Thursday June 18, I attended the 12th Nordic IR Conference, NIRC 2010, held in Stockholm and hosted by SIRA. IR professionals from seven countries participated and listened to presentations on the theme “Investor Relations – taking a strategic role”.
Arne Karlsson, CEO at Ratos was the first keynote speaker. Ratos is a dream case in terms of working strategically with IR and interaction between IRO and top management; IRO and CEO speak at least 15 times a day! As Arne explained:
“IR is a integrated part of Ratos everyday life”.
One advice from Arne Karlsson to other IROs and companies is to set at business plan and vision for Investor Relations including long-term strategic targets.
Ylva Gnosse from Regi presented a new survey, Investor Insight revealing that 40% of Nordic investors want IRO to be more proactive i.e. initiating more contact. Other facts from the survey were that 49% of investors get information from press releases, 1% from Social Media. Ylva Gnosse’s conclusion was that the IRO could replace contact with CEO if IR is the source of information, instead of being an information channel.
According to my standpoint the panel discussion with capital market representatives from Brummer & Partners, 4th Swedish National Pension Fund (AP4), Cevian Capital, Bank of America / Merrill Lynch and SEB Enskilda was one of the highlights from the conference.
These are according to the panel, crucial key factors to a successful Investor Relations function:
- IR must be fully integrated with the management team, providing a consistent message to the market.
- Availability – meaning 24/7.
- Analysts want partnership and trust with IR.
- IRO needs to understand the company’s value drivers.
- Quality face time with management i.e. one-to-ones, CMD’s and other investor. activities will be more important in the near future as electronic “noise” increases.
Another highlight was the participation from Dave Hogan, IR Director at First Financial Bankshares Inc. Dave explained the basics about IR and social media to the Nordic IR professionals. Dave mentioned Garmin Stock, Dell Shares, Microvision and Cisco as best practice cases. No one in the audience raised their hand when asked if using social media for IR…although a poll done a couple of ours later, 21 % claimed that they did…
Christan Brosstad, Director Corporate Communication at Norwegian Sparebank 1 Gruppen gave a very fresh and proactive view on how companies can use social media for corporate communication and investor relations.
I already look forward to the 13th Edition of the Nordic IR conference that will be held in Oslo, June 14th 2011!