What have been the biggest challenges over the last 12 months from an IR perspective?
The last year presented several challenges from an IR perspective, including wild fires in Alberta that affected our energy and mining activities, managing delays with respect to anticipated government infrastructure investment, and the departure of our CEO [Teri McKibbon] in the fourth quarter.
How did you deal with these?
Through proactive and continuous dialogue with the sell-side analyst community and institutional investors, including additional non-deal roadshows and conference calls with our C-suite as required.
What challenges do you think Canadian small caps face compared with other regional small caps?
The Canadian economy is still linked in large part to fluctuations in commodities (oil, precious metals, and so on) and the Canadian dollar/US dollar exchange rate. Canadian small caps tend to have wider swings in share prices when these factors change.
What do you think has been your greatest achievement as an IR professional at Aecon?
Building a practice and team that has improved Aecon’s place in the IR Magazine Canada IR rankings from 125th in 2015 to 35th in 2016 and ninth in 2017.
What do you see as your company’s greatest IR-related challenge over the next 12 months?
Continuing to improve our IR performance while managing through an eventual CEO transition in a competitive bidding environment across our four sectors [energy, infrastructure, mining and concessions].
What has been the greatest lesson you have learned throughout your IR career?
The importance of consistency of our messaging and delivering quality, time-sensitive information to help the analyst and investor community better understand our story.
What did it mean to you to win the IR Magazine Awards for best IRO (small cap) and best overall investor relations (small cap)?
Winning these awards means a great deal to me and the Aecon team. We set out on a path two years ago to improve our IR practice and bring it up to best-in-class standards – and this recognition demonstrates that our hard work and efforts are paying off.