It’s been a tough year but, as it draws to a close and we all pile into holiday parties on Zoom, it’s time to look ahead to next year. And that brings a number of reasons to be cheerful.
All reasonable people hope that at some point in 2021 we will have some form of functional Covid-19 vaccine that will be safe, mass-produced and widely distributed at low cost. That’s certainly the focus of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, which have been working tirelessly to break records for the speed at which such an essential treatment can be developed, tested and distributed. And for the IR professionals at these companies, the fundamentals of investor relations – transparency, frequent communication, availability to the investment community – are probably more acute than ever before. One piece of inaccurate news about a vaccine can lead to massive trading spikes, and managing the message is an important task, as Garnet Roach reports in our cover feature.
For many European small-cap issuers, the prospect of a Covid-19 treatment isn’t the only reason to feel cheerful. In more traditional capital markets news, European regulators are assessing the impact Mifid II has had on small and micro-cap firms and – as Tim Human writes – that calls into question the future of the legislation that upended many aspects of sell-side corporate access and research.
In the US, the capital markets observers that have concerned themselves with what they deem to be excessive short-termism are celebrating the launch of a number of different stock exchanges and trading venues – including the Long-Term Stock Exchange and EQX, both of which will attempt to incentivize long-termism by both issuers and investors. In this issue we profile the new entrants to the trading landscape in our North America regional focus.
Speaking of celebrating, IR Magazine was delighted to host its awards for the US, Europe and Canada in the last few months. I personally found these virtual events to be engaging, fun and uplifting. In this issue, we profile many of the winners from around the world in a series of video interviews.
And if that isn’t enough reasons to be cheerful, perhaps it’s also time to take stock of what we’ve lived through this year. I’ll admit there were times in March and April when the world felt oppressively bleak. I’m eternally grateful to our many friends, family members, partners and readers who have supported us, kept us on an even keel and helped us stay sane. I’ll be toasting you with a glass of mulled wine this holiday season.
I hope you enjoy reading. As ever, please do get in touch with questions, comments or suggestions, and I hope we can get together in person again in the new year!
Ben Ashwell, editor IR Magazine