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Jun 18, 2024

When IR professionals get personal, it’s a winning combination

Investor relations is all about relationships – internally, externally and among peers

What makes a great IRO? What is it that your investors, analysts and internal stakeholders appreciate about the way you do investor relations? This is a question I’ve asked countless IR professionals. It is something I ask CFOs and something I talk about with members of the IR Magazine editorial board.

It is also a topic that’s top-of-mind when you’ve got hundreds of Europe’s top IR professionals coming together to meet, greet, socialize and celebrate at the IR Magazine Think Tank – Europe 2024 and the IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2024.

The think tank will see IR professionals talk about how to forge powerful relationships with the C-suite, hear tips on managing ‘data overload’ and enjoy a buy-side Q&A with Eloise Veillet, former portfolio manager at Redwheel International, and Gervais Williams, head of equities at Premier Miton Investors. And they’ll network, catching up with faces from across the continent.

For the awards, hundreds of IROs will gather to find out who will take home some of the most coveted awards of the night, who has been singled out for their creativity in IR and who to watch as the risings stars of the profession.

So what’s the answer? What is it that keeps award winners – and all those nominated alongside them – in the minds of the investment community and the IR Magazine Awards judges?

Curiosity is a word that comes up again and again when talking to CFOs about what they value most in their IR leads. And when you talk to IR professionals, they always stress the personal aspect – the relationship part – of IR.

And that’s what makes events like our forums or the IR Magazine Awards so important. Of course, we come together to hear what our peers are doing on AI. Investor relations professionals gather to talk about the latest trends in shareholder targeting, regulation or stock trading dynamics. Just like IR, however, these events are so much about the people. It is the panel of your peers and the roundtable discussions with those as passionate about IR as you are that brings IR to life.

This has always been the case, of course. And that personal connection is why investors continue to seek face-to-face meetings with senior management as well as IR. But it was not until the pandemic that we really understood how important the people element of investor relations really is, both internally and externally.

In fact, Thomas Kudsk Larsen, global head of IR at Sanofi and IR Magazine editorial board member, described this period as the most challenging of his IR career: ‘I really dreaded the almost entirely virtual working environment and I missed the rest of the IR team, who were not in,’ he recently explained. ‘Humans are social beings and I thrive on the right balance of deep work, studying and getting ideas and energy from colleagues.’

Today, as companies put a much-needed spotlight on reducing travel – with some even running a ‘CO2 budget’ to keep emissions in check – we continue to appreciate just how valuable it is to be able to sit with our peers, to learn from fellow IROs and to share the stories that make the profession what it is today.

What marks out your approach to IR – and what do your investors and analysts appreciate most? Get in touch and let us know at garnet.roach@irmagazine.com or on LinkedIn.

Garnet Roach

An award-winning journalist, Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of...

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