More than 45 percent of investor relations (IR) professionals globally say messaging in 2022 was the most pressing issue their company’s board, CEO and CFO sought their advice on.
The other top two issues executives turned to IR for are insights on investor and market sentiment (40 percent) and shareholder targeting and engagement (23 percent).
This is according to the latest annual Nasdaq Global IR Issuer Pulse survey, which polled more than 800 IR practitioners at different levels of seniority across a variety of sectors and market capitalizations.
The report provides data on and insights into IR challenges, priorities, ESG hurdles, analyst and capital markets days trends and dynamics and a wider range of areas.
Data reveals that in 2022 the IR function gained further ground within companies with practitioners experiencing an ‘uptick’ in inquiries from colleagues, mostly driven by the past year’s macroeconomic dynamics.
‘We have also seen that IR professionals have been pulled in many more directions and everyone internally wants a piece of IR,’ says Foli Pontillo, Nasdaq’s global head of investor engagement.
ESG remains one of the core areas of focus for both investors and IROs and a top challenge at large and mid-cap firms. But understanding and navigating the ESG investment landscape fell out of the top five challenges facing IROs working at mega and small-cap companies, according to the report.
Pontillo tells Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine that ‘what is most surprising from this year’s Pulse results is the success IR has achieved in pushing its agenda upward and convincing CEOs and CFOs to engage with the market in new, non-traditional ways, from YouTube segments to podcasts, for example.’
NEW TOOLS FOR THE FUTURE
The report notes that in 2022, one in five IR professionals occupied new seats, with new people coming to the profession from other corporate functions or the sell side. Alongside their knowledge of financial markets, those IROs appear to be ‘laser-focused’ on implementing strategies and leveraging tools that will maximize their engagement with the capital markets.
‘In our profession, the future is data-driven. It’s important to have a good understanding of what’s happening in the world around you,’ Pontillo says.
She comments that the IR professional is needed in more rooms than ever before and adds: ‘IR professionals also need to have tools that can help them to measure the success of their efforts.
‘If certain strategies don’t prove successful, there is room to refine, overhaul or pivot the strategy in a way that translates to progress in attracting and maintaining investment capital to support their valuation and fund business investment priorities.’