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Oct 11, 2021

Customer relations is most commonly discussed stakeholder issue, shows new study

Stakeholder management report finds mismatch in company reporting and investor discussions

Customer relations is the stakeholder issue IROs are most likely to have had discussions with investors about, according to new research from IR Magazine.

More than six in 10 (62 percent) of companies say they have had questions from or discussions with investors about customer relations in the last 12 months. This is followed by 59 percent who have been asked to talk about government and regulatory engagement and 53 percent who say their investors have wanted to talk about public health measures in the past year.

The findings come from the Stakeholder Management report, published in the fall 2021 issue of IR Magazine

Although climate change and supply chain issues are increasingly hot topics among the IR community, the research finds that exactly half of companies have been asked to discuss these topics. Only two stakeholder concerns identified in the report have been discussed by fewer than four in 10 IROs in the past year: resource management (38 percent) and socio-economic development (37 percent).

A mismatch in priorities

As well as asking companies which stakeholder concerns investors were raising, researchers also asked which topics companies were reporting on – with a ‘marked contrast’ between the two.

For example, although resource management and socio-economic development are the topics investors want to discuss the least, these (as well as employee relations) are actually the most common stakeholder issues for companies to have reported on in the past year. 

Customer relations, meanwhile – which is the topic investors want to discuss most often – is one of the issues least commonly reported on.

According to IROs, all identified areas of stakeholder concern identified by the researchers have seen increased interest from investors in the past five years. The issue that has seen the greatest increase in interest is carbon-neutrality, with more than seven in 10 IROs registering an increase in investor interest.

Other areas of high increased interest are government and regulatory engagement, public health measures and resource management and waste

Click here to access the Stakeholder Management report now.

Garnet Roach

An award-winning journalist, Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of...