeeper to the C-suite and, in many cases becoming the principal torchbearer of the company’s story to Wall Street,’ he explains.

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