Fifteen questions with CapitaLand
1. How long have you been in IR?
I have covered IR as part of my role in corporate finance since 2013 when I joined CapitaLand. I took over as head of IR at the group level in 2015.
2. What did you do before IR?
I was an investment banker for eight years at DBS Bank and China International Capital Corporation. Before investment banking, I was a sovereign analyst with Standard & Poor’s for three years.
3. What are your qualifications?
I have a master’s in international public policy from University College London and a BA in economics from National University of Singapore. I also hold the International Certificate in Investor Relations.
4. How is your team set up?
I look after the IR team and the capital market compliance team, which looks after real estate investment trusts, fund strategy and compliance matters. The IR team has a senior manager who handles external stakeholders like analysts and investors, a senior executive who deals with internal stakeholders and vendors, and an executive focusing on corporate access.
5. How many roadshows and investor conferences do you take part in each year?
We usually conduct one non-deal roadshow in the US and Europe. We also touch base with our Asian investors in Hong Kong at least twice a year and attend five to seven investor conferences in Singapore.
6. Do you hold investor days?
We hold an annual investor day for both equity and fixed income investors where our senior management shares the strategy for CapitaLand Group. We find it a useful way to allow our investors to have first-hand experience of senior management.
7. Do you use social media as part of your IR program?
Social media is taken care of by our colleagues in communications.
8. Do you receive support from any external IR firms?
We use external information providers like Orient Capital for shareholder analysis.
9. What is the most popular question from analysts and investors right now?
Many analysts and investors are trying to tap our views on whether the residential market is really recovering. There have been many encouraging signs but growth in the Singapore economy is still tepid.
10. How would you describe the investor relations scene in Singapore?
The level of recognition given to IROs in Singapore still lags behind Europe and the US. IROs are often seen as a cost-center and a mailbox, and people generally fail to see the value IROs bring to an organization.
11. What’s been the biggest challenge of your IR career?
Gaining recognition for the work I do. When I took over the team in 2015 I found, to my surprise, that things weren’t organized optimally and the IR team was losing respect. It took time and effort to rebuild the team and establish a framework to ensure good delivery of service.
12. What’s your favorite part of doing IR?
Meeting people. My role allows me to understand CapitaLand’s business in the fastest possible time. I am also involved in the group’s strategic planning and where we should look for new capital. Being in IR further enables me to strategize and shape the story I tell investors about CapitaLand, which is very fulfilling.
13. And your least favorite?
Being taken for granted; being an IRO is a thankless job. When the events we organize go smoothly, it is a given. But when things turn sour, we’re often conveniently there to be blamed. Many people don’t realize that the success of IR depends on teamwork – it’s not a one-man show.
14. What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Jogging and meditating. I jog about 5 km every week to relax my mind.
15. If you could pass on one IR lesson, what would it be?
Don’t underestimate this job’s potential.
This article appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of IR Magazine