IR teams have a great opportunity to tell their company’s story with conviction as investors focus more on fundamentals, said Matt DeBerry, IR manager at FedEx, who was speaking to IR Magazine at the NIRI 2023 Annual Conference.
DeBerry said the ‘headwinds we’re seeing in the global economy’ have reiterated ‘the importance of being able to tell your story with more conviction, particularly as investors move more from growth into value.’
Companies need to communicate their message ‘more compellingly’ and really explain the headwinds, tailwinds and fundamental drivers of the business, he said: ‘That’s always been important, but it’s even more important now.’
A big part of that story is explaining FedEx’s cost-cutting plans, added DeBerry. The issuer announced in April plans to consolidate different delivery companies into a single organization and achieve $4 bn in savings.
‘We’re going through a large transformation now,’ DeBerry said. ‘Internally, there’s a lot of wood for us to chop. But I think for us, as IR professionals, it’s an incredible opportunity to tell the story we have. It’s something a lot of investors have called for, for a long time. So it makes my job fun to be able to tell an exciting story.’
Back on the road
DeBerry also discussed the return to in-person meetings and events following the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Certainly during the pandemic, we had to stop traveling, everything went virtual, so now we’re really starting to ramp up [and] get back on the road more,’ he said.
While there will always be a component of engagement that is virtual, he said investors have made their preference clear for in-person meetings, so the delivery business is getting back into the rhythm of heading out for conferences and roadshows on a regular basis.
‘We have a new CEO who came in last June,’ added DeBerry. ‘So we really seek to get him out on the road and give him as much exposure as possible. Our plan into 2024 is continuing to tell a good story to as many people as possible, and be the road even more than we have been.’