As part of the 2019 MEIRA Practitioners Report produced in conjunction with Carter Murray, several interviews with leading Investor Relations leaders were conducted. Below is an extract from the interview with Gary Davies, General Manager UK IR Society. To access the full report, please complete the form below.
What defines good IR for you?
For IR to be great, there absolutely has to be support and commitment from the top management team and an understanding and appreciation that IR does not just communicate the internal messages outward, but also brings back into the organisation important information on how the market is viewing the company and its management.
For this to be constructive, a high level of trust and respect needs to be developed between the IRO and the management team. IROs therefore need to be credible with internal audiences as well as be an authoritative and capable spokesperson for the company with investors and analysts.
How do you think IR in the UK differs from other regions?
As the profession is now long established in the UK, it has evolved from being the ‘bag carrier’ for management to having a respected role as a spokesperson for the organisation that can clearly present the strategy and views of management. This is not unique to the UK, but I believe that this evolution is further along than in many markets.
What are the key skills that you believe are required in strong IROs?
Excellent communication skills, both written and orally – good IROs should be good story-tellers – and an authority and gravitas to be able to substitute for management where appropriate and necessary in meetings with buy-side and sell-side. Hand-in-hand with this needs to be discretion and an understanding of what can and cannot be communicated externally.
What can companies in other countries learn from IR within the UK?
The IR Society has a full and active programme of training, events and qualifications that are open to members of sister organisations that may not currently be at the stage of their development where they can provide these themselves locally. We have a long history of international collaborations and are always keen to add to this family.
To read the full interview, download the 2019 MEIRA Practitioners report.