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Oct 04, 2017

FTSE 350 companies increase corporate governance meetings

Approach is part of expanding relationship with key investors

More and more FTSE 350 companies are meeting with corporate governance and stewardship teams to expand their relationships with key investors and voting decision-makers, according to latest research.

Identifying and understanding IR best practice, a report produced by Orient Capital, the IR service provider whose DF King EMEA proxy team specializes in supporting issuers, reveals that ‘engagement can create governance capital that facilitates the ability to explain governance decisions not in line with best practice.’

The group interviewed 36 investor relations professionals from the FTSE 350, with one saying: ‘Corporate governance is becoming a priority. It receives significantly more attention from investors and therefore has become a priority for us.’ 

‘Although this is the first time we’ve run this UK study, the expansion of engagement was definitely a theme that was coming through loud and clear in our research, and a point of interest we wanted to include’, explains Alison Owers, CEO for EMEA at Orient Capital. ‘It is interesting to note the level of interaction between the IR and corporate secretary teams around this area, which is something we anticipate will become even more aligned in the future.’

The majority of IROs surveyed conduct on average 265 meetings a year. London is the top spot for meetings, with 100 percent of survey respondents holding meetings there, followed by New York with 54 percent.

Eighty-three percent conduct investor targeting studies either once or twice a year.

Forty-four percent of respondents consider a combination of post-roadshow feedback and perception studies the most effective way to gather intelligence. Perception studies are typically run annually.

When it comes to major IRO challenges, 44 percent of respondents indicate that finding enough time and prioritizing are the biggest challenges, followed by messaging with 31 percent.