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Dec 30, 2022

Senior management involvement in IR rises to pre-pandemic levels

CFOs spending four more days on IR year on year

The amount of time spent by senior management on IR has returned to the level seen before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest research from IR Magazine.

The IR Magazine Global Practice Report 2022 shows the average amount of time spent on IR by senior management teams is currently 44 days, one day fewer than in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic hit.

In 2020 and 2021, senior management typically dropped six days’ focus on IR, with an average of 39 days spent on investor relations each year. Returning to 44 days spent on IR this year matches the historical average amount of time spent on IR by senior management since the first Global Practice Report in 2011.

The recovery is largely down to the activity of CFOs, who have increased the time they spend on IR by four days this year. More than half the amount of time spent by senior managers on IR is down to the CFO, accounting for 23 of the 44 days spent. CEOs spend an average of 15 days on IR with the remaining six days spent by other senior management members.

Regional breakdown

The global resurgence in senior management IR time is led by European companies. Historically, European senior managers have spent the least amount of time on IR compared with other regions. While this is still the case, they now spend 43 days on IR, one day fewer than in North America and a record for European senior management.

Asian senior managers spend the most time on IR, with an average of 49 days spent in total. But while this is an increase on the past two years, it is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels when Asian IROs frequently recorded their senior management spending more than 60 days on IR in a year.

Cap size and reporting lines

The amount of time spent by senior management on IR is fairly consistent across companies of all sizes, varying between an average of 46 days spent by senior management at large-cap companies and 42 days spent by mid-cap senior managers. At every cap size it is the CFO who leads IR engagement.

This is reflected in the reporting structure for IR teams, also featured in the IR Magazine Global Practice Report. Globally, more than seven in 10 IR teams report directly to their CFO, while one in five reports straight to the CEO. Every region and company size has a majority of IR teams reporting to the CFO, particularly among larger companies, where 86 percent of large-cap IR teams do so.

The full IR Magazine Global Practice Report is available to Advanced subscribers to IR Magazine, while a global overview of the report is available to Essentials subscribers.