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A newly public software company hired Sharon Merrill Advisors to implement a strategic investor relations program to generate support for its equity story and drive investor demand. In the first year following the IPO, the company outperformed its peer group in total shareholder return and earned investor respect for the quality of its communications.

Client Challenge

Prior to the offering, the company lacked an investor relations department and had limited knowledge about how to go about building a post-IPO following. To make the company’s public debut even more difficult, the pandemic’s pent-up demand generated fierce competition for equity capital, as a wave of technology IPOs headlined more than 1,600 new listings during the year.

Macroeconomic weakness began to erode investor confidence in the market six months after the company’s pricing. Stock prices fell as a result of supply shortages, the Ukraine war, a tight labor market, and soaring commodity prices.

The Sharon Merrill Advantage

SMA designed the company’s investor relations function from the ground up, including communications infrastructure, compelling messaging and an advanced investor outreach campaign. To create a strong foundation for the company’s IR function, we developed a process to manage earnings logistics and draft communications; implemented a shareholder reporting format to track investor ownership; and established a system to schedule, coordinate, and track investor touchpoints to lay a solid foundation for the company’s IR function.

To elevate the company’s messaging, we crafted vision, mission, and investment thesis statements, as well as a short description of what the company “makes possible.” The investor presentation and IR website were then updated to reflect the evolving narrative and generate excitement for the story. Finally, in order to pique the interest of investors, we incorporated storytelling and thought leadership elements into quarterly earnings communications.

We identified high-value investors and then secured management meetings with those targets to build demand for the company’s stock. We also engaged with sell-side research analysts on a regular basis, offering conference participation and non-deal roadshows to support coverage. Finally, we routinely gathered analyst and investor feedback to better understand sentiment and key points of interest, as well as to adjust the narrative.

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Group of people in business meeting shaking hands


Investors were impressed with the company’s IR efforts. A year after the IPO, 100% of investors who participated in a perception study rated its communications as “effective” or “very effective.” The study demonstrated further support for the company’s strategy. Its investor outreach strategy was a huge success as well.

Through extensive targeting and participation in eight conferences and seven non-deal roadshows, management had 430 investor interactions. As a result, the company’s shareholder base increased by 42%, and its stock price outperformed its peer group.