Ipreo and OpenExchange talk collaboration
While on the lookout for the next big trend to affect the IR industry, Ipreo noted the potential of virtual meetings – but also challenges in their implementation. That was until OpenExchange explained how it could solve those challenges.
As a result, Ipreo and OpenExchange now offer a virtual meetings solution to Ipreo’s IR clients. The solution will be integrated into Ipreo’s IR workflow tool, BD Corporate, allowing existing users to schedule and conduct virtual meetings with investors and analysts.
The two firms were introduced last September by Rebecca Updegraph, a veteran of the IR services industry who is currently working for OpenExchange as a consultant. ‘Becky knows our business very well,’ explains Kevin Marcus, president and chief operating officer at Ipreo. ‘She went to OpenExchange and saw the natural integration points.’
For OpenExchange, the tie-up with Ipreo offers two main benefits, according to CEO Mark Loehr. ‘One is [that there is] a very bright, sophisticated, capable sales force… [which] will be able to put that message in front of its clients if they are not already aware of it,’ he says. ‘More importantly, it takes all the people in Ipreo’s database, and allows them to start connecting with each other and allows that to become a community that really comes alive.’
OpenExchange has helped push forward virtual meetings as an option for IR teams by developing a system that allows different video systems and devices to connect, removes the need for involvement by company IT staff and offers a community of users to connect with, among other features.
‘The quality of video has really improved so you don’t need to be at a fancy three-screen telepresence room to have a terrific experience,’ Loehr points out. ‘People are able to do it from mid-sized conference rooms to desktops and even iPads, so that’s been a dramatic change.’
One reason video meetings are becoming more important is the continued globalization of the investment industry, notes Marcus, which means companies have further to travel to meet their major shareholders.
‘We’re seeing the international barriers to investment come down, so markets are 24/7, global and only moving more in that direction,’ he explains. ‘The reality is you can’t be with all your investors as regularly as you used to. Ten to 12 years ago in IR, you’d meet all of your top shareholders regularly. It’s much harder to pull off now, but you can do it with video.’