IR Magazine has a long history of honoring those men, women and companies around the world that excel at investor relations. In celebration of 30 years of IR Magazine, we selected 30 IR stars that have shone particularly brightly over the past three decades and will be posting one profile each day for 30 days, giving you the gift of an IR advent calendar.
Oliver Schutzmann, a former IRO who now runs a Dubai-based consultancy as well as writing regular articles for IR Magazine, was instrumental in spreading the IR word in the Middle East, noting that the financial crisis – which he says ‘hit the Middle East hard’ – gave a real boost to the region’s burgeoning profession. ‘When the global slowdown also caused a fall in the price of our chief export – oil – the region entered uncharted territory: a technical recession. Ten years on, we are still feeling the effects in the market,’ he says.
‘While this period has been painful, it also caused a metamorphosis in how corporates relate to the investment community. IR has gone from zero to, in some cases, a very high level of execution. The crisis was a chance to rethink the relationship with investors, to move from being IR-agnostic to a new phase of openness and partnership with shareowners.’
Other elements have also been transformational, adds Schutzmann, citing the adoption of the certified investor relations officer qualification and the arrival of international investors via MSCI and FTSE index inclusion, to name just two. ‘But overall it was the crisis and subsequent slowdown that brought IR to some of the region’s best companies, and they are now reaping the benefits,’ he says.
Stay tuned for more IR stars this week and pick up a copy of the winter issue of IR Magazine to see the full list.
A version of this article was published in the winter 2018 issue of IR Magazine – the 30th anniversary issue of the industry’s premier publication.