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Dec 15, 2023

IR associations roundup: A Swiss summit, a Taipei conference and AI on the agenda

How did the world's IROs spend 2023? What were their top concerns and challenges for the year, and when did they get together to celebrate excellence? IR Magazine's editorial team checked in with associations representing the IR profession around the globe to find out what they have been up to in recent months. 

IR Club Schweiz

Excitement was high at the SIX IR Conference, which took place on the 12th December 2023 and featured IR Magazine's own Tim Human as moderator. The event featured discussions across a variety of topics as well as networking opportunities for members and partners.

Earlier this year the association held its AGM, hosted by Dufry and Flughafen Zurich, and a Summer Soiree, hosted by Zurich Insurance, as well as working with the sell side and other IR associations for webinars on ESG and shareholder activism and diving into IRO compensation across the DACH region.

Lorna Davie, president of the IR club Switzerland, says that the group's membership has continued to grow, validating the demand for IRO’s to connect, share and learn from each other. She adds that the board is planning and working on some initiatives for 2024.

The Belgian Investor Relations Association (BelIR)

BelIR has a packed program in the last quarter of this year. In terms of activities, it has organized a Belgian Day in Paris for Belgian listed companies to meet with French investors. It supported the Best Financial Communication Awards of the analysts’ community in November and it organizes its last members’ meeting of the year in December.

The focus areas of BelIR for 2023 and 2024 are as follows: In today's rapidly changing world, it is crucial for businesses to focus on sustainability to ensure a better future. Reporting on these matters is a key focus for investor relations.

The French Association of Financial Communication Professionals (CLIFF)

The big issues for French IR teams right now are CSRD implementation and the potential impact of AI, says Laurence Duc, executive director at Cliff. Other topics being covered by Cliff in its busy schedule of events include developing dialogue with proxy advisors and individual investors. In addition, the association will hold its traditional ‘Voeux et Galette’ event in January to welcome the New Year.

The Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI)

Nathalie Megann, the recently installed president and CEO of CIRI, says that Canadian IROs are going to be scrutinizing stakeholder relations and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on investor relations in 2024.

'For me, the ultimate objective is to really create additional meaningful value for our members and grow our membership base,' she adds. 

‘I’m very excited about our professional development roster. Next year we will be looking to hit on the topics that matter most to those working within capital markets and our investor relations people, so things like ESG, AI, stakeholder relations and things that are topical, like navigating in uncertain times.’

Instituto Nacional de Relación con Inversionistas (INARI)

INARI, the Mexican IR association, recently held its sixth annual ‘Renovate’ conference in Mexico City, where the session topics included living in an ESG world, economic insights ahead of 2024 federal elections and how to build a successful IR career. INARI is committed to ‘enhancing and diversifying’ the experiences and learning opportunities available to members, says Enrique Gonzalez, co-founder of the association and global head of IR at Cox Energy.

Taiwan Investor Relations Institute (TIRI)

There was a global feel to TIRI's annual conference, held in Taipei in November. Representatives from six other IR associations - US, Italy, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany and Singapore - joined for the event. The opening address was given by Cheng Wen-Tsan, Taiwan’s vice premier, who ‘expressed anticipation for increased collaboration and exchange between Taiwan's capital market and the international arena,’ according to a statement from TIRI.

Association of the Bulgarian Investor Relations Directors (ABIRD)

The Association of the Bulgarian Investor Relations Directors (ABIRD) has just concluded the fifth edition of its IR Junior Class initiative, a one-week yearly event dedicated to educating future generations of IR practitioners.

‘Our goal is to [educate] a new generation of IROs,’ says Daniela Peeva, chairperson of the association. ‘We started ABIRD in 2003, which is when IR was established as a profession in Bulgaria. But [as of today] we see public companies are [still] struggling to find professionals working in this field, so we decided five years ago to [kickstart this program] which now takes place every year.’

ABIRD is also getting ready to host its IR awards ceremony on December 7, to celebrate best-in-class IR in the region. In February 2024, the association will also hold the eighth edition of its Annual Reporting Seminar in collaboration with the various institutions working on the Bulgarian capital markets. 

The Romanian Investor Relations Association (ARIR)

Daniela Serban, president and co-founder of ARIR, says that IROs in the region are concerned about macro-economic matters. ‘For a while now, it’s been a depressed market and we’re not quite sure how much longer that’s going to last,' she says. 'For the next year, we would like to focus more on board appointments and best practices in terms of board nominations.'

‘This year, we have set up several working groups in order to understand the impact on listed companies [of board gender targets], and the local regulator is already including it, probably next year in the legislation.’

The Turkish Investor Relations Society (TÜYİD)

TÜYİD recently held its IR Summit 2023, which carried the strapline ‘Evolving Trends in IR’, on December 12, with around 300 finance and IR professionals attending.

It featured a series of panels with leading IRO, CEOs and executives at blue chip companies among others and members of the wider investment community form Turkey, the US and around the world. Delegates and attendees heard insights and best practices on the evolving relationship between IR and the C-suite at public listed companies, how to adapt to changing dynamics in IR amid global crises and economic shifts, evolving standards in sustainability, how technological developments impact the profession and how investors profiles are changing in today’s market.

For 2024, TÜYİD has also got big plans. The society is working on developing a series of programs, events, summits and webinars especially with a focus on individual investors and sustainability due to forthcoming ESG regulations and frameworks, while also crafting educational programs for aspiring IR professionals.

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