Senior managers spent a global average of 39 days on IR in 2021 – a figure that is largely in line with 2020 and which IR Magazine researchers say ‘represents a stabilization of the drop in time spent by senior management on IR since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic’.
According to the Global and Regional Investor Relations Practice Report 2021, the average number of days spent by senior management on IR varied between 45 and 49 a year (2013 to 2019) before the pandemic.
The research, based on responses from more than 800 corporate IR professionals worldwide, finds that it is the CFO who spends the most time on IR – an average of 18 days compared with 14 days for the CEO, with the remaining days taken on by other members of the C-suite.
Senior managers at small-cap companies globally spend the least amount of time on IR at just 33 days. Days spent on IR then climb as cap size rises, to a peak of 42 days on average at mega-cap companies.
Regional IR focus
In North America, senior managers added three more days to their IR schedule over the past year, to reach an average of 38. This ‘represents a recovery toward pre-pandemic levels when the number of days North American senior management teams spent on IR was frequently in the low to mid-40s,’ note researchers.
The region is also notable because it goes against the global grain on cap sizes. In fact, more time is spent on IR by senior management at smaller companies, and the least number of days are dedicated to IR by large-cap senior managers in North America.
In Europe, numbers are largely down across the board, though researchers note that ‘other senior managers’ have spent more time on IR. But the 33-day average is ‘the lowest number of days recorded by our research since 2011,’ write the report authors.
In Asia, where senior management has traditionally spent much more time on IR, CEOs, CFOs and other members of the C-suite averaged 45 days on investor relations across the year. Despite being higher than at peer companies in North America or Europe, this figure still ‘represents a considerable drop from pre-pandemic levels,’ write researchers.
Interestingly, Asian CFOs typically spend the same amount of time on IR as CFOs in other regions while Asian CEOs actually spend less time on IR. ‘Where the difference lies is with the amount of time spent in Asia by other senior management members, who spend more than three times the time spent on average in other regions,’ write the report authors.
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