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Dec 23, 2022

Expanding the IRO role to new advisory levels

Experts share tips on how to make the most out of being an IRO

It’s often said that you know you are doing your job well when people start asking for advice from all different parts of the business. From the board and senior management down, you have become a vital resource on the company, the industry and the mood of the capital markets.

Expanding the IRO role to new advisory levels
Shelly Patel, Rathbones Group

For Shelly Patel, head of IR at Rathbones Group, securing the support of the senior management team and C-suite is key. 

‘I believe one of the most important pillars for success is to have senior management and board level buy-in,’ she says. ‘The more you can show leaders of a business the value of a successful IR function, the more likely you will become an invaluable resource.’ 

Expanding the IRO role to new advisory levels
Sandra Novakov, Citigate Dewe Rogerson

To make a tangible impact and boost their profile, IROs need to make the most of every opportunity from every source to add value, according to Sandra Novakov, head of IR at Citigate Dewe Rogerson.

‘IR teams typically have valuable intelligence gained through regular interaction with analysts and investors, analysis of investor trading patterns, peer group benchmarking and perception studies,’ she says. 

Dealing with the challenges

Being indispensable isn’t without its downsides and IR teams that consist of one person (or one senior person) face great challenges in this respect.

‘They are expected to provide swift and insightful responses on an increasing range of issues to the investment community for which they need strong support and good relationships across the business,’ says Novakov.

‘In addition, according to our research, 65 percent of IROs have additional responsibilities alongside their core IR role, most commonly for corporate communications, ESG and strategy. The increasingly integrated nature of corporate communications and the need to consider multiple stakeholders when delivering updates to the market have placed IR teams worldwide under increasing pressure.’ 

Making a difference, across the board

So where do our experts feel their role as trusted adviser is most salient? For Patel it’s a case of being a visible resource to the many, not just the few. 

‘I don’t believe there is one single place where the trusted adviser role should sit – being seen as a respected function across the group is the goal,’ she observes. ‘IR is often seen as an information repository but, in order to get there, you will have had to form relationships – and not only externally but also internally.’ 

‘I don’t believe there is one single place where the trusted adviser role should sit – being seen as a respected function across the group is the goal,’ she observes. ‘IR is often seen as an information repository but, in order to get there, you will have had to form relationships – and not only externally but also internally.’ 
 

Click to read Best Practice Report - Becoming a trusted adviser to senior management

Staff Writers

The staff writers on IR magazine are from our team of highly experienced journalists.