Regional Insight: Spain

July 8, 2019

As an international business, the Carter Murray IR team based in London work on Investor Relations jobs in the UK, continental Europe, the US, Australasia, the Far East, and the Middle East.

One region often viewed as the star performer for Investor Relations is Spain. The IR Magazine identified that Spanish companies are the most active in Europe for Investor Relations jobs. Despite there being a much smaller number of corporates listed in Spain compared to the UK, corporates in Spain are said to have gone through a lot more in terms of macro events and general crises, on the whole. This is often cited as the reason for the experience and high quality of the Investor Relations teams in the region. Spain has suffered two financial crises, a bubble in the RE sector, problems due to public deficit and pensions, political uncertainty and general scrutiny of its government policies. Spain has also had a large amount of M&A activity in recent years, with a number of companies being acquired by larger groups and delisting as a result, which has added additional pressures to the Investor Relations teams.

These issues has meant that business-as-usual Investor Relations hasn’t existed for corporates listed on the IBEX. Instead, Investor Relations teams have had to roll out incredibly active and engaging programmes in order to maintain stability and to gain diversification with their shareholder base.

Furthermore, due to MiFID II, Spanish Investor Relations teams have also witnessed an increasing number of investors contacting  them directly rather than through brokers, which has added uncertainties to local and independent houses. This also has significant implications for the Investor Relations teams of small/mid-caps, as some illiquid companies which are not actively covered by large banks or an adequate amount of analysts are now being asked to pay for research.

Encouragingly, even though this has not been the case historically, Spanish management teams (particularly second generations of owning families) are now very much aware of the critical importance of the Investor Relations function within a company, particularly to secure a stable shareholder base that allows for smooth transitions and future sustainability of the business. As a result, we have noticed that Spanish corporates are now more open to allocating additional resources to Investor Relations departments and even to increasing team size.