Investor meeting activity falls 8 percent in five years, finds research

Jan 09, 2020
New report from IR Magazine highlights long-term trends in IR activity

The average number of investor meetings held by public companies dropped to 188 in 2019, marking an 8 percent fall since 2015, according to the Global Investor Relations Practice Report 2019.

Based on a survey of more than 900 IR professionals, the report investigates IR practice across a range of areas such as team size, budget, IR outreach and senior management involvement in IR. 

Over the last five years, the number of investor meetings held by companies has drifted downwards: the average stood at 190 in 2017, 192 in 2016 and 204 in 2015, according to data from IR Magazine

Looking at the 2019 findings, European companies continued the long-standing trend of holding the most meetings. ‘European companies held an average of 234 one-on-one meetings with investors in the past year, 46 more than the global norm,’ states the report. 

North American companies, by contrast, held ‘an average of 158 one-on-one meetings with investors over the past year, 30 fewer than the global average and down 22 on the 2017 figure for North American investor meetings,’ explains the report. 

On a global basis, 45 percent of investor meetings included a member of senior management. As might be expected, the number of meetings held increases alongside company size, with small caps holding an average of 97 per year, compared with 316 at mega-caps. 

‘The percentage of meetings involving senior management decreases as cap size increases, from 58 percent among small caps to just 32 percent among mega-cap companies,’ notes the report.

Some investor events have also seen a drop in frequency over the last five years, according to the report. For example, the average number of roadshows last year stood at 6.9, down from 7.7 in 2015.

In comparison to investor meetings, however, roadshow activity has shown less of a consistent downward trend. On a global basis, the number of roadshows conducted by companies fell from 7.7 per year to 7.2 between 2015 and 2016. But it then rose to 7.5 for two years before falling back to 6.9 in 2019. 

Notably, over the last 12 months, European companies report having increased the number of roadshows from 9.6 to 10.3 on average – a finding that may be surprising given the impact of Mifid II on the region’s sell-side firms. 

Some IR teams say Mifid II, which introduced sweeping changes to how research and corporate access are paid for, has made it harder to reach investors and fill roadshow schedules. But others say the regulation has prompted them to take more control over the IR calendar and conduct more IR-led roadshows. 

The full Global Investor Relations Practice Report 2019 is available to IR Advanced and IR Intel subscribers to IR Magazine. Click here to find out more about the report.

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