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Apr 15, 2024

Making data the innovation: Spending less time on IR with better results

Being clever with how you use data can drive huge efficiency gains

Investor relations post-Mifid II has been all about using tools with a focus on targeting and engagement as well as various AI applications helping issuers to gain more control and collaborate with banks and brokers rather than putting the keys in their hands.

Today, data forms the cornerstone of effective IR. It’s not solely about innovation in targeting, engagement or CRM systems – all of which are important, of course. But for all that to make sense, data quality needs to be the foundation. There is nothing more precious than the time of an IRO, CFO or CEO and therefore this time needs to be used carefully.

Tools and interfaces are important hygiene factors in delivering a stellar experience but, to make the time spent worthwhile, the data needs to meet the highest of expectations regarding both quality and frequency.

In order to deliver on that promise, we believe localization and specialization are key factors and, to be able to fully achieve that, data sourcing and management needs to be taken in-house. Datasets built by primary sources and labelled on an account level can handle overlapping data, thereby offering both more granular and more regularly updated views of ownership that are also qualitative enough to derive evaluative metrics from. An example is to reinforce share registers with alternative sources and metadata to deliver actionable insights IROs can work with rather than look at.

I believe data is the cornerstone of effective IR. For me, the core innovation is the combination of a complex database structure, in-house sourcing and a full team of data specialists overseeing the process of gathering and cleaning raw data.

Every country, company or owner is different, and a core element of true craftsmanship is required to capture that. It is not always easy for an IRO to evaluate data quality based on a snapshot alone, so a main piece of advice here is to request trials and pressure-test data in live situations.

We are positive that it is possible to spend less time on IR, with better results, and the basis of achieving this is best-in-class data. Then it’s a case of putting this data into easy-to-use tools that facilitate getting the job done and evaluating it.

The fundamental performance of a company is ultimately measured as earnings per share. We believe it is possible to offer something similar, isolated for IR in the form of digital visualizations and statistics, presenting hard numbers on what meetings to take and which investors to pursue with the end-goal of freeing up time for both the IR department and top management.

Petter Hedborg is CEO of Modular Finance, a market-leading vendor of IR and banking & finance products in the Nordics

Petter Hedborg

Petter Hedborg is the CEO & founder of Modular Finance. Prior to his 10 years there, Petter founded Introduce, an IR-platform for small-cap companies, that was later sold to one of the major Nordic investment banks. Petter’s passion for financial...

CEO of Modular Finance