1. Money makes a difference. This isn’t one of the surprises. Larger IR teams tend to have larger IR budgets. If you’re going to invest in people, you need to give them the tools to communicate with shareholders, right? What is interesting, though, is that budget doesn’t determine size: Among cash-rich IR departments that can be thin on headcount.
2. The shareholder base. Companies with diverse bases of shareholders (for example, institutional versus retail) invest in IR, both with people and budget. The opportunities that come with shareholder diversity, therefore, require the financial resources to reach out to it effectively.
3. You can buy love. The two prime determinants of respect in the IR community: team size and team budget. Another way to look at this, quite simply, is that in IR, it is possible to invest for results.
4. No one emerging market. There are differences among emerging markets, even if, on the whole, they are highly committed to shareholder communications. Brazil, for example, emphasizes financial investment in IR. Chinese companies, on the other hand, tend toward larger team sizes and lower budgets.