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May 16, 2023

IR remuneration rises in Australia and New Zealand

Increasing need for IR support inflates compensation packages

The salaries of Australian and New Zealand investor relations professionals went up over the past two years, with IROs reporting a 16 percent increase in salaries since 2020. 
This is according to the latest report from the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA), which assess the compensation, role and skills of IR practitioners in the region.
It shows that on average IROs operating in both jurisdictions earned between $350,000 and $375,000 in 2023. And while 54 percent of respondents believe their remuneration is appropriate to their role, this represents a drop of 7 percentage points compared with 2020. 
The biannual report collates the responses of 81 IR practitioners across several sectors, with most respondents being male (62 percent) with an overall median tenure in an in-house IR role of five to 10 years. 
Looking at remuneration by gender, the data shows that while the male median salary increased by 7 percent in 2023 compared with 2020, median salaries of female IROs remained in line with previous findings, though they have seen a 16 percent increase on 2018’s figures.

Ian Matheson, AIRA
Ian Matheson, AIRA

The report highlights that IR remuneration packages fare higher in sectors such as materials, metals & mining and financials (excluding Australian real estate investment trusts). 

The data also finds that more than nine in 10 IR practitioners receive short-term incentives, compared with the 86 percent recorded in 2020. The report further notes that 76 percent of survey respondents receive long-term incentives as part of their role, an increase of 18 percentage points on 2020.

‘Coming out of Covid-19, listed entities are requiring the services of good strategic investor relations support more and more,’ says AIRA CEO Ian Matheson. ‘This is reflected in the demand for talent and the significant growth in remuneration we’ve seen since the last survey in 2020.’ 

In line with an apparent higher demand for companies to bring IR in-house, the AIRA findings highlight an increasing number of recruitment practices, with 38 percent of those polled claiming they recruited in 2023, marking a 15 percentage-point increase on 2020. 

Reporting responsibilities and challenges 

Overall, the AIRA report shows that most IR professionals in Australia and New Zealand report directly to their company’s CFO (65 percent) or CEO (18 percent). None report directly to the board.

The top challenges for IR in the region saw a few changes compared with 2020. IR practitioners flag acquiring appropriate resources to meet expectations as a top challenge in 2023. Time constraints and limited resources are followed by concerns over hurdles posed by the ever-changing investment market landscape and the need to balance company and market needs within the regulatory landscape.