New head of IR at Solvay

Feb 21, 2017
<p>Three questions with Belgian chemical major&rsquo;s new IRO, Kimberly Stewart</p>

Kimberly Stewart, Technip’s former IRO of eight years, has been appointed as head of IR at Solvay.

Solvay IROA sell-side analyst in her early career, Stewart worked at PaineWebber (now UBS), Credit Suisse and Cheuvreux, mostly covering the airline sector, before moving into IR at French automotive parts manufacturer Faurecia.

The US-born business graduate relocated from Paris last autumn to join Brussels-headquartered Solvay, succeeding Maria Alcón-Hidalgo who is now serving as the firm’s treasury and insurance director. During Alcon-Hidalgo’s tenure, Solvay won the 2013 IR Magazine Award for best IR in Belgium & Luxemburg.

‘I am delighted to welcome Kimberly to Solvay to lead our investor relations activities, building on the strong foundation Maria has laid over the years,’ says Solvay’s CFO Karim Hajjar in a company release. ‘Kimberly will reinforce our efforts to further enhance our interactions with stakeholders and the overall investment community.’

Stewart, a board member of French IR body Cliff, also teaches a class as part of IR Basics, one of the training programs offered by the association and Université Paris-Dauphine.

How is your new team set up?

We are six in our team: Jodi Allen, who is based in the US, is an integral part of Solvay’s efforts to increase our North American shareholder base. In Europe the team includes senior IR manager Geoffroy Raskin and IR manager Bisser Alexandrov, along with Valerie-Anne Barriat, who manages retail and family shareholders, and Gwendoline Ribeyron, IR co-ordinator (while Laetitia Van Minnenbruggen is on maternity leave).

What are the plans for Solvay’s IR program in 2017?

We will publish our first integrated report, which sets the cornerstone for our sustainability communication with SRI, ESG and retail investors. In addition, we are reaching out to other IR teams and CFOs to develop a network in order to further improve our sustainable value efforts.

Do you find the IR scene in Belgium very different from the French scene?

Participating in the pan-European IR conference over the past few years has been a delightful opportunity to share best practices and discuss the latest evolution of topics ‒ ranging from regulations, corporate governance and sustainability to investor targeting ‒ with Belgian and other European IR professionals. This has helped facilitate a smooth transition, Solvay being a constituent of both the Belgian BEL 20 and the French CAC 40.

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