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Apr 11, 2022

Last word: Space – The final IR frontier

How to boldly explore off-world enterprises

We’re all sick of hearing it, but there is no denying that the pandemic has widened the landscape for how we all work, socialize and play. And the job of an IR professional is not exempt from this broadening horizon.

But what if the additional global reach of – for example – online earnings calls, virtual events or hybrid working practices was only the beginning of this revolution? What if the scope of the capital markets was ready for another, more galactic expansion in the next few years? What if the likes of Elon Musk and Richard Branson are correct, and space is the next frontier not only for humankind, but also for IR-kind?

What’s more, with the creation of a new office within the Pentagon tasked with identifying Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), it’s clear regulators are not convinced we are the only ones who will be out there. Maybe, just maybe, there are untapped markets beyond our solar system…

With all that in mind, here is IR Magazine’s concise run-down of the potential top trends that could take your investor communications program interstellar.

Recognizing UAP risk

If the truth is out there, then companies may need to start accounting for and reporting on it. US officials have already admitted that UAPs – more commonly known as UFOs – are a real phenomenon and remain inexplicable to the country’s hyper-advanced military.

We all know the risk they pose to rural livestock, but what about that posed to the markets? While many doom-mongers have predicted a collapse in the world economy if aliens appear with hyper-advanced technology, be aware of the potential upside, too: who knows whether your company strategy might benefit from a sudden proliferation of teleporters, tractor beams or even death rays?

Space funds

By the same token, some enterprising fund managers are already designing vehicles to invest in companies that will shortly be looking to the skies, such as the Procure Space ETF, managed by ProcureAM.

Though many are heavily backing the likes of SpaceX or Virgin Galactic, there may still be opportunities to reach new investors by convincing them that your firm’s goods or services are just as applicable in space as they are on Earth.

Bear in mind that – thus far – the returns have been less than stellar: the Procure Space ETF gained just 6 percent in 2021, compared with the S&P 500’s 28 percent jump.

Out-of-this-world investor targeting

How many ‘dark pools’ of investment might be lurking outside of our solar system, or beyond the confines of a black hole? We may never know, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to access this unknown capital.

Where the Voyager probe carried a sample of Earth’s finest cultural artefacts on board, you may consider creating a Golden Record of your very own to be launched into the heavens – only instead of the Beatles and Beethoven, it can feature your investor prospectus or annual report.

Corporate access invitations

Perhaps, if spacecraft are not something you have immediate access to, designing a corporate access event for extraterrestrial investors might be a more appropriate use of your time.

After all, given estimates that even our own solar system’s asteroid belt contains around $700 quintillion worth of resources, off-Earth investors are likely to have access to some pretty serious capital.

Reaching out across the cosmos can be a daunting task, but getting the right mix of investors to attend your reverse roadshow requires new techniques: some North American firms are turning to innovative field-based invitations to bring in visitors in their droves, pressing down crops in geometric patterns to entice out-of-town visitors.

Reaching out across the cosmos can be a daunting task, but getting the right mix of investors to attend your reverse roadshow requires new techniques: some North American firms are turning to innovative field-based invitations to bring in visitors in their droves, pressing down crops in geometric patterns to entice out-of-town visitors.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of IR Magazine

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