General manager John Gollifer discusses upcoming IR Society conference
With conference season now starting, we hear from John Gollifer, general manager of the UK’s IR Society, for a personal insight into the hot topics on this year’s agenda.
'June 19, 2018 – where else would you wish to be than at the IR Society’s annual conference, IR: Future-proofing Business, in London?
'This year, to build on the ascent of IR and IR’s Mifid II positioning as the essential conduit between company and investors, the IR Society looks at the big picture and asks our members to consider the strategic imperative of great investor communications. How can IR drive long-term business thinking? What does best practice IR look like?
'Our conference theme of future-proofing business aims to challenge our corporate members, comprising mainly UK public company IROs, to think of the long term rather than be distracted by the noise of the short term, particularly as far as any external factors that are out of their hands are concerned. In addition, we would like our IROs to consider how best practice investor communications can influence a company’s thinking, culture, values and behavior by effectively bringing the outside view in.
'Given a challenging operating environment, are we optimistic about the prospects of UK PLC, and what should companies and IROs be thinking about in 2018 and beyond? In a post-Brexit world, where does UK PLC fit? Why would a newly floated company list in London rather than in continental Europe, or New York? Where are the best opportunities for UK PLC in a global economy?
'To address the big picture, our conference program offers a number of keynote interviews by BBC broadcaster Evan Davis with the C-suite, including Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, and Sir Michael Rake and Douglas Flint, both chairmen of UK-listed firms. We seek answers from the sell side and the buy side, including Richard Buxton, CEO of Old Mutual Global Investors, Gervais Williams, senior executive director of Miton, and Michael Cohen, portfolio manager of Capital Group.
'We also consider important trends in IR, like the growth of ESG, market disruption, the impact of changes in regulation, market structure and technology. What does this mean for companies and their investors? How do IR practitioners perform an even better job tomorrow? How do we future-proof business?'
The IR Society 2018 conference is being held on June 19 at King’s Place, London.