Most top IROs have finance background

The majority of top IROs have a financial background, according to new research from IR magazine.

The research finds that three quarters of leading IROs worked in finance, accountancy or as an analyst before taking up a role in IR. By comparison, just 10 per cent arrived via a position in corporate communications.

The study is based on a detailed survey of IR professionals who won or were nominated for best IRO awards at the IR Magazine US Awards between 2007 and 2011, sponsored by LS Global Advisory Group. More than half of the winners and runners-up took part in the survey.

The full results, which cover areas including education, experience, job satisfaction and career goals, are published this month with IR magazine’s September edition.

The importance of a finance background is reiterated by the education and professional backgrounds of top IROs, notes the study. Around two thirds of respondents to the survey say their professional background is in finance and/or accountancy. Just 14 per cent have a background in corporate communications and/or sales and marketing.

That adherence to finance extends back to when top IROs were still in school. More than half (55 per cent) of the IROs polled say they wanted a career in finance when they were school pupils, for example as a CFO, accountant or stockbroker.

‘In grade school, I wanted to be the first woman astronaut; by middle school, a politician; and by high school I knew I was destined for a role in finance,’ says one respondent.

[Article by Tim Human, Inside Investor Relations]