Investor Relations & Shareholder Activism
Investor relations was our founding discipline. Today, it informs all of our practice areas. We advise clients on best practices across the full range of investor-relevant communication. Here are some key areas.
Investors have all the data they can use. What they need is a simple narrative telling how a company will create value for its investors – and how that value will be deployed. Milestones, time frames, orders of magnitude and degrees of risk support the narrative. We help create narratives that best reflect a company’s potential.
Tools and materials
How best to tell a company’s story? The website is an essential tool. So is the face-to-face conversation. In between there are reports, regulatory filings, media coverage, meetings, presentations, site visits, blogs, apps, tweets and more. We help companies build the right toolkits for their specific situations, and then to use the tools effectively.
Targeting and outreach
Investor relations professionals need to be constantly cultivating new investors ready to step in as current shareholders depart. Modern data base management makes it easier to identify attractive prospects, but those prospects are often flooded with competing messages. We help clients to adopt messages and tactics that break through the clutter to make a good first impression.
Guidance and compliance
Investors demand more and more information from companies about their expectations for future performance, but for most companies, the business outlook remains cloudy. Each new regulatory constraint defines more sharply what can (or must) be said, when, how and to whom. We help companies provide useful information within today’s economic and regulatory environment.
Investor relations take place both in individual communications and in events: road shows, investor conferences, annual meetings, webcasts, press releases, conference calls, and more. In addition to providing clients with event messaging, materials creation, targeted invitation lists and after-event surveys, we help clients with whatever logistical support and on-site management the events may require.
Good investor relations executives continually assess investor thinking. From time to time, third party surveys usefully complement these assessments, particularly when asking investors who don’t currently own a company’s shares about corporate strategy, performance and communication. We conduct surveys large and small for IR departments, for corporate managements, and for their boards of directors.
Enabled by regulation and technology, activist investors increasingly challenge companies’ board nominations and pay practices. Or, they demand short-term value-creating changes in business strategies and capital structures. We help companies to predict possible activist situations, to engage constructively with declared activists and to maximize their chances of success if activists resort to proxy contests.
Computer-driven programs now account for most trading in most stocks. This can increase share price volatility and distort companies’ market valuations. We help companies to identify the market forces at work in their shares, to apply tactics that can mitigate some of the consequences of automated trading, and reconnect companies to their real, non-algorithmic investors.