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Jun 07, 2022

'We're all ready to go back to in person': 15 questions with Hyatt

Tara Atwood is director of IR at Hyatt Hotels

1. How long have you been in IR?
I’ve been in IR for 15 years, a few years on the buy side and the majority in-house.

2. What did you do before IR?
I began my career in IR. But during that time I took a period to further develop and expand my professional career, which included getting an MBA, taking a research sabbatical and helping start-ups pitch for investor funding.

Tara Atwood, Hyatt Hotels

3. What are your qualifications?
Natural ability to tell a story and narrative, which was further developed in my undergraduate education in English and philosophy. In addition, I have my MBA.

4. How is your team set up?
IR and financial planning & analysis (FP&A) are one team. Within the IR focus we have a senior IR analyst, director and head of IR/FP&A. This has created a unique collaboration and has led to easy information-sharing between colleagues.

5. How many roadshows and investor conferences do you take part in each year?
We attend up to 10 conferences and between five and 10 non-deal roadshows annually.

6. Do you hold investor days?
Yes, and we look forward to hosting one soon.

7. Do you use social media as part of your investor relations program?
Hyatt has a digital marketing team that leads the way in informing our external stakeholders about Hyatt-related news. IR is in constant collaboration to ensure IR-related news is disseminated across many digital channels.

8. Do you receive support from any external investor relations firms?
Our team has relationships with key external stakeholders that serve to help the Hyatt IR team move our communications and needs forward.

9. What is the most popular question from analysts and investors right now?
Hyatt recently acquired Apple Leisure Group (ALG). Analysts and investors are generally focused on our growth story and the value ALG has brought to Hyatt and our World of Hyatt members.

10. Has Mifid II impacted your IR program?
The Hyatt investor relations team has a hybrid approach to IR events and activities. Internally, we have a refined investor targeting strategy and we developed relationships with the buy side. We also work collaboratively with the sell side to arrange non-deal roadshows.

11. What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
Meeting profession with purpose. IR, for me, is more than a career: it’s also about being behind a firm you truly believe in and this can at times be challenging to find. I feel incredibly lucky to have been with Time Warner Cable for nearly a decade, and now to be part of the Hyatt family that has a driven, empathetic and innovative leadership team, motivated colleagues and a mission to care for people.

12. What’s your favorite thing about doing IR?
IR includes so many facets of the business and each day I’m meeting people from departments across the company and people throughout the world. This keeps my day engaging and interesting. I’m always learning more.

13. And your least favorite?
I think we're all ready to go back to in-person conferences and non-deal roadshows! It’s been a long few years of not seeing IROs, analysts and the buy side in person. It’s exciting to be able to be in person again.

14. What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I love traveling around the world and I‘m also big into sailing. My favorite place to visit is Italy and my favorite place to sail is Thailand.

15. If you could pass on one investor relations lesson, what would it be?
The most important aspect of IR is communicating, both internally with teams across the company and externally with stakeholders. Communication is the lifeline of IR.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of IR Magazine.

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