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Jul 12, 2021

Four in 10 IROs changed targeting strategy due to Covid-19, study finds

IR professionals find they’re less bound by geography when reaching out to target investors

Many IR professionals have changed their approach to investor targeting since the onset of the pandemic, according to new research from IR Magazine.

More than four in 10 IROs (41 percent) have changed their targeting strategy since March 2020, finds IR Magazine’s latest Covid-19 Update research report, which is based on more than 250 responses.

IR teams were asked the same question last summer and, at the time, roughly one third said they had changed their targeting strategy as a result of the pandemic – suggesting that more IR professionals have been thinking differently about their targeting strategy as the pandemic has continued to stifle work-related travel.

Increased flexibility

The most common reason cited this year for changes to targeting strategy revolve around the greater flexibility afforded by removing the confines of geography from investor targeting. By moving to virtual meetings and engagement, some IR teams have changed the structure and priority of the roadshows they’ve participated in and meetings they’ve taken.

‘We are able to hold virtual days that are not regionally focused and therefore get larger participation,’ says one respondent from Europe.

Another respondent, from North America, says: ‘Geography doesn’t matter as all meetings are virtual. [It’s] much easier to organize meetings when no travel is required. Just need to match up calendars to find a common hour for a one on one.’

These comments mirror the views of speakers at the recent IR Magazine Forum – US 2021, who talked about expanding their overseas targeting efforts during Covid-19. One speaker noted that time zones pose a challenge, but spreading a virtual roadshow across a week – with two or three hours of meetings each day – meant the company has been able to meet with its main targets across different regions.

According to IR Magazine’s research, this change in approach to investor targeting has made it harder for some IR teams to get time on the calendars with high-profile or high-quality investors. One respondent notes that he has adjusted his online materials to better articulate the story, as part of his shift in targeting strategy.

Regional and cap size differences

In North America (47 percent) and Asia (48 percent), almost half of respondents say they have changed their targeting strategy, while only one third (33 percent) of European IR professionals say they have done so.

It’s more common for IR professionals at large and mega-cap companies to say they have adjusted their targeting strategy than small and mid-cap IR professionals.

Click here to view the Covid-19 Update report and here to visit IR Magazine’s library of research reports.

Ben Ashwell

Ben Ashwell was the editor at IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary , covering investor relations, governance, risk and compliance. Prior to this, he was the founder and editor of Executive Talent , the global quarterly magazine from the Association of...