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Jul 06, 2022

IR Magazine Think Tank – Europe: How to engage with shareholders during inflation and supply-chain disruption

IR experts share insights at latest in-person think tank in London

IR professionals should stay close to their management teams and what is happening on the ‘shop floor’ to quickly respond to questions from investors and analysts. ‘Be loud, clear and constant in messaging’ is the advice attendees heard at the latest IR Magazine Think Tank – Europe.

IROs should also consider how to do things differently to enhance understanding in the market and challenge the norms. Anticipate messaging and have a Plan B for worst-case scenarios. ‘The world as we knew it in February 2020 is not coming back,’ a panelist warned.

Senior IROs at the invitation-only think tank in London heard how companies across Europe are dealing with shock factors and reverberations from the war in Ukraine while recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

More pressure is expected on oil and gas supplies in the winter months and an economic recession is predicted for the fourth quarter of 2022. Companies recognized the need to restructure supply chains, adjust prices, drive efficiencies and seek opportunities for automation, as well as closely monitor how consumers respond to inflation and change their buying habits accordingly.

‘Strike the right balance’

In turn, IROs have to facilitate communications and support between management and teams in times of crisis, attendees heard. Transparency in messaging and reporting from IROs has been key, as has offering reassurance about the strengths of the business, what it is facing and what it is doing to manage circumstances.

Attendees heard about the importance of giving investors a timeframe for when they will receive market guidance. One company representative said she had set her firm’s for H1 in September.

‘Keep a rhythm to the communications but strike the right balance between information and message,’ other IROs said. ‘Be open and available while recognizing there is no need to labor points for busy investors.’

IR Magazine returns to Palo Alto, California for its next Think Tank – West Coast II on September 16. Requests for invitations to attend are now open.

James Beech

James Beech joined IR Media Group as editor-in-chief of IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary in January 2022. He was a multimedia journalist, editor, client relationship manager, awards host and public speaker at Campden Wealth, for and about the...