Top takeaways from the AIRA annual conference

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.

Ian Matheson, CEO of AIRA
Ian Matheson, CEO of AIRA

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 administration@aira.org.au or +61 2 9872 9100.

Coming AIRA events

20.04.2015 MELBOURNE
Mid-Cap Dinner

28.04.2015 SYDNEY
Mid-Cap Dinner

See more at www.aira.org.au

To the cloud!

IRM critically examined its business support software and infrastructure in 2014, and made the decision to move to cloud-based services for a range of needs. In this IRMatters article, CEO Martin Spry discusses the positive impact the move has had on the business and provides some tips for companies considering making the move.


IRM has moved its servers into the world-class Amazon Web Services, cloud based system

To the cloud!


One of IRM’s key areas of focus is the provision of cloud computing services for its clients. All our client websites are hosted by IRM “in the cloud”, along with our email servers and the content management system that supports the websites.

Why would we not extend that idea and use cloud computing to support our own in-house, day-to-day activities?

The move to cloud computing for a range of services gathered pace in IRM in 2014, as we critically examined the old ways of doing things and found opportunities in the cloud. We implemented the Xero accounting system, Dropbox for Business for file sharing, and Gmail for Business for emails. All these choices replaced equivalent systems that had previously run on our dedicated office servers. Then we reviewed the software we were using for our Customer Relationship Management, and settled on SugarCRM for management of client information, tasks and workflows.

Cloud computing has liberated us from the physical office. We no longer need access to our Microsoft Small Business Server – in fact we’ve turned it off. This reduced (or almost eliminated) the need for the IT people who supported it. Our desktop platform now relates directly to the cloud for all our shared services. With a dedicated 10Mbps link to our office, when we are there, it’s as fast as it was with a local server, and provides a far higher level of redundancy than what we had previously.

When we’re anywhere else, we still have all the same capabilities we have in the office. And our mobile phones provide some level of access as well. Traveling interstate, working from home, meeting with clients in their office or in a coffee shop – we’re always in the office.

We thought a lot about security. With our in-house server, there was physical security issues we had to manage. In the cloud, someone else looks after that. We didn’t check that they do it properly, relying instead on the big brands and their thousands of existing customers. Access security – well, we have our suite of user names and passwords, much as before, and all these systems use secure browsing.

It’s not just the cost reduction and convenience benefit. No more hardware upgrades, hardware outages, windows server updates, software updates. We just get on with the business.Using cloud computing lets us focus on our business while our suppliers focus on theirs, so they continually improve our business and keep us ahead of the curve, without requiring us to be infrastructure experts.