US and European companies are placing IR team members in Asia – but not for the reason you think.
Yes, Asia’s capital markets are growing in size. But the majority of money managed in Asia is invested in Asia. By focusing more attention on the region, you might up your Asia-based holdings by a few percentage points, but there’s not going to be a dramatic shift.
One IRO I spoke recently says there are two other reasons why his posting to Asia made sense. First, US fund managers who used to stop off in London are now more likely to crop up in Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai.
They are being drawn to the East to see either Asian companies or the Asian operations of US and European issuers. Stationing an IRO in Asia is one way to handle this shift and keep your domestic investor base up to date on what’s going on overseas.
The second reason he gave is that Asia is where his company’s biggest competitive threats are likely to emerge. Ask yourself: where will my main competition be from in 10 years? If the answer is Asia, it could make sense to have an IRO on the ground there, staying close to where the action is and offering strategic advice to management.
These reasons will not make sense for every company. But as the Asia market grows in prominence, it will be a question more and more IR team sit down to consider.
From Inside Investor Relations

Bianca Fersini Mastelloni is Chairman and CEO of Polytems HIR. She is a seasoned consultant in Corporate Communication with extensive experience for over 30 years. Since 1999 she is active in Investor Relations and Financial Communication for companies listed on the major financial markets. Bianca provides strategic IR, corporate access in Italy, Europe, USA, investor’s market intelligence, profiling investors, critical communication and reputation. A scholar of issues pertaining to Communications and Investor Relations. Bianca studied at SUNY – State University of New York, Buffalo and at Boston University, Boston, and she works as lecturer with some Italian University. Bianca is author of the book Investor Relations ed Etica , Efficacia e Vantaggi Competitivi - edited from Guerini e Associati - as of as several articles about Investor Relations and financial communication.

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