15 questions with Nornickel

Dec 08, 2020
Mikhail Borovikov has served as the IRO at Russian mining company Nornickel since 2013

1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN IR?
I started my IR career in 2007 at Vimpelcom, one of Russia’s largest telecom companies. I have also been director of IR at Euroset and Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port.

2. WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE IR?
I worked as an interpreter and translator for RTS Exchange, a major Russian stock exchange at that time.

3. WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
I am a linguist and philologist, so I am interested in the development of languages. I graduated from Moscow State University, specializing in English and Portuguese.

4. HOW IS YOUR TEAM SET UP?
We have a fairly small IR team. I have two direct reports and an assistant.

5. HOW MANY ROADSHOWS AND INVESTOR CONFERENCES DO YOU TAKE PART IN EACH YEAR?
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, we usually did three to five roadshows and attended 15-16 conferences.

6. DO YOU EVER HOLD INVESTOR OR CAPITAL MARKETS DAYS?
Yes, every year in November we hold a capital markets day in London.

7. DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS PART OF YOUR IR PROGRAM?
Not much, to be honest. Of course, we have corporate accounts on Facebook, Instagram and so on, but I can’t say that they are important instruments for communication with investors.

8. DO YOU RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM ANY EXTERNAL IR FIRMS?
Usually we do everything internally, but use support from IR firms for special events and projects, like capital markets day preparations.

9. WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR QUESTION FROM ANALYSTS AND INVESTORS RIGHT NOW?
Questions about environmental issues and sustainability of dividends.

10. IS ESG A FOCAL POINT FOR INVESTORS AND, IF SO, WHICH ASPECT IS MOST SCRUTINIZED?
It's definitely top of investors’ agenda, especially for our company. We are a metals and mining business that is considered to be not that environmentally friendly. We have also had a serious environmental incident recently, so for the last two months I have personally spent more than 50 percent of my working hours on Zoom calls with investors and analysts dedicated to ESG issues (diesel spills, carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions).

11. WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF YOUR IR CAREER?
One of the biggest challenges was managing IR in 2014-2015 when the West imposed sanctions against Russia and everyone feared the sanctions would snowball. We managed to minimize the negative effect on our market cap by thorough work on diversification of the investor base, and outflows were comparatively small.

11. WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF YOUR IR CAREER?
One of the biggest challenges was managing IR in 2014-2015 when the West imposed sanctions against Russia and everyone feared the sanctions would snowball. We managed to minimize the negative effect on our market cap by thorough work on diversification of the investor base, and outflows were comparatively small.

12. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT IR?
It provides you with the opportunity to travel and meet a lot of interesting people with different backgrounds who can help you substantially improve your knowledge of how things are. For me personally, IR opened many doors I didn’t know even existed before.

13. AND YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Preparation of financial reporting.

14. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE WORK?
Given that I travel a lot, I really enjoy spending time at home with my family. I also read a lot, especially about history. I enjoy skiing and playing squash – and video games that help to take my mind off problems and direct negative emotions outward.

14. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE WORK?
Given that I travel a lot, I really enjoy spending time at home with my family. I also read a lot, especially about history. I enjoy skiing and playing squash – and video games that help to take my mind off problems and direct negative emotions outward.

15. IF YOU COULD PASS ON ONE IR LESSON, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Try to be sincere with your shareholders. Don’t lie, even when things are not great, because your reputation is the only thing that matters – much more so than temporary problems for your company’s market cap.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of IR Magazine.

Sign up to get stories direct to your inbox
logo-black logo-black
Loading