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Oct 03, 2022

Top tips for direct engagement: Work with brokers to think outside the box

‘Ultimately, it’s on you to deliver the story when given the opportunity’

‘Cold-calling portfolio managers is tough,’ observes Kim MacEachern, formerly of DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Better, she’s found, is gathering the initial intelligence and then partnering with brokers that have their own networks for reaching out to prospects in what she’s dubbed a ‘hybrid’ approach to engagement.

This article is an extract from the recently published Best Practice Report: Nine top tips for direct engagement, sponsored by ACCNITE. Click here to download your copy now for information on how the buy side is changing, how the role of IR is evolving, how you can customize your ‘elevator pitch’, and much more.

MacEachern recently began approaching brokers, telling them she plans to contact certain portfolio managers and would appreciate them reaching out, too. ‘For them, being given information and told, These individuals have a high likelihood of being interested in our story, could you go out and chase them? That was really well received,’ she says.

In another twist, MacEachern found that current investors can help IR broaden its broker network. Through conversations with one of her European, impact-oriented investors, she was introduced to a broker with a knack for securing meetings in the impact-investing space.

During Covid, that broker assembled a non-deal roadshow for DIRTT in Europe and ‘we presented our story and got exposure to a dozen great, high-quality names,’ she recalls. ‘Ultimately, it’s on you to deliver the story when given the opportunity. Especially when you have a good story to tell, the Street’s always interested.’

Gather feedback

Unlike with traditional sales, where a customer either buys a new outfit or leaves the department store empty-handed, investor relations meetings can be something of a black box. The chemistry may be great, but too often the IRO hears nothing afterwards.

In the heyday of broker-organized meetings, investors tended to resist opening up to brokers about their honest impressions of a company. Even when they did, brokers were often reluctant to deliver bad news to IROs and sometimes softened the blow or avoided the topic altogether. As IROs and investors begin to engage directly, feedback has improved thanks to the openness of the dialogue and the lack of intermediaries.

What’s more, some IR technology solutions have embedded feedback functions as a routine part of the communications loop. With features that automatically request feedback, IROs have a better sense of where they stand. Remember, even negative feedback presents an opportunity to hone an investment pitch.

Click to read Best Practice Report - Nine top tips for direct engagement

Staff Writers

The staff writers on IR magazine are from our team of highly experienced journalists.