UAE graduates dive into IR

Mar 04, 2015
<p>Second round graduates from Dubai bourse&rsquo;s IR training program</p>

Seven young Emirati were this month the happy recipients of a certificate from Dubai Financial Market (DFM) after they completed a training program aimed at making them familiar with the IR profession’s basics.

‘We have joined forces with our leading DFM-listed companies and international advisers to promote IR best practices through various tools including comprehensive guides and educational workshops as well as this program, which is a first of its kind, aiming at educating young UAE nationals and prepare them to start their journey within the IR field,’ explains DFM’s chairman Essa Kazim in a statement.

During a two-month program, the UAE University graduates are offered a work placement within the IR departments of local companies such as Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and DP World. In addition, six workshops brought by service providers allow participants to take a deep dive into IR fundamentals with training on how financial markets operate, regulations and IR best practices.

Investor relations is still a relatively new concept in the region, where large corporations are mostly family-owned and the voice of minority shareholders is often overlooked. The situation has been evolving rapidly, however, since the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority made it mandatory in 2014 for listed firms to have an IR function, including a dedicated IRO and a proper section on the corporate website, points out DFM’s head of business development Fahima Al Bastaki.

‘Talented IR professionals from the region are increasingly sought after as listed companies continue to implement international IR best practices and improve their overall corporate transparency, considering the growing expectations of their local investor base as well as the increasing presence of international investors,’ she says.

Newly IR-savvy graduates Maryam Karamian, Jawaher Bin Haider, Amel Sultan, Hessa Jamea, Sara Al Awadhi, Nadyah Hassan Mansoor and Afra Al Suwaidi will no doubt be in high demand should they choose to embrace an IR career in Dubai.

‘IR professionals are the pivotal link between their organization and investors through managing investor requirements and providing them with company updates that enable them to make well-informed decisions,’ adds Kazim. ‘We constantly encourage our listed companies to further embrace IR practices in line with the leading position of the UAE as a capital markets hub and its status as an emerging market, which necessitates addressing a highly diversified and demanding investor base.’

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