DIRF has strong cooperation with our peer IR associations especially in the UK (The IR Society), the US (NIRI) and in Germany (DIRK) as important sources of input on where the IR world is moving. Especially the past year, much focus is evolving around Investor Relation moving from a pioneer field to a much more professional level. On the global scene we now see increasing requirements to the profession with higher demands for professional development programmes and upgrades of specific IR-skills and qualifications. Offerings of various courses and IR certificates have seen a steep rise. This trend is being address by all the big IR associations, and therefore DIRF together with The IR Society are now working on an extension our collaboration for DIRF members to be in on this trend. More information will follow in the coming months – but below you will find an article on the current requirements on IROs from an international point of view.
IR Society – How to stand out from the crowd in 2020
In an evolving landscape for listed companies worldwide, what are the issues that IROs should prioritize in the coming year.
Effective communication of long-term strategy
Ensuring that investors understand the company’s long-term strategy is a fundamental task for any IR team. However, for many, this is proving surprisingly difficult in the current environment. A disconnect between internal and external expectations has led investors to increasingly challenge management regarding their plans.
Focus on ESG disclosure
Amid growing calls for action from multiple stakeholders, including the public, media and governments, across a wide range of ESG concerns, investor focus on non-financial performance continues to grow. In recent years, great strides have been made in this respect across the globe, but as scrutiny intensifies and expectations rise, those who continue to report only what is required by regulation in their jurisdiction risk falling behind.
With the buy side consuming less sell-side research, conducting more research internally and engaging with companies directly, IR teams that typically relied on the sell side to communicate their message and arrange investor roadshows on their behalf are now coming under pressure to adopt a far more proactive approach. Contact investors before and after a meeting to get their views on the company.
A fresh approach to expectation management
Given the changes in market dynamics, it is increasingly important to receive regular feedback from the buy side and to publish your own consensus figures on the website and/or make necessary changes to the guidance policy to ensure effective expectation management going forward.
In this dynamic environment – characterised not only by regulatory change, but also by political and economic factors – IROs are encouraged to step back, take stock, and ensure their practices and level of resource remain fit for purpose. Acting swiftly to evaluate your approach to IR, make the necessary adjustments and secure the appropriate support to ensure improved effectiveness in 2020.
Link to full article first published in the Winter 2019/20 issue of Informed, The IR Society quarterly journal:
5 Categories of Finance Competencies for 2020 – CFO.com
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