London and Dublin-based consultancy Powerscourt has launched a new full-service IR practice, with Mifid II having a bearing on the firm’s expansion as companies ‘increasingly seek to engage with the market more proactively’ as a result of the mammoth EU regulation.
The new team ‘will be run by three senior team members with highly complementary skills covering specialist IR consultancy, corporate broking and sell-side equity research,’ says Powerscourt in a statement.
New hires Marina Calero and Eavan Gannon join Alison Watson, who has been with Powerscourt since 2016, to form the team.
Calero, who has been appointed as director at Powerscourt, brings almost 20 years of in-house and IR consultancy experience, and comes most recently from IR advisory firm Conduit Communications, which she founded. Prior to Conduit, she spent 14 years in the IR team at Citigate Dewe Rogerson.
Gannon joins Powerscourt as a senior consultant, also boasting 20 years’ equity capital markets experience. A former director in the corporate broking team at Davy, during her time there Gannon worked on numerous IPOs and equity fund-raisings for a range of corporates including CRH, Smurfit Kappa and DCC.
The team is rounded out by existing senior consultant Watson, who joined the company from Investec, where she was head of real estate equity research. She brings 16 years’ investment banking experience, with the majority of her time spent on the sell side, and, according to the Powerscourt statement, was ranked number one real estate stock picker in the Thomson Reuters (StarMine) Awards in 2016.
Commenting on the impact of Mifid II, Calero says that ‘with the introduction of [the regulation] this year, the importance of regular, consistent and proactive engagement with the market has been crystallized and is now high on boards’ agendas.’ In the statement, she adds that the team will be providing ‘practical, senior-level IR counsel to our clients as they face the challenges posed by the new Mifid II reality.’
Powerscourt also announces a ‘significant client win’ after its recent stint providing fully outsourced IR to McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s largest developer and manager of retirement communities, resulted in the firm being retained to manage McCarthy & Stone’s IR activities on an ongoing basis.
McCarthy & Stone saw its shares drop to a record low following a June profits warning but has since unveiled a new strategy and cost-cutting drive – spearheaded by John Tonkiss, who was named in September as permanent chief executive following a stint as interim boss – which will see the company make cost savings of £40 mn ($51 mn) per year by 2021.