Do investors understand your story? Companies must be fully understood to be fully valued.

As an IRO you are constantly talking to investors, but how do you know you are talking to the right ones?  At the end of the day you want to make sure you are deploying your IR department’s resources against the most impactful outreach efforts.  To start to answer that question it is important to understand…

·     Who owns your stock today

·     Why do they own it

·     And if you target new investors, how do you find the investors that will be receptive to your story.

Targeting is proactive outreach process to ensure you are in touch with appropriate compatible investors to initiate or build a position in one’s stock. It also allows one to manage inbound requests for conferences and meetings to ensure you are making the best use of the IRO’s and management’s time. Surveillance also helps the issuer answer the question of why investors are buying or selling the stock in order to identify others who may be interested in initiating positions, or to identify other potential sellers. Surveillance helps identify holders and helps the issuer understand the regulatory framework and disclosure requirements in other countries.

Targeting should be a fluid process, so that potential investors are fully informed of the company’s investment story at all times. This gives the investor the ability to act at any point to make an informed buying/selling decision on the company.

Today, savvy investor relations professionals know that their shareholders are based all over the planet, which means every IRO needs to develop a global perspective on all things IR.

Understanding the drivers of investment behaviour is a major challenge – especially when public companies seek to broaden share ownership in countries outside of their domestic equity markets. How does a company build the essential knowledge base of money managers, their investment guidelines and information gathering preferences that can then serve as the foundation for the success of future investor communications? How does a company overcome unique differences that make the equity markets at times seem complicated and resistant to communications strategies that may work domestically? Insight is the answer … insight that is uncovered through careful questioning, sharp analyses and thoughtful communications planning based on implications identified by this process.

A perception study is an invaluable path to this kind of intelligence and can be advantageously used by companies to gain the expertise necessary to achieve better access into complex and robust equity markets. It is a time-tested tool (proven over the decades by both consumer marketers and political strategists) which helps build the compelling insights companies need to distinguish themselves and their investment appeals from a host of competing investment alternatives available to the portfolio manager. 

Significantly, the need for perception study insight has become stronger in light of the dramatic and accelerating change which has transformed the investment to name just a few. What does this mean for companies? How should they finetune their investor communications (strategies, messages, tactics) to ensure that they have maximum  impact? How compelling are “offshore” investment opportunities to domestic and international  investors given these critical events?  Survey research helps provide reliable answers to such problematic issues and questions.

Perception studies among the investment community provide the context within which investor relations professionals can make informed strategic decisions. The primary goal is to develop the kind of timely, actionable insight that companies need to keep pace with today’s fluid environment for investor communications, identify opportunities and help ensure that their investment appeals are better appreciated, indeed resonate, among  investment professionals.



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.