Events preview: Data-driven discussions, IR in a global recession, ESG demands and more

Sep 14, 2022
A new approach to IR Magazine Events in California, Paris and London this fall

IR Magazine has scrutinized the feedback and crunched the numbers after a successful return to in-person events in the first half of 2022 to formulate its agenda for the second half of the year.

Primary original research, surveys and constant first-hand interactions with more than 1,500 IROs who attended the publication’s events around the world have shaped the upcoming slate of webinars and in-person forums and think tanks. Join us as we explore the three key themes that have emerged: data-driven discussions, the value of IR in uncertain times and ESG at a crossroads.

Firstly, upcoming events will be informed by original IR facts and insights from IR Magazine’s own benchmarking and agenda-setting research. Using such primary data, our panels and roundtable participants will examine trends and present solutions to the challenges IR professionals are facing now and in 2023, says Steve Wade, head of event content at IR Magazine.

‘Editorial integrity is hugely important to us and one of the reasons that so many from the IR community come to our events to navigate difficult times like these,’ he explains. ‘Our new data-driven approach will provide attendees with fact-based solutions to many of the challenges IR teams will face as we head into a difficult period.’

Post-pandemic prep

Amid recessionary concerns and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to plan IR activities is stronger than ever, which is why the value of IR in uncertain times is the second theme for our upcoming events. Attendees will discuss how IROs can really prove their value, Wade adds.

‘Companies and asset managers find themselves in a unique environment where many IROs and investors haven’t experienced a global recession before, at least not in their current roles,’ he says. ‘Our upcoming events will discuss the impact this has on shareholder bases, targeting and IR activities.’

The third theme of our forthcoming events is the concept of ESG at a crossroads. As economic concerns mount, IR Magazine will investigate the value-add for ESG in a constrained economic environment.

‘We will ask what ESG will look like in the future, given the notable backlash from certain players in the market,’ Wade says. ‘Furthermore, during our events, we will re-examine the impact human capital management has on companies with the backdrop of significant labor market changes and a high inflationary environment.’

Go West

The IR Magazine Think Tank – West Coast II returns to discuss the biggest issues impacting public companies and their relationship with shareholders during a time of geopolitical and economic upheaval.

Senior IROs from North America will gather in California on September 23 for the exclusive, invitation-only in-person event. The packed agenda begins with an overview from a leading economist of the global recession we find ourselves in and a dialogue on the capital markets and macroeconomic trends to prepare for in 2023.

A panel of seasoned CFOs will give their outlook for the next 18 months and discuss their priorities from their position atop a public company.

The CFOs will share their top-down perspective on the long-term effects of the pandemic, planning for an economic downturn, the role of an IRO within the wider company strategy and how it has changed over the pandemic.

The first roundtable session of the day will find IROs debating what their role is during a post-pandemic downturn. They will discuss how the 2022 slump compares with the 2008 recession and what can be learned from those who successfully navigated past market uncertainty. The roundtable will ask how companies are providing financial guidance during these times and how they should restructure resources when access to capital markets is challenging.

ESG expectations

ESG is a perennial topic of interest, learning and debate in the IR community and the think tank takes new angles on the concept. With the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board and SEC climate disclosures and policy, expectations around the quality of ESG disclosures, metrics, reporting and communication have increased significantly. A panel of experts will discuss how to create a comprehensive engagement strategy that effectively communicates the risks and opportunities that matter most to businesses. The panel will cover upcoming ESG trends, proxy season findings and investor expectations around the depth and frequency of ESG-related communications.

ESG will be explored even further in the next roundtable session, where IROs will be asked to ponder how teams can be structured to enable holistic, year-round ESG communication. Keeping on top of ESG alongside existing IR responsibilities can be challenging.

Roundtables will discuss the options for supporting and resourcing the IR team and strategies to deliver a concise ESG story that communicates long-term value creation to investors and wider stakeholders.

Other considerations

The next panel will consider how to target the right investors in an uncertain market. What are the best practices around scheduling non-deal roadshows and determining which cities are open and which are closed? What tools and resources are available to identify and attract the right investors? What opportunities created by the pandemic can help ‘globalize’ shareholder bases?

The focus of the following panel will be best practices for earnings calls, investor days and other key engagements. This forward-planning session will share practical advice on how IR marketing calendars are evolving, how to approach specific investor touch-points, tailoring content for various audiences, operational delivery and making every meeting matter.

The panel will determine the optimal blend of formats for various IR engagements and how to create impactful investor days. Experts will also offer top tips to maximize the use of management’s time, fine-tune elevator pitches to investors and manage inbound retail investor questions.

The session will explore new ways to secure additional sell-side coverage, weigh the pros and cons of paid analyst coverage, social media, cold calling and digital strategies, and any recent corporate access trends to be aware of going into 2023.

Closing time

The final roundtable will compare company strategies for hybrid meetings and investor messaging. Heads of IR will share practical tips that have helped improve the effectiveness of their targeting process in the past 12 months. They will hammer out ways to manage changing sell-side dynamics, work better with buy-side corporate access teams and deal with the nuances of going on the road in new markets.

The think tank will round off with an investor Q&A to discuss expectations of IR teams during uncertainty in 2023. Investors on stage will answer any questions and concerns from IROs about the coming months.

Feedback from IROs who attended the previous IR Magazine Think Tank – West Coast on March 23 was glowing. ‘The topics were relevant and very important,’ one IRO said. Another appreciated the ‘ability to interact with fellow IROs’. And another attendee praised the ‘great speakers and great venue’ and was glad to ‘have the chance to network with my peers for the first time in more than two years.’

October in Paris

Bookings are now open for the IR Magazine Forum – Europe. The in-person event has been tailor-made for pan-European heads of IR. It will be held at the Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel in France on October 6.

The aim of the forum is to help public companies understand the seismic changes in the capital markets, provide insight into next-level investor targeting and improve ESG practices by showcasing award-winning investor relations case studies.

The forum in Paris will feature roundtable discussions, networking sessions and in-depth panel talks about IR’s most pressing issues. The format, far removed from a traditional conference, consists of fast-paced panel discussions, exclusive investor Q&As, face-to-face networking and topical roundtable discussions. Attendees include investors, analysts and heads of IR at publicly listed companies from the UK and conEurope.

London calling

Looking further ahead, the IR Magazine ESG Integration Forum – Europe returns to London on November 22. Investor relations, governance and sustainability professionals will gather and share best practices on articulating material ESG issues.

Wade says ESG risks and opportunities are constantly changing and bringing new challenges. ‘In the last 12 months, we have seen ESG activism, momentum building regarding policy on sustainability, new diversity requirements for public companies and increased focus on net-zero commitments,’ he says.

‘The ESG Integration Forum is the only event that brings together the key functions within a public company to tackle the challenges in this rapidly developing space. We believe businesses don’t operate in silos, and neither should our events.’

Stay up to date with the agendas and speaker announcements and book your places at IRmagazine.com.

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