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Jun 08, 2021

‘The last year has been the most challenging so far’: 15 questions with Yum China

Florence Lip joined Yum China in January 2018 and currently serves as senior director of IR at the company

1. How long have you been in IR?
More than three years.

2. What did you do before IR?
I worked in financial planning & analysis and before that I was a business analyst at McKinsey.

3. What are your qualifications?
I am a chartered financial analyst and a certified public accountant.

4. How is your team set up?
We have a team of four at Yum China.

5. How many roadshows and investor conferences do you typically take part in each year?
We normally participate in a roadshow every quarter and between 15 and 20 investor conferences per year.

6. Do you ever hold investor days or capital markets days?

7. Do you use social media as part of your IR program?
Yes, but it’s not a major focus.

8. Do you receive support from any external IR firms?

9. What is the most popular question from analysts and investors right now?
When will business get back to its normal pre-Covid levels?

10. Is ESG a focal point for investors and, if so, which aspect is most scrutinized?
It is for some, especially the large funds that have signed up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment. Environmental sustainability and gender equality/diversity are the hottest topics.

11. What’s been the biggest challenge of your IR career?
The last year has been the most challenging so far. I had to work remotely in Hong Kong while the rest of the team, company headquarters and operations are based in mainland China. Investors’ demand for updates increased due to the evolving situation. At the same time, we had to prepare for our secondary listing in September 2020, [which raised $2.2 bn].

12. What’s your favorite thing about investor relations?
Having the opportunity to work with senior management to discuss company strategy, develop a communication plan and learn to have a bird’s-eye view of the business.

13. And your least favorite?
I always have to work on my birthday, because it’s so close to earnings.

14. What sort of things do you enjoy doing outside work?
I like to try new things and develop new hobbies.

15. If you could pass on one IR lesson, what would it be?
IR is about communication, from working with company teams internally on developing the appropriate materials, getting the messages right for investors and making sure we address their concerns to circling back investors’ feedback to the company team in order to improve our future communications. It can be a virtuous or vicious cycle, depending on how well the process is handled.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of IR Magazine

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