FedEx's Foster given lifetime honor
In his first ever IR job, Mickey Foster went with his CEO to visit a major shareholder. The investor had some strong suggestions that, perhaps surprisingly, the CEO implemented over the next six months.
The stock rocketed up 50 percent. ‘I said to myself, This investor relations thing works,’ recalls Foster. ‘And it’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed in the profession for more than 25 years.’
Mickey Foster, second from right, with IR team members Steve Hughes, Elizabeth Allen and Jeff Smith
This year’s winner of the award for lifetime achievement in investor relations, Foster has handled IR for ARCO, Pacific Enterprises, Hanson, Millennium Chemicals and, since 2006, FedEx, as vice president of IR.
Steve Hughes, a member of the IR team at FedEx, says that since Foster took the reins, he has built on the success of his predecessor, Jim Clippard, and taken the FedEx IR program to new heights.
‘Mickey’s greatest strength comes from his years of experience in the IR industry and the wealth of contacts he has established with other IROs and the vendor community,’ adds Jeff Smith, IR director at FedEx.
‘He has been diligent in evaluating the value of our IR program versus the costs, allowing us to significantly reduce expenses during the economic downturn while also focusing our efforts on the highest-value investor outreach efforts.’
Jeff Morgan, CEO of NIRI, says Foster, a former NIRI chair, still plays an important role in the organization, from lecturing new IR professionals at the institute’s annual fundamentals seminar to helping on the advocacy front.
Of course, Foster could never have advanced so far in IR without the respect of investment pros like Donald Broughton, senior research analyst and managing director covering industrials and transportation at Avondale Partners.
‘Mickey’s knowledgeable, understands the type of questions we’re going to ask, anticipates our needs and provides the data we need to do our job better,’ he explains. ‘He’s immersed in understanding not only the nuts and bolts but the nuances of what makes FedEx what it is.’
Click here to read the full story of the IR Magazine US Awards 2011.