At Home expands IR team with arrival of Arvind Bhatia

Jan 03, 2020
New vice president of IR worked for two decades in equity research

At Home, the Texas-based homeware company, has named Arvind Bhatia as vice president of investor relations. Bhatia arrives from Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, where he led the IR function for three years. 

Prior to joining the IR profession, he worked as managing director of equity research at Sterne Agee & Leach covering companies in the entertainment, internet and leisure industries.

‘At Home has an exciting story to tell the market and I am looking forward to the opportunity to oversee the company’s outreach with the investment community and increase and enhance our engagement with shareholders,’ Bhatia tells IR Magazine.

‘One of the key things that attracted me to the role at At Home was the strength of the company’s business model and whitespace opportunity ahead. At Home is a differentiated low-price home decor leader enabled by a low-cost structure and a flexible real estate strategy.’

When asked what questions the market is asking At Home at the moment, Bhatia says analysts are mainly focused on competitors and near-term performance. 

‘They want to understand the potential impact of upcoming initiatives such as EDLP+ [a version of the ‘everyday low pricing’ strategy], omnichannel, direct sourcing and loyalty program, etc,’ he says.

‘Our team is very focused on these key initiatives. During FY20, we have made progress on several key priorities and gained significant market share, but we haven’t delivered the outcomes we expected. We are using this disappointment as fuel to energize us for the year ahead and we see a lot of opportunity in front of us.’

Bhatia is one of the many sell-side analysts who have moved over into IR roles over the last several years. He started out as a research associate at Dain Rauscher Wessels, which is now part of RBC Capital. He then spent eight years at Southwest Securities before joining Sterne Agee & Leach, where he stayed for 10 years.

During his time as an analyst, Bhatia won several awards including the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Best on Street’ prize three times. 

‘Sell-side experience helps bring some incredibly valuable skills to IR roles, including a deep understanding of how analysts and investors model and value your business and strong relationships on the buy side,’ he says.

The appointment marks an expansion of At Home’s IR team and Bhatia will work directly with existing director of IR Bethany Perkins Johns, according to a company statement.

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