Top takeaways from the AIRA annual conference

Posted in IR Thoughts

In late 2014, IRM attended the annual conference for the preeminent industry body for investor relations in Australia – the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA.) Here, AIRA CEO, Ian Matheson summarises the key takeaways from the conference that IR people should know.

Following the 2014 annual AIRA conference, Ian Matheson summarised the top nine takeaway tips that IR professionals should be aware of.  We were particularly interested to think about the ones that affect the way IRM tries to assist with online investor communications.  Thanks to Ian for allowing us to share four of his nine tips below:

1. IR on the road

Management cannot do every roadshow. It is perfectly acceptable for IROs to present at roadshows. Some companies take the approach of always putting IR out first to deal with tyre-kickers and to give the initial 101 briefing to new investors and then bring in the management team the next time.

IRM idea: Ahead of the roadshow, lodge the investor presentation and make it available on the website. When following up, send the link to the presentation and let your investor contacts know they have been added to your email alerts list.

2. DIY roadshows

Expect to spend more time organising roadshows. “The next decade we will spend more time directly interfacing with offshore investors and building our own roadshows,” predicted one IR specialist.

This is being driven by recent regulatory changes in the UK that stop brokers from claiming back the cost of corporate access within research fees. This means that IR teams are taking on more of the burden of arranging roadshows.

Companies can hire third parties to organise roadshows—this was noted as a potential business opportunity—although this can cost between $2000 to $7000 a day. Another option is to go to the larger international industry conferences and speak with investors there.

IRM idea: Did you know that you can build your potential roadshow contact lists in an IRM Newsroom custom list, and use the Newsroom invitation capability to invite investors to your roadshow?

3. Shareholder activism is on the horizon

Most shareholder activism is located in the USA, however IR teams should expect it to arrive in the local market. Activist shareholders are estimated to control US$200bn of assets and are willing to take on the largest companies in the world. In addition, institutional investors—that used to view them as a pest — are now willing to collaborate with them.

The best way to head off shareholder activism is to know your shareholders and understand that activists only succeed with the tacit support of long-term shareholders.

IRM idea: Build defences through regular targeted communication to long term shareholders by regularly and personally updating them immediately as announcements are made. IRM Newsroom reaches your contacts by email or through social media.

4. Super-sized super funds

Super funds will keep getting larger and more influential. On the institutional side the larger super funds are building up their own corporate access facilities. Meanwhile SMSFs now make up one-third of all super assets, own 16 per cent of the local equity market and have a particular thirst for yield. These funds are fragmented and potentially difficult to engage with.

IRM idea: Super fund managers are not glued to a Reuters terminal to get the news when professional investors receive it. Embrace this group by capturing their communication preference, then using targeted alerts to send them your news, away from the whole market clutter, and immediately it is relevant to them.

Read the full version of this article

We’ve included here four of Ian’s nine key takeaways from the conference, which came from an original article written for AIRA members.

To access the full article, as well as videos of the conference presentations from which these tips were derived, contact Melissa Wheeler at AIRA, via or +61 2 9872 9100.