Majority of IROs hold investor or analyst days

The majority of IROs in the US put on dedicated analyst or investor days, a new benchmarking survey by NIRI shows.

In the poll of 431 NIRI members, 71 per cent say they periodically hold an analyst or investor day.

The main reason to put on such events is to help advertise management to the investment community, reports the survey.

Of the IROs that run investor or analyst days, 84 per cent say they do so to ‘provide a better opportunity to showcase management’.

In addition, 62 per cent say they do so because they believe dedicated events of this kind ‘provide a better ability to control message delivery in terms of audience and venue than other alternatives’.

Of the NIRI members who do not hold these events, 39 per cent say they don’t need to because they are already active enough in their IR outreach, and 39 per cent state that they have no significant news worth holding such an event for, which can’t be handled during regular investment conferences.

Size and analyst coverage help indicate which companies are more likely to put on investor or analyst days. The survey states that companies with larger market caps and more analyst coverage are more inclined to stage these events.

While nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents typically hold their event once a year, a sizeable minority of 35 per cent say they keep it to less than once a year.

Unsurprisingly, the CEO and CFO are almost always in attendance, according to the survey results. Of the respondents that hold events, a substantial 73 per cent also include divisional heads, demonstrating the value of special events to give investors and analysts a chance to drill down into the company.

Ken Ohashi, head of IR at AĆ©ropostale and winner of best IRO at a mid-cap at this year’s IR Magazine US Awards, is one case in point.

In a previous article, Ohashi explained that he started doing a big annual investor day featuring people like the chief design officer and head of sourcing to encourage investors who had been slow to catch on to the story.

The practice of holding investor or analyst days is also popular among European companies, including those that do well in IR magazine’s surveys of the investment community.

In the recent Investor Perception Study, Europe 2011, IR magazine interviewed companies that have performed consistently well over the years in its awards research.

Two of these companies, Dutch recruitment firm Randstad and British consumer brands company Unilever, both said they view annual investor days as one of the keys to their success.

‘I like to think it’s part of the Unilever investor relations brand, that we do in-depth investor events once a year,’ said James Allison, Unilever’s head of IR and M&A, in the study.

[Article by Tim Human, Inside Investor Relations]

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