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Dec 13, 2021

Something old, something new: The tech IROs can’t live without

The pandemic has accelerated the use of some technologies, increased our reliance on others and introduced us to new tools

Would you choose a piece of IR tech over a new team member? At least one of the IR professionals we spoke to for this feature says that if she had to choose, her targeting tech would ‘100 percent’ win out. In a time of ever-greater demands on IR teams and continually strained budgets, that is some testament to the technology.

But IR tech is so much more than it used to be. Powered by algorithms and designed to analyze data in a way a human never could, new tools are making ever-greater promises.

Then there’s the Covid-19 pandemic. The last two years or so have had a huge impact on technology and investor relations. On the one hand, existing tools that were already used by some became IR essentials for the roadshow or AGM that had to go from in-person to virtual overnight.  At the same time, service providers were working to offer solutions to problems we only just realized we had, while apparently millions of new retail investors were entering the market – and engaging – through new platforms designed to ‘democratize’ everything from trading to the IPO process and corporate access.

So what new tools are being used by – or impacting – investor relations? While many of the new tools we’ve been writing about at IR Magazine are targeted at the growing retail audience, they also offer wider IR uses – though they aren’t necessarily well established in the IR community yet.

From new ways to communicate – through Clubhouse or Say, for example – to platforms such as Investor Meet Company or Tumelo looking to get retail investors engaging with companies either more broadly or on specific issues like ESG, or even companies like UBS-backed Lynk adding AI to the investment research process, there’s a lot that IR professionals should have on their radar. That remains true even if they don't plan to use these tools, or the IR team doesn't have a direct use for them.

From new ways to communicate – through Clubhouse or Say, for example – to platforms such as Investor Meet Company or Tumelo looking to get retail investors engaging with companies either more broadly or on specific issues like ESG, or even companies like UBS-backed Lynk adding AI to the investment research process, there’s a lot that IR professionals should have on their radar. That remains true even if they don't plan to use these tools, or the IR team doesn't have a direct use for them.

The IR community is still a group of generally slow adopters, however, and the technologies professionals are most keen to talk about – and offer glowing recommendations on – are not necessarily the new kids on the block that haven’t been put through their paces yet but, rather, the technologies they have come to increasingly rely on in recent years.

Read the full article to hear from Camilla Bartosiewicz of Altus Group, Mark Jenkins of Halma, Susie Lynskey of Sainsbury’s and Dennis Walsh of Pacaso.

This is an extract of an article that was published in the Winter 2021 issue of IR Magazine. Click here to read the full article.

Garnet Roach

An award-winning journalist, Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of...

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