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Mar 01, 2018

Advisory Intelligence: Nasdaq uses perception studies to aid IROs

Nasdaq aims to give IR professionals another perspective with its perception studies approach

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Nasdaq conducts perception studies to help IR professionals, company executives and boards of directors understand how their company is perceived by key stakeholders and, in turn, help to enhance the company’s market image and connection with the financial community.

Foli Pontillo, global head of perception at Nasdaq Advisory Services, notes that for IROs, a key part of perception is whether the true value of the company is reflected in its valuation. ‘A number of companies believe they are not getting credit for the efforts they have made – whether it be the business performance or strategic actions they have executed to create value for their shareholders.’

To help with this, Nasdaq’s perception studies take a ‘deep dive’ into various factors that impact the investment case and uncover any information gaps or disconnects. ‘We emerge with a ‘call to action’ for IR professionals and Company executives, which often entails fine-tuning how they message the value proposition and engage with the investment community,’ Pontillo says.

Nasdaq is already following many companies closely through its stock surveillance and strategic capital intelligence businesses. As a result, Pontillo notes, ‘When we do embark on a new Advisory relationship, we typically already have insights into the industry and institutional trends, and have a sense of what core topics should be explored as best practice. However, having honest due diligence conversations with our clients allows us to marry our recommended explorations with any client-specific ambitions for the outreach effort.’

In terms of areas of improvement for companies that arise in perception studies, Pontillo notes that investors and analysts might strongly urge companies to refine their disclosure practices, in hopes of having greater transparency into the underlying drivers of financial results.

There is also the oft-cited issue of management not being sufficiently accessible, which can have a profound impact on credibility and the level of conviction in a company’s ability to deliver on outlined objectives. ‘Investment professionals need that face-time with executives to be fully comfortable and buy-in to the strategic vision and direction of the company’ Pontillo observes.

What can be achieved using perception studies has evolved over the years, bringing them into sharper focus. ‘In the past, perception studies were seen as a discretionary tool. They are now seen as imperative to assist companies with keeping their pulse on market perceptions, to provide valuable insights that can influence decisions, and to offer a trusted forum for investment professionals to voice raw and candid sentiments.’ Pontillo says.

‘Perception studies provide a strategic roadmap for IR professionals, which can certainly aid in effectively prioritizing key focus areas for the company,’ she concludes.

This content was produced by Nasdaq Corporate Solutions and first appeared on Nasdaq's website.


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