Reward and risk

May 30, 2012
<p>An introduction to the fifth edition of Corporate Access</p>

Welcome to the fifth edition of Corporate Access, the twice-yearly supplement brought to you by IR magazine, focused on the roadshow industry.

In this issue we look at a number of ways companies can get more value out of their time on the road, such as how to get off the beaten track, the benefits of virtual meetings and the expertise on offer from corporate access providers.

The West Coast offers exciting opportunities for the intrepid IRO, although the region is a tricky one for roadshows: the geographical spread and diversity of assets pose a logistical headache. For those who do make the journey, don’t forget to start your day early – California operates on East Coast time.

If time is tight, you might want to take the virtual route. Virtual roadshows, though yet to hit the IR mainstream, can help companies reach remote investors, save air miles and set up meetings quickly when time is short.

Industry watchers will know the corporate access market is now a fiercely competitive industry. As a result, corporate access firms are redefining their role and acting increasingly as advisers to companies on much more than just roadshow logistics.

Christopher Sztam, Barclays’ head of institutional corporate marketing, says corporate access is now in the ‘inner circle’ and increasingly helps companies to position their story.

The corporate access teams and their colleagues at Mizuho and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, offer their expertise on buybacks and exchange-traded funds, respectively.

This edition also includes a warning, however: there has been a regulatory clampdown in the US and the UK over the last year targeting disclosure leaks, leading to numerous fines and jail terms.

Recent comments by an SEC official suggested that one-on-one meetings between firms and their shareholders could be the next area to come under scrutiny.

The commission has subsequently said the comments were meant just as a warning. Still, they serve as a reminder that non-deal roadshows offer up risks as well as rewards.

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