When the credit crunch hit the financial institutions, we saw a trend of sell-side analysts going into IR. This phenomena were one of the issues discussed in last weeks #irchat on Twitter and can be confirmed in the US as well as the Nordic Region.
During the last 18 months several sell-side analysts have been appointed IROs. The most surprising recruitment were probably when Nordea announced that Sweden’s most acknowledged bank analysts, Rodney Alfvén would be the company’s new Head of investor relations. But there are several other examples; Andreas Ekström, former telecom analyst at Carnegie, is Head of IR at TeliaSonera as of autumn 2008, in June 2009, Magnus Dalhammar entered the position as Head of IR at Investor, leaving a position as financial analyst at Handelsbanken Capital Markets, in December 2009 Miikka Kinnunen former analyst from Carnegie joined Konecranes Group as Director of IR.
But what has happened to all the former IROs at these companies, have they taken up IR positions at other companies or joined IR consultancies? The answer is no in most cases. Instead we see a positive career trend for Nordic IROs as they often move into more strategic positions within the company. Head of Group Planning and Control, Senior Vice President of business unit, Director of Strategic Development Projects or Corporate Vice President are just some examples of new titles for Nordic IROs that have advanced to new positions the latest year.
Hopefully this is a trend that will continue in an upturn. Working as an IRO, you’ll get implicit knowledge about the company’s strategies and financial drivers, you network with senior management and vice presidents on a regular basis and by meeting hundreds of investors annually you also receive invaluable insights in peers and the macro financial economy as well. All those experiences put together would make IROs ideal for strategic positions.