A conversation with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global head of corporate access
Investors say corporate access keeps growing in importance, making the world of non-deal roadshows and investor conferences intensely competitive. Companies, for their part, see the sell side’s role in corporate access as a resource that they need to manage for efficiency.
In these segments of the video series ‘ON Message with Neil Stewart’, produced by Bloomberg and IR Magazine, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global head of corporate access, Liz Everett, talks about trends in sell-side research, roadshows and investor conferences, including new survey results from IR Magazine’s ‘Global Roadshow Report 2015’.
One of the shifts Everett sees is from broad investor education to deep dives: ‘There’s still value in large sector conferences but we’ve been seeing very positive reaction, both from investors and from corporates, to smaller, more intimate gatherings... [allowing] for tighter connections, tighter relationships. The investor clients are a lot more educated. They don’t just need the basics; they want to dig in.’
Part 2: Choosing which brokers to go on NDRs with
A big company may have dozens of sell-side firms vying for its participation in conferences and non-deal roadshows (NDRs). How does an IRO decide which sell-side firms to work with? The most important criterion is still research coverage, Everett says, though she cites an interesting data point from IR Magazine’s ‘Global Roadshow Report 2015’: more small caps willing to work with brokers that don’t cover them
A negative rating on a company may not disqualify a broker from organizing a non-deal roadshow. ‘Sometimes corporates want to work with that analyst to make sure they understand the story. It can very powerful to partner with an analyst who has a negative rating,’ Everett says.
Part 3: Innovation in technology, research and events
Thinking about next stages in corporate access, Everett invokes thematic research on issues like water scarcity, cybersecurity, robotics, longevity or other factors shaping the future. Michael Hartnett, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s chief investment strategist, has made a strong case for thematic investing continuing to outperform. As result, corporate access events are featuring thematic sessions while whole new investor conferences are being organized around themes instead of sectors. ‘Companies care because if they can get associated with a theme, that’s going to broaden the number of investors who might not have been thinking about them as a relevant investment option. It is win-win,’ Everett explains.