Mickey Foster is vice president of investor relations at FedEx Corp
1. How long have you been working in IR?
Working in IR has been a joy for more than 30 years, beginning early in the 1980s in Los Angeles with ARCO, then Pacific Enterprises and Hanson in New Jersey in the early 1990s. The last 10 years at FedEx have been the most satisfying yet.
Mickey Foster, FedEx Corp
2. What did you do before joining the profession?
After college I started at ARCO in financial planning and analysis followed by long-range planning then corporate planning.
3. What are your qualifications?
I have a BSc in computer science and a master’s degree in business administration with a major in finance, both from Texas A&M University. I also hold an MSc in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern California.
4. How is your team set up?
The FedEx IR team has seven members, all with college degrees and all long tenured, and each has distinct global geographical areas and responsibilities.
One team member is responsible for Asia, Australia and the US West Coast, another covers Europe and the US East Coast. Canada, South America and the Midwest comprise the area for a third team member.
One team member co-ordinates financial media and the annual report, while another helps maintain the IR website, social media and other IR technologies. The senior IRO deals with investors in New York City. We also divide up the 30+ sell-side analysts following FedEx.
5. How many roadshows and investor conferences do you usually take part in each year?
Roadshows and investor conferences are handled by the investor relations team alone, which completes about 25 non-deal roadshows every year – there are four traveling IROs at FedEx. In addition, we participate in more than 10 investor conferences annually.
6. Do you hold investor days?
Yes, but only when we feel we have strategic news to discuss. For example, our last investor day was in October 2012 where we announced a major profit improvement program.
7. Do you use social media as part of your IR program?
Yes, FedEx posts on StockTwits.com, Twitter and LinkedIn, particularly during our quarterly earnings call. We encourage online questions and comments from the financial community for our earnings call.
8. Do you receive support from any external IR firms?
We use Ipreo for stock surveillance and targeting, Computershare for stock transfer services, Q4 for website issues, Rivel Research for perception studies and the NYSE for stock listing.
9. What is the most popular question from investors and analysts right now?
A fantastical one: is Amazon a threat to the FedEx business model?
10. What’s been the biggest challenge of your IR career?
There have been many: the 1987 stock market collapse, dividend cuts and recessions, to name but a few.
11. What’s your favorite thing about doing IR?
Every day is different, and building shareowner value is a passion.
12. And your least favorite?
Fighting the stock exchange red tape isn’t really much fun.
13. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Vacations, tennis and music are some of my favorite activities.
14. If you could pass on one IR lesson, what would it be?
That flexibility is paramount.
15. Is there a life after IR?
Definitely, yes! There are, in fact, too many things to do.
This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of IR Magazine