Direct targeting at StarHub
Investor targeting at large-cap telecoms company StarHub is entirely under the jurisdiction of its two-person IR team. Jeannie Ong, the company’s chief strategic partnership officer and IRO, says there has been little change to that approach in 2016, with the majority of activity around identifying new and desired shareholders carried out by her and Eric Loh, assistant vice president of IR. Though this matches the survey findings, there is more at play at StarHub. ‘We are monitoring Brexit closely to see whether there is any more interest from European funds,’ Ong explains.
Jeannie Ong, StarHub
A focus on changing targeting to match current affairs builds on an approach she has established over the past few years; in 2014, this culminated in targeting funds in the US and Europe that were either former holders of StarHub stock that had since divested or potential new investors that had never heard of the company.
Without the help of the sell side, Ong and her colleagues base their analysis of shareholder targets on peer comparisons and internal data. Though this can be as simple as looking for investors hungry for a growing Asian stock in a competitive market, she also has a preference for finding new names: ‘At present, we are targeting mainly new funds – especially those that appreciate good value stocks and holdings that give a good dividend yield.’
That’s not to say there is no value in the sell side, however. Ong pays special attention to keeping in contact with analysts and using their connections – both are important when meeting more than 300 investors on an annual basis, let alone participating in 30 conferences and roadshows. One of the hallmarks of StarHub’s IR, she explains, is that the team is available nearly around the clock to speak to investors and analysts alike, with a focus on forming long-term relationships on both the buy side and the sell side.
‘The brokers and analysts on the sell side, in many instances, know the market better than we do,’ Ong concedes. ‘The flip side is, of course, that funds prefer to talk to corporate representatives and management directly, so we would still need to handle – or at least follow up on – the targeting ourselves.’