New Feature Update: Consolidated IR Calendar

Summary: Investor Relation teams can now see broker events, industry earnings dates and IR events, both local and international in one view.

Uses: Event planning.

Available for: Investor Relations teams with a standard Closir subscription.

How does it work? Brokers conferences and IR events are visible under Conferences tab. Industry earnings dates are visible under Events tab. Both views are sortable by various categories. Furthermore, under the ‘Events’ tab users can create and save bespoke watchlists (e.g Oil & Gas Russia).

IR teams can also express interest or register for certain events using the right hand side menu bars. If a company selects ‘I am attending’, it will then export to the IR calendar. Selecting ‘I am interested’ in feature will send this request to respective organisers.

Visibility: Both companies and investors can see events on Conferences and Events pages.

User quotes: “Having all events, especially broker conferences, in one place is very helpful”

Closir team comment: We have heard from many IR teams that it would be useful to consolidate various events that are relevant to the everyday life of an IR team. In addition to just creating a list, we connected events to organisers who will receive requests about any companies interested in attending them. 

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New Feature Update: Investor Self Identification via IR Website

Summary: Investor Relation teams can capture interest for meetings from institutional investors directly via their IR websites using our plug in.

Uses: Investor Targeting. Roadshow planning. IR Website enhancement.

Available for: Investor Relations teams with a premium Closir subscription.

How does it work? Closir embeds a plug in to company’s IR calendar on its website that reflects its events and roadshows. The calendar has a ‘request meeting’ button. Investors click to request their interest in meeting a company while they travel. Closir filters this information and presents you only qualified institutional investors.

Visibility: Our connected calendar is designed to sit within IR pages and is publicly visible to everyone.

User quotes: “We wanted to capture more information from our IR website, especially the information about which investors are interested in meeting us when we travel. In this regard this feature does the job. We use this aggregated information to supplement our meeting schedules with new investors.”

Closir team comment: We always found the IR calendar section on company IR websites to be fairly static and ‘one way’. We wanted to give investors visiting the IR websites ability to express interest in meetings or road shows, and thus providing an extra layer of intelligence for company targeting efforts.

A public calendar switch makes your Closir calendar available to the public via an external link. You can easily add or edit events on your calendar.

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Investors have the option to express interest in meetings on your travel. This information is filtered by Closir team and aggregated in one place.

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The calendar can then be embedded into your IR website calendar. You can track investor interest in your roadshows real time by logging back into the Closir platform.

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A Framework for Investor Targeting

Investment profile of my company

The starting point of any investor targeting exercise is to build a solid understanding of how your company’s story can fit into criteria that global investors look for when screening for companies: liquidity, key fundamental metrics and non-financial highlights.

Things to consider:

  • Does my company’s liquidity, or average daily trading volume (ordinary shares and depositary receipts combined) meet institutional investor requirements? Minimum threshold for large institutional investors is on average $1million+ per day. Smaller funds or those focused on the mid-/small-cap segment of the market often have more flexibility, however also tend to have fewer resources and less support (corporate access, investment research) from brokers.
  • Compared to the regional and broader EM peer group, which set of fundamentals particularly stands out in my equity story?
  • How are we positioning our collateral to address the needs of investors with particular strategies (e.g. Income/Yield, Growth, Value etc)? Do we have a good understanding of the triggers of the investment decision on those funds?
  • What are the key non-financial metrics that matter in my story? What macro- or mega-industry trends is my company’s equity story continually benefiting from?

Opportunity Analysis

Many companies take a technical, if not scientific, approach to identifying investor opportunity. A starting point is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your own shareholder base, factoring in significant movements over the past four quarters.

Next, an institutional investor study draws up a target investor groups based on a number of criteria:

  • Investors who are already present in my shareholder register
  • Investors who are invested in my peer group but not in my company
  • Investors who have held my company’s shares previously but do not currently hold them
  • Investors who have been increasing allocations to my region and/or my sector
  • New EM funds launched globally over the last 12 months
  • New ideas of investors from brokers and other consultants

Things to consider:

  • Do I have a clear understanding which investors with active mandates hold my regional and international peer group? How often am I monitoring changes and activity in this list? Are the changes in line with what we are seeing in our shareholder base? If not, what are the drivers of the outliers?
  • Am I monitoring developments in the passive and ETF industry and do I understand which benchmarks my company is part of? What are my company’s allocations to each of those indices?
  • How often am I monitoring broader fund flows into my region and comparing this to what we are seeing in my company’s shareholder base?

