How Boston Scientific structures its IR program

Nov 21, 2019
Susan Lisa is vice president of investor relations at medical devices manufacturer Boston Scientific

How long have you been in IR?

Seven and a half years – since early 2012.

What did you do before IR?

I spent the first 20 years of my career in the brokerage industry at JPMorgan, Cowen & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a variety of roles. I then moved into IR, first at Abiomed in early 2012 and then on to Boston Scientific in late 2013.  

What are your qualifications?

I have significant depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in equity markets, as well as a strong understanding of institutional investor needs after providing sales coverage for more than 10 years. Four years as an equity research analyst in the medical device sector also helped me develop strong subject matter expertise. I have a BA from Duke, an MBA from NYU-Stern and am a chartered financial analyst.

How is your team set up?

We have a relatively small team of four. I have a director, an associate and an analyst reporting to me, and I report to the CFO. We have a collaborative approach, with my director colleague and I focused more on external interactions, while everyone on the team contributes to generating content (talking points, Q&A, presentations, and so on). Our analyst focuses on targeting and tracking shareholder interactions.

How many roadshows and investor conferences do you participate in?

Approximately 15 conferences, between six and eight roadshows and from three to five webcasts of medical meetings each year.

Do you ever hold investor or capital markets days?

A five-hour investor day every other year.

Do you use social media as part of your IR program?

Minimal: tweets on earnings day, generated by our corporate communications team.

Do you receive support from any external IR firms?

No.

What is the most popular question from investors and analysts right now?

This year has been a back-end loaded year for us so we are most frequently asked to ‘bridge’ the growth acceleration from H1 to H2. We are also launching several key new products and get asked about early uptake.

Is ESG a focal point for investors and if so which aspect is most scrutinized?

Yes, and each year increasingly so. Governance is still the most scrutinized area, but questions focused on social and environmental factors – employee engagement and training, quality and suppliers – are gaining ground.

What’s been the biggest challenge of your IR career?

Time allocation. With 25 covering analysts and shareholder inquiries, we can’t always achieve the quick response times we seek to deliver when there’s breaking news.

What’s your favorite part of IR?

In general, meeting investors and analysts, but my favorite part of working at Boston Scientific is meeting patients and seeing the impact our products have upon their lives.

And your least favorite?

Reviewing and editing 10Ks.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy time with my family and friends, watching my kids play sports (three in high school), Bikram yoga and reading.

If you could pass on one IR lesson, what would it be?

It’s too tough to pick just one. Integrity is everything: make it easy for investors to do the work on your stock, maintain clear, consistent, transparent messaging, have fun and enjoy the people you work with.

 

This article was published in the Winter 2019 issue of IR Magazine.

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