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Nov 28, 2018

Opinion: New strategic plan aligns NIRI with the future of IR

Gary LaBranche, president and CEO of NIRI, outlines the association’s vision for the future

Over the course of the past year, NIRI leaders engaged in conversations with chapter leaders and members, and scanned the environment to work out where things are and where they are going. The result is a new plan that will help NIRI serve the profession and members.

For nearly 50 years, NIRI has worked to advance the professional practice of investor relations and enhance the credibility and prestige of practitioners. This foundation won’t change, but our world has and, as IR evolves, it is incumbent on our organization to adjust and adapt. That is especially true in times of transformation – such as the one now under way in investor relations.

The new plan recognizes that NIRI must play a greater leadership role when it comes to championing and facilitating constructive capital markets engagement. This gives rise to a new mission statement: ‘Through its collaborative community, NIRI advances engagement in the capital markets and drives best practices in corporate disclosures, governance and informed investing.’

The new plan, which can be found on the NIRI website, includes the following long-term vision, which paints a picture of where we will be several years from now: ‘NIRI has made considerable progress in representing the entire capital markets and informed investing global community. NIRI’s influential voice is sought after for important discussions on regulations impacting capital markets and the continued evolution of investor relations. Investor relations has continued to evolve through NIRI’s leadership, resulting in greater transparency and confidence in capital markets. The association is valued as an indispensable source of information, education and training on corporate governance, capital markets and informed investing. NIRI members share best practices to create an environment of collaboration, innovation and continued growth. The IRC [credential] has grown in prestige and is preferred in the hiring of IR professionals. Members agree NIRI is essential to advancing their career success.’

The new strategy, true to our founding principles, is propelled by the idea that investor relations is not a solo activity. Rather, it is an interdisciplinary team effort led by an investor relations professional, and including other C-suite executives, boards and investors, as well as the service providers that supply vital resources and support. The plan calls for NIRI to embrace and serve this ‘IR ecosystem’. It recognizes that investor relations is also practiced at non-public companies, including private equity, real estate investment trusts and others.

Achieving this vision will require NIRI to be more innovative and creative, and demands a more inclusive and welcoming environment for anyone interested in or related to investor relations. New initiatives include an annual thought-leadership conference in New York called the Investor & Issuer Idea Exchange, which is scheduled for March 19, 2019 at Baruch College. New online courseware, with 10 individual modules based on the IR Body of Knowledge, will debut in 2019 as the IR Competency Suite. And a greater focus on advocacy will strengthen NIRI’s role as the voice of investor relations in Washington, DC.

NIRI stands shoulder to shoulder with the global IR community to work in collaboration to achieve a better, brighter future for the professional practice of IR.

This article was published in the winter 2018 issue of IR Magazine the 30th anniversary issue of IR Magazine