Following a series of activist investors showing interest in UK and EU listed companies, now more than ever it is time for Boards to review how they interface with the market and ensure that the appropriate equity story is given to investors.
Fidelio is a leading Executive Search Consultancy with a deep expertise in senior IR roles. We also have an innovative and fast-growing Board Practice. As we conduct searches for senior IR Directors and also Board Directors, we are always addressing the question what does best practice IR look like and how is IR evolving? What should the Board look for in an IR Director and what should the Board expect from IR?
Fidelio Partners, therefore, is delighted to present “Plea for Strategic IR”. Written jointly with CNC Communications and Network Consulting, this paper examines the role of the Strategic IRO. The questions we address include:
- Why is strategic IR important in today’s marketplace?
- What are the obstacles to IR as a strategic function?
- What does a strategic IRO look like?
We argue for viewing IR as much more than a corporate mouthpiece to investors. More strategic IR opens two-way channels for communication and enables the Board to be sensitive to the market’s perception of the company. It allows for more effective communication in times of crisis and in this way adds measurable value to the share-price. Arising from this assessment, we offer a potential profile for the Strategic IRO: this combines heavy-duty valuation skills with the ability to craft and develop a compelling equity story; the scope to influence both inwards and outwards with a mature understanding of the IR function.
In conclusion, we see great potential for the IR role and the profession’s ability to have an impact at the top table and make a demonstrable strategic contribution. This requires however very specific talent. In addition, colleagues and investors must be convinced. The IR profession as a whole must be confident in articulating the value of IR.