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Sep 12, 2012

DR issuers sign up for virtual investor conference

Deutsche Bank running what is thought to be first event of its kind targeted at US retail investors and smaller institutions

Several prominent companies are set to take part in a virtual investor conference next week run by Deutsche Bank’s DR division.

Each participant will conduct a presentation, answer live questions and spend time in a ‘virtual booth’ where investors can chat, watch corporate videos and access a library of company information.

db virtual conference
The welcome screen for the Deutsche Bank DR Virtual Investor Conference

The event, thought to be the first of its kind for the DR market, will feature nine companies hailing from Europe and Brazil, such as Marks & Spencer, SAP and Localiza.

‘It’s a great opportunity for companies to market themselves without having to travel,’ says Zafar Aziz, head of DR market solutions at Deutsche Bank.

‘But it’s not replacing roadshows. This is adding another leg in terms of you accessing a different pool of investors; the whole idea is to supplement your investor relations roadshows.’

Deutsche Bank expects an audience of retail and smaller institutional investors at the conference, which is being marketed by PR Newswire, non-profit retail organization BetterInvesting and OTC Markets.

The bank is using the technology behind PR Newswire’s Retail Investor Conferences to run the event.

‘The way we pitched it to companies is that it’s not meant to be something for senior management to spend a lot of time on because we’re focusing a lot on retail and smaller investors, so it’s okay for the head of IR or a senior IRO to handle the presentation,’ says Aziz.

‘All the people we have on our list are heads of IR or senior IROs, [except] we have one CFO from Gameloft.’

The participating companies begin their slots by conducing a 30-minute presentation. After this, they are transported into a chat room where investors can ask direct questions. The presentation will remain saved on the website for 90 days after the conference.

The aim is for Deutsche Bank to hold the event on a regular basis, explains Aziz, although this will be dependent on company availability.

‘It’s a question of finding the right time for them,’ he says. ‘But I think we’ll continue doing it. We’ll focus on companies with a recognizable brand name in the US and those in the emerging markets.

‘We haven’t focused on any Asian companies as yet. We’re thinking of doing something specific for the Asian market in the future. Obviously, there is a challenge here in terms of time zones. But the fact we have the saved presentations on the virtual platform means investors can always access them after the live event.’

The other companies taking part are Technip, Nordea Bank, MRV Engenharia e Participações, CPFL Energia and Deutsche Telekom.