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Oct 04, 2017

UK companies increase corporate governance meetings

Approach is part of expanding relationship with key investors

A growing number of large UK-listed companies are meeting with corporate governance and stewardship teams to expand their relationships with key investors and voting decision-makers, according to new research.

A paper produced by investor relations (IR) service provider Orient Capital concludes that ‘engagement can create governance capital that facilitates the ability to explain governance decisions not in line with best practice,’ Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine reports. The firm interviewed 36 IR professionals from FTSE 350 companies, with one saying: ‘Corporate governance is becoming a priority. It receives significantly more attention from investors and therefore has become a priority for us.’

‘Although this is the first time we’ve run this UK study, the expansion of engagement was definitely a theme that was coming through loud and clear in our research, and a point of interest we wanted to include’, says Alison Owers, CEO for EMEA at Orient Capital. ‘It is interesting to note the level of interaction between the IR and corporate secretary teams around this area, which is something we anticipate will become even more aligned in the future.’

The majority of IR officers (IROs) surveyed conduct on average 265 meetings a year. London is the top spot for meetings, with 100 percent of survey respondents holding meetings there, followed by New York with 54 percent.

Other findings include:

  • Eighty-three percent of respondents conduct investor targeting studies either once or twice a year
  • Forty-four percent of respondents consider a combination of post-roadshow feedback and perception studies the most effective way to gather intelligence. Perception studies are typically run annually
  • When it comes to major IRO challenges, 44 percent of respondents indicate that finding enough time and prioritizing are the biggest challenges, followed by messaging (31 percent).