Strategy & Insight

Research section: Comings and goings in IR

What do IROs do before and after entering the world of investor relations?

‘It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at!’ claimed Ian Brown of British band The Stone Roses. ‘Do you know where you’re going to?’ sang Diana Ross. These themes are commonplace in popular culture; it’s scarcely possible to turn on the TV without hearing some reality show contestant talk about his or her ‘journey’. It was even the title of former UK premier Tony Blair’s autobiography.

And what of the IRO’s journey? Contra to Ian Brown’s dictum, it is interesting for those of us who study investor relations to find out what fields of work current IROs come from. As for the future, seeing what past IROs are doing now and how their time in IR has affected their subsequent work provides some insight into this.

In our latest survey we asked respondents what their job was prior to investor relations. We reviewed the responses and then categorized them into larger fields of work, such as corporate communications or buy side. The results show the extent to which different types of firms appoint people from different backgrounds to conduct their IR.

Our surveys always start with a screening question to ensure all respondents are bona fide IR practitioners. Those who say they no longer work in investor relations are invited to take a shorter survey about their experience in IR and its relationship to their current role. The results of this survey are on page IV of this section, although we would like to point out that former IROs taking this survey in the first place shows an interest in IR that may be above and beyond their current call of duty.

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