The first in a new series of quick-fire interviews with IR professionals
Dr Dominik Heger is head of IR at Linde Group, the DAX-listed industrial gases company. In 2013 Linde Group ranked 21st in the IR Magazine Euro Top 100 and won best IR during a corporate transaction at the IR Magazine Awards – Europe.
1. How long have you been in IR?
This is my first IR role. I have been head of IR since January 2011.
2. What did you do before IR?
I started as a consultant at a well-known strategic consulting firm. This was followed by roles as a university lecturer, managing editor, sales manager for Linde’s engineering division in different countries in the Middle East and Asia, and head of procurement of our gases division in Germany.
3. Which qualifications do you hold and which matters most?
The university degrees in business administration provide the basic know-how. From the investor feedback we receive, however, I conclude that the most valuable qualification is my broad and in-depth knowledge about the business and processes in all parts of our company, which come from my own experience.
4. What is your IR team like?
We are a very lean team consisting of three people, including me.
5. How many roadshows and investor conferences do you take part in each year?
In the last two years, on average, we participated in 17 investor conferences and 16 roadshows.
6. Do you use social media as part of your IR program?
It is a topic that is clearly on our radar screen, but it is not a top priority at the moment.
7. Who do you report to?
IR is part of corporate communications and reports to the CEO.
8. Do you report to the board?
We report to the executive board with a monthly IR update on the major indicators we track (such as trading volumes, share price development within our peer group, changes in holdings in our company) and the main points of interest of the financial community. We also update the board on recent sell-side analyst reports.
9. Do you hold analyst days?
We hold an annual sell-side analyst dinner or lunch in London or Frankfurt for around 30-40 analysts and carry out a capital markets day in different locations every two years for investors and sell-side analysts.
10. What’s been your biggest challenge over the last year?
The acquisition of the US-listed healthcare company Lincare.
11. What is the most popular question from investors and analysts right now?
How does Lincare perform?
12. What’s your favorite thing about doing IR?
It’s great to meet people all over the world and be able to point out to them that Linde is a good firm.
13. What’s your least favorite part of the IR role?
The preparation of AGMs.
14. Where do you see yourself in five years?
It doesn’t make sense to strictly plan next steps. Life always turns out differently – so far to the better.
15. If you could pass on one IR lesson, what would it be?
Always keep communication as transparent as possible.