Asian IR heads have more meetings with board than global average, study finds

Jan 29, 2019
Global company strategy, earnings results and analyst feedback are most-discussed issues

Asian IR heads are meeting their board members and committees more frequently than their North American and European counterparts, a new IR study reveals.

The report, which polled 1,000 IR professionals in Q1 and Q3 2018, examines the structure of IR and how often IR is discussed with senior management and company directors, as well as the issues they face.

The IR Function report indicates that around half of all Asian IR heads meet with the company board at least quarterly to discuss IR issues. It also highlights that European and North American heads of IR meet with board and committee members less frequently than the global norm – on average, 38 percent of Europeans and 33 percent of North Americans meet with their board or committee members on a quarterly basis. More than one third (37 percent) of European IR heads in the survey never meet with their whole company board.

Globally, 44 percent of IR heads meet with the board chair on at least a quarterly basis, while 30 percent never meet with the chair at all. More than a third of respondents say they meet with the whole board quarterly, while 31 percent say they never get access to the boardroom.

Boardroom talking points

The report asked respondents to rate a number of IR-related issues that are often discussed with senior management. Company strategy and earnings are the most talked-about issues, followed by analyst feedback. Investor/proxy adviser policies are the least discussed, with an average frequency rating of just 2.3 out of 5 (where five represents most frequent).

The report notes: ‘The frequency with which issues are discussed with senior management varies little according to region or market cap size. The order of frequency for discussions of these issues is the same in all regions and cap sizes, except at small caps where analyst feedback is discussed more often than earnings and governance issues are discussed more than accounting issues.’

Other differences in the report include Asian IR heads and senior management holding more discussions than their North American and European counterparts on investor/adviser policies, governance issues and accounting issues.

But North American teams are less likely to have conversations on accounting issues. Moreover, mega-cap companies generally raise more issues on investor/proxy adviser policies than do firms of any other cap size.

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