After a non-existing IPO activity in 2009, no less than three companies have been listed on the Nordic exchanges so far in 2010 (eWork, Formpipe Software and North Energy). According to Nyemissioner.se, another 13 Swedish companies are preparing for IPOs during the year.
For me it is surprising and impressive that newly listed companies in a very short time often manage to gain the markets trust and professionalise their IR-efforts. Outotec (2006), TrygVesta (2005) and Yara (2004) are some examples of IR best practice apprentice companies in the Nordic region. After meeting IROs from these companies, I have identified three crucial success factors and common features:
- They have a management that understands the value of a professional and proactive IR-strategy.
- Investors wont find your company out of the blue. Building a strong and attractive investment case from scratch takes time and patience i.e. hundreds of hours spend on investor meetings and roadshows.
- Formulating a long-term strategy for your shareholder composition is common practice the first years after the IPO.
Looking at beginners in the market, I think that companies that have decades of experience from the financial market actually can learn quite a lot from these apprentice companies. It seems that several IROs struggling to get management to prioritise IR-activities and the longer you are listed, the less interest the company seems to have in their investors.
Investor relations is a never ending process of attracting and targeting potential investors and proactively serving existing ones. It is definitely not just a temporary project that is a part of the IPO procedure.