Segmentation

Following this, companies often group investors into tiers, which then dictate the outreach strategy for the year. For illustration purposes the following example may be helpful:


All investor tiers have access to ‘passive channels’ which include IR website/web casts, annual report, IR mailings / press releases, IR events (R&D day, etc.), quarterly conference calls, event-driven/product conf. calls, phone & email contact with IR

The study can then be applied to three key geographies: Europe, North America and Asia.

Middle East Opportunity for EM Issuers

This time last week we presented at ARFI’s IR forum on the subject of investor opportunity in the Middle East. For the benefit of those who weren’t able to make the event, we thought it might be helpful to summarise the key messages.

  • Middle East (ME) based Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) account for the vast majority (over 85%) of aggregated assets under management in the region. ME SWFs account for roughly 30% of all global SWFs under management (around $2.3tr). This compares to about $31.3tr in assets managed by mutual funds globally or $2.8tr by hedge funds.
  • To recap, ME SWFs are government-owned vehicles set up primarily to manage excess oil reserves with an overarching long term strategy to diversity away from oil. While each of the funds follow diverse investment strategies with varying emphasis on risk, safety and liquidity, in each case philosophy generally comes before asset appreciation. Therefore, until recently the majority of investment by these funds was held in cash/short term security deposits, sovereign bonds and equities managed by third party managers.
  • Over the last few years, SWFs have been steadily building up the capability to manage investments, including equities, in-house. Relatively speaking, equity assets managed by funds dedicated to emerging markets, and Russia specifically, remain small.  So while there are undeniably investment opportunities to explore in the Middle East and Asia, it’s worth maintaining a sense of perspective from an IR point of view when evaluating these relative to the US and Europe.
  • Internal versus external management and active versus indexing decisions are becoming more important for established SWFs as well as for intra-SWF collaboration, as shown by Saudi Arabia’s recent commitment to invest up to $10bn in Russia. The same themes are relevant for large developed market funds.

Change in demand for different Asset Classes by SWFs, ME and Global  2014 v 15

  • Outside of SWFs, regional second tier investment managers have a higher home market bias given the location of their liabilities and in some instances the regulatory constraints on asset allocation. Local asset managers also compete with global funds who have established offices in Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh to manage MENA (Middle East and North Africa) funds from the ground. Outside of MENA investments, the local funds have not yet reached sufficient scale to significantly broaden mandates and justify a review of internal versus external management for risk assets.
  • The third pillar is the region’s family offices. Given the persisting volatility in the global markets it is no surprise that they have been increasingly outsourcing their investments to wealth managers and advisory firms. This also partly explains the increase in international private banks setting up their operations in the Middle East during the last few years.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran capital markets are opening up to international investors for the first time, presenting both local and global players hundreds of new investment opportunities. Regulators and exchanges in the region support best practice investor relations and in some cases (e.g. UAE) make IR compulsory for all listed companies.

Sources: Ipreo, Invesco, SWF Institute, KPMG, Closir. All data is as of Sep-2015, or the most recent available.

Framework of a Successful Corporate IR Strategy

 

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Over the last couple of years we have witnessed a number of significant themes and developments in the capital markets, which have had an meaningful impact on how IR teams think about strategy today. Whether we examine global pension fund reforms, regulatory developments affecting institutional investors and their products, or consider the role that technology plays within the financial industry, we quickly realise how important it is for us not only to understand these themes, but also be able to assess the impact they can have on our strategy.

How do successful companies think about an IR strategy in a rapidly evolving market? A simplified framework, inspired by award winning practitioners, with a few supplementary questions, may provide some clues.

Prioritise your objectives

A good starting point in the planning process is to ask a fundamental question: what are the objectives of the IR team at your company this year? Those objectives should be as measurable as possible and revolve around creating and communicating your equity story and setting it within the context of attracting investors.

