Ex-CIRI president and CEO talks about his new book and life after the institute
Tom Enright is embarking on a new chapter. After more than four years at the helm of CIRI, the New Year brings with it the publication of his first book and an expanding consulting firm.
‘The end of 2012 marked my four-year anniversary with CIRI,’ explains Enright, adding that having accomplished a number of goals he had set himself, and with ‘a very solid president and CEO succession plan’ in place, ‘2013 seemed to be a natural point for me to step out of CIRI.’
As well as leading Canada’s four-chapter, 600-member investor relations institute, Enright has spent the last four years writing Business relationships: key to your success, reaching the publication stage at the end of 2012 and providing another reason to step back from the helm.
‘Business relationships have played an important part in my success over the years,’ explains Enright, ‘but I realized several years ago that the power of business relationships is not taught in business schools or other courses.
‘I also discovered that business relationships were not simply a one-size-fits-all but had different levels to them, with each level bringing its own benefit. Business relationships are not just with clients but incorporate all stakeholder groups.’
Enright says that by putting this into practice in his own businesses, he realized that with very little change or expense his outlook could yield ‘great results’ – something he felt compelled to share. ‘I feel it is important to share my findings and experience with business relationships with others as a way to help them improve and advance in their careers,’ he says.
Business relationships is due for release early this year, and Enright says: ‘While I intend to focus on publishing my book in spring 2013, I have also launched a new website that will allow me to offer a consulting, book, workshop/speaking package to interested parties.’ Rather than simply focusing on investor relations, Enright says his new-look consulting firm, Enright Management Coaching & Consulting (EMC2), reflects the diversity of his business career.
Despite his new projects, Enright says that as an honorary lifetime member, he plans to remain active in CIRI. During his four years as CIRI president and CEO, ‘we successfully launched and graduated the first Certified Professional in Investor Relations (CPIR) class and awarded the first professional designations for IR in North America,’ he notes. ‘We put CIRI back on solid financial footing [and] increased our advocacy efforts including proactive advocacy in two areas (share ownership disclosure and equal access to SEDAR filing content).’
As Yvette Lokker settles in as the new CIRI president and CEO, Enright says 2013 will see IR begin to take on ‘a new and greater role’ in dealing with proxy advisory firms, ‘especially given the change in the proxy voting process for individual director elections and publishing of the voting results.’
Investor relations will continue to grow as a strategic discipline, adds Enright, while activist shareholders and ‘the need to fully understand all the components of shareholder value’ will fuel a growing importance of IR in the eyes of the C-suite.