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IR Magazine Spring 2020 edition

 Reflect, reinvent, grow a beard

The end of one decade and the start of the next is a natural time for reflection and change. I spent a lot of time over the holidays looking in the mirror – both metaphorically and literally. I decided to read more, spend less time on social media and grow a beard.

Change and reinvention are central themes in this issue. These days, the trading floors of stock exchanges aren’t the chaotic places they used to be. Yet the vibrant conversations of old may not be happening too far away: amid the Mifid II-inspired disruption to corporate access, many stock exchanges are expanding the number of events they host. On page 16, we explore the corporate access solutions on offer.

Stock exchanges have long been cultural symbols of capitalism and wealth creation. But is the notion of capitalism fundamentally changing? Last year both the Business Roundtable in the US and the World Economic Forum in Davos released statements that placed stakeholder value at the heart of the role of business. On page 20, we look at the two statements and ask what this shift in focus means for the future of investor communications.

In this issue’s regional features, we look at how the UK’s new stewardship code will affect debt IR (see Growing interest, page 28), explore how IR teams can deal with the effects of short reports (see Drawing the short straw, page 25), and profile Hong Kong, a city that has celebrated the world’s largest IPO and mourned months-long violent clashes between government and protesters (see A year of highs and lows for Hong Kong, page 32).

This issue also features the latest IR Magazine research report, which pulls together years of research into small-cap investor relations.

If you decided to make some changes of your own at the start of this year, I wish you well. I’ve had mixed fortunes: as of mid-February, I’ve read two books, deleted Twitter from my phone (and reinstalled it) and grown a beard, only to shave it off because it’s a hassle.

As ever, if you have any questions or comments about the magazine, please do get in touch.

Ben Ashwell,

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Spring 2020 features:


From trading venues to meeting venues
Amid declining support from brokers, stock exchanges are building out their corporate access services


Stakeholder relations
How does the recent shift in focus toward stakeholder value affect investor relations teams?


Drawing the short straw
Ben Ashwell looks into how IR teams can and should respond to the uptick in challenging – and sometimes scurrilous – short-reports


Growing interest
The UK’s new Stewardship Code could place more demands on debt IR


A year of highs and lows for Hong Kong
From the world’s largest IPO to months of violent protests, 2019 was a strange year for Hong Kong


Small-cap IR
An analysis of investor relations at small-cap firms compared with IR practices at companies of all sizes


Raise a glass (available in print only)
A roundup of IR Magazine Award winners from the final quarter of 2019

A tale of two transactions
Ben Maiden profiles the work of two companies nominated for an IR Magazine Award for IR during a corporate transaction


Forget EPS – focus on the customer
Two portfolio managers from Brown Advisory tell Gill Newton how they identify investment opportunities



Reflections on the transition from Wall Street to investor relations
Steve Rubis highlights what he’s learned since moving into IR from the sell side


'Be consistent to build trust and credibility with investors'
Q&A with Amit Bhalla of Schneider Electric 


'There is no typical day'
How Valerie Haertel has settled into life at CVS Health 


What if a fire alarm sounds during the earnings call?
In this regular article, we ask three contributors how they would respond to an operational issue. This time we asked three IROs what they would do if a fire alarm interrupted their earnings call


Intelligent 21st century IR
Tim Quast thinks IR needs a new name for the new century


The future is here – and it’s trading on hacked data
How hackers could be using privileged information to drive trading


Do investors look at job postings?
A roundup of IR-centric research from Jeff Cossette


In this first issue of IR Magazine in the 2020s, Laurie Havelock suggests some New Year’s resolutions to think about