The objectives are designed to be carefully prioritised and regularly revised. Crucially every IR team member understands the specific role they play in accomplishing them and has a clear view of the definition of success. A discussion around priorities, both short and long term, often sets the tone for the remainder of the planning process.

Things to consider:

  • Does everyone on my team possess a clear understanding of his or her individual role in executing the strategy?
  • Have I communicated my plan to the main internal and external stakeholders?
  • Are my objectives also laid out alongside a calendar of key dates in the corporate IR calendar, as well as investor conferences, and non-deal road shows?

Enforce the key messages of your investment case

This part of planning involves taking stock of all market and company specific events of the previous year and crafting a succinct equity story. Second, it involves highlighting and articulating the most important elements that you would like to convey to the investment community. And the ‘how’ is often as important as the ‘what’. The most successful IR officers are in fact magnificent storytellers. They understand the competition of investor, analyst and media attention is strong – and with this in mind craft stories that are compelling, unforgettable, smart and often magnetic. They are able to answer the crucial question investors are asking: What makes this company so special?

Things to consider:

  • What macro or mega industry trends is my company’s equity story continually benefiting from?
  • What are the key non-financial metrics that matter in my story?
  • How are the main messages I want to convey to the market reflected in my investor material?
  • When was the last time I practiced a simplified two-minute “elevator pitch”?

Create a solid capital market toolbox

Many companies will attest that it is a vital exercise to discuss what available capital market tools would be most beneficial to help them achieve the objectives they have set out. The process often includes ensuring your collateral (composed of, say, an investor pack and presentations, one page fact sheet, management videos on strategy, IR website) is up to date and reflects the messages you want to convey to your investors and analysts. The choice of the toolkit will go beyond regulatory obligations you need to meet, and depend on the size and make-up of your current and envisaged shareholder structure and the level of analyst and media coverage your advisors can offer. Commitment on resources and budget is also essential.

Many savvy companies carefully monitor and research new tools and technologies that are being introducing to the IR marketplace. Throughout the year, IR Society and Investment Association conferences, as well as leading industry periodicals and surveys, provide good insights into this space and also into new tools.

Things to consider:

  • Do I have a complete view of the resources available to me (internal and external to my team, as well as those provided to me by advisors)? Are those resources satisfactory?
  • Have I created ample opportunities to identify any improvements or challenges to the toolkit so that periodic adjustments can be made?
  • Have I considered how technology based tools in the IR space can help me achieve my objectives?

Understand your investor opportunity

Often at the heart of an IR strategy, many companies take a technical, if not scientific, approach to identifying investor opportunity. A starting point is a comprehensive analysis of your own shareholder base factoring in significant movements over the past four quarters. Next, an institutional investor analysis of peer group, country/region and industry (adjusted to account for company’s size, fundamentals and liquidity) can provide a solid foundation for an investor targeting exercise. If possible, adding to this an overlay, which takes into account the latest fund news and developments, new fund launches and significant asset rotations, can be a useful part in your company’s opportunity map.

Things to consider:

  • Have we segmented our institutional investors and our targets? Do we understand their expectations and our approach to servicing them?
  • Am I confident that my non-deal road show and conference schedule sufficiently addresses the identified investor opportunity?
  • Do we understand the reach of equity sales teams within the brokerages that write research on my stock?
  • Are we spending enough time asking questions to investors and listening to what they have to say? How are we digesting those insights and feeding them into management/board? What other tools are we using to gauge perceptions from the buy and sell side?

Stay ahead of big picture trends

How is the capital market going to look in 2020? What investment products are growing in popularity today, and which ones are ebbing away? Which investment products have been receiving the most inflows over the last three years? How are new technologies affecting trading, capital raising and asset management industries? What impact will the current wave of regulation have on our closest counter-parties? What is influencing Asian investor behaviour and their appetite for diversifying their portfolios outside of domestic markets?

These are certainly fascinating questions, which will no doubt play an important if not transformative role in how the IR profession will look a few years from today.

Things to consider:

  • How do I stay up-to-date with global trends affecting my industry, the wider capital market and IR best practices?
  • Are capital market insights regularly shared and discussed across my team?
  • Does my reading list this year contain an in-depth study of at least one important capital market topic, new culture or global theme?