‘There will be interest in how MSCI thinks about M&A,’ says firm’s new head of IR
IR Magazine caught up with Jeremy Ulan, an internal hire appointed to the role of head of IR and treasury at MSCI this month, to talk about what excites him about IR, the key themes he expects to be talking about over the next 12-18 months and what he might be doing if he hadn’t gone into corporate finance.
What excites you most about your move into IR?
MSCI has a unique and incredible opportunity ahead of itself and I say that having worked here for over a decade. The company holds a unique position in being able to power investors to build better portfolios for a better world.
As an investment proposition we have resilience and strong long-term potential for our all-weather franchise and I am excited about being able to take this to market and engage with our equity and debt investors, in addition to the research analyst community.
My career to date has allowed me to engage with other companies on acquisition and partnership opportunities and my new IR role lets me look at MSCI from the investor lens and to help them understand how MSCI is a change agent reshaping the investment landscape.
What are your priorities going into the role?
My predecessors have built a great foundation and relationships and I intend to preserve and build upon those to elevate MSCI to the next level. My plan is to build strong relationships with investors and sell-side analysts through a proactive and comprehensive investor relations program, focused on enhancing the two-way dialogue and continuing to gain insight from our owners and clients around ways that we can further add value.
Additionally, I will partner with senior leadership to continue to refine MSCI’s strategy and ensure alignment with internal processes and goals. In time, I hope to drive deeper engagement with our stakeholders and introduce a broader slate of MSCI leaders.
What do you expect the key themes of conversation to be with investors and analysts over the coming 12-18 months?
In the past six months, there have been a series of events that have created significant turmoil in the markets, with many headwinds likely to persist. I expect conversations to focus on the resilience of our all-weather business model and the criticality of our data and content in the investment process. Additionally, with trading multiples contracting significantly, there will be increased interest in how MSCI thinks about M&A and our strategic priorities.
What areas of your past experience do you think you’ll lean on most in IR?
I have been fortunate to have spent almost 12 years at MSCI in a number of different roles, gaining unique insight into not only what we do, but how we do it. The majority of my time at MSCI has been spent driving our strategy and corporate development efforts, which has allowed me to be a partner to our senior leaders as we have evolved our strategy over the years.
Additionally, spending significant time with other companies on potential acquisitions and partnerships has provided me with the opportunity to educate others on MSCI and answer increasingly difficult questions about our business and products.
Finally, what do you think you'd be doing if you didn't work in corporate finance
I was fascinated by business from an early age but I was tempted to pursue a law degree as a stepping stone to become a sports agent.