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Investor Relations Department - Who Runs It? (Webinar Attendee Question)

Who is responsible for creating an IR plan . . . CFO, VP Finance, legal, investor relations?

This question was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar "Analytics: The MVP on Your Investor Relations Team" held on January 9, 2013.  Join the discussion and add your insights below.

A video of the webinar can be viewed here: https://www.proformative.com/resources/webinar-video-analytics-mvp-your-investor-relations-team

Answers

Topic Expert
Phyllis Proffer
Title: Owner, Investor Relations Counselor
Company: The Heights Company, LLC
(Owner, Investor Relations Counselor, The Heights Company, LLC) |

Typically, the CFO is responsible for investor relations function and department staffing vary can vary among companies. I have always taken the lead role for IR planning and worked closely with the CFO and CEO to develop the plan. Developing an IR plan usually consumed the first three or four months of my job after joining a new company because it was a great opportunity to learn the company and my new management team while gaining a historical perspective on stock ownership, brokerage research coverage and trading activity. In the absence of an IRO, it would make sense for the CFO to take the lead while working with the CEO to develop an IR plan. The VP of Finance could take the lead as well, but the CFO and CEO must be involved in strategy formulation. It is my experience that involving the business leaders of the company such as the entire executive management team in articulating the investment characteristics and establishing proof points is very helpful.

Topic Expert
Linda Wright
Title: Consultant
Company: Wright Consulting
(Consultant, Wright Consulting) |

Consistent with Phyllis' comments, my experience with big oil and financial services saw the IR function reporting in to the CFO's office. Strong links to the CEO were also important.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Investor relations probably ultimately answers to the CFO however the person in charge of communications to the outside world is most likely a designated spokesperson from the communications department or it could be the person who provides final approval of all management discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the public filings.

If the company is public, pull the 10K or most recent 10Q off their website and find the section either at the end or the beginning that tells you who to contact, there should be both a phone number and an email address and a name.

Best.

Topic Expert
Phyllis Proffer
Title: Owner, Investor Relations Counselor
Company: The Heights Company, LLC
(Owner, Investor Relations Counselor, The Heights Company, LLC) |

Other places to make the contact information more easily accessible to investors include news releases and the company’s investor relations web site. The investor contact as well as the media contact (frequently the company spokesperson) are listed on the company's news releases with telephone numbers and/or email addresses. In addition, most companies list contact information on the investor relations web site such as the investor contact, stock transfer agent, media contact, etc.

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