Studies on the perceptions of investors are among the most important tools of the investor relations (IR) profession. They look closely at investor and analyst sentiment to develop and refine communications plans, set IR strategy and grow their shareholder bases.
In IR, as in public relations, it’s the target market’s voice that matters most, and the purpose of the profession is to listen.
So, what happens when IR pros get to speak?
That’s what you’ll find out in The IRO Perception Study
, the latest report from IR Insight, the research arm of IR
magazine. We surveyed more than 1,200 corporate IR professionals around the world, giving them the chance to share their perception of institutional investors and equity analysts.
Here are the top insights from The IRO Perception Study:
1. Everyone wants the CEO.
Our survey respondents indicated that the quality of senior management is what’s most important to the analysts and investors with whom they deal. Who wants to talk to the IR officer? Everyone wants senior management, of course.
2. The truth about the sell side.
Even when protected by anonymity, corporate IR professionals are cautious when talking about the sell side. They were “lukewarm” about the analysts: More than two thirds said they have no strong feelings about them—either positive or negative. The chief criticisms the IR community has about sell-side analysts is that they are unengaged or inactive, spread too thin, and too focused on the short term.
3. Big companies can be choosy.
At organizations with large- and mega-capitalizations, IR officers have to be selective when dealing with analysts. After all, the average large capitalization is covered by 22.3 of them, with the average mega-cap covered by 28.1 analysts. According to IR officers, the preferred analysts come from firms with more reach, helping the IR officers market to institutional investors.
4. And the best analyst firm is …
well, it’s actually two of them, according to the global IR community: Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. The top three investors are Fidelity, Capital Group and T. Rowe Price.
You can download the full report free from Inside Investor Relations
Tom Johansmeyer is group marketing director of Cross Border, which publishes IR magazine, Corporate Secretary and Inside IPO.