Keeping the faith

Dec 21, 2011
<p>Investors will need even more handholding in 2012</p>

Reassurance was certainly in short supply during 2011. From July onward, investors had an almost permanent case of the jitters as Europe and the US struggled to get a grip on their respective debt problems.

In the US, politicians waited until the last possible moment before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, a move that saw the world’s largest economy narrowly avoid going into default.

European leaders didn’t hold back on the dithering, either. In fact, as Corporate Access went to press, they were still dithering over exactly what to do about the continent’s sovereign debt problems.

A summit in mid-December, where eurozone countries agreed to stronger fiscal ties, did little to calm investors’ nerves.

As we enter 2012, markets still look decidedly queasy – all of which means investors and analysts will need plenty more handholding in the coming months.

One option gaining in popularity, according to HSBC, is the reverse roadshow, where a group of investors is brought by a broker to the company’s office or operational site to see first-hand how the business is progressing (see Making the most of reverse roadshows).

Reverse roadshows operate at a slower pace than the regular kind, giving investors and managers more time to get to know each other on an informal level.

While a typical day on the road might cram in eight meetings, reverse roadshows are more relaxed: meetings tend to run on for longer and suits and ties may not be required.

Of course, most investors prefer it when you come to see them. That’s particularly true in times of volatility; portfolio managers don’t want to be away from their desks when the next big crisis hits the news.

Thinking of a trip out to the US midwest? In this edition of Corporate Access, you’ll find a suggested three-day itinerary that takes in Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis (see Heading midwest).

As well as detailing the top institutions in each city, you’ll find a guide to eating out in the ‘nation’s breadbasket’, where it is said you can find some of the world’s best steak.

Now there’s something to help take your mind off the market’s troubles for an hour or two.

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