The Age of Diminished Sell-Side Research

Sell-side research has undergone profound structural changes during the past decade with far-reaching implications affecting the quality of the research and how research is generated, sold and compensated. Decimalization, Regulation FD, unbundling of trading from research and the hedge fund “brain drain” have all negatively impacted sell-side profitability, product quality and small cap coverage in…

Winning the Gunfight at the Proxy Corral – Four Steps to Prepare for Shareholder Activism

The term “shareholder activism” can sometimes send a shiver down your spine and conjure up all kinds of unwelcome events – unhappy shareholders, proxy contests, shareholder proposals, 13D filings and withhold vote campaigns, to name just a few. I recently moderated a NIRI Virtual Chapter webinar on “Shareholder Activism Trends.”  The participants, consisting mainly of IROs…

Getting Ready for the IPO: 10 Investor Relations “To Do” Items Before the Pricing

For months leading up to your S-1 filing, you probably have been singularly focused on creating that massive tome.  You have spent significantly more time with your lawyers and auditors than with your own family — and you cannot even begin to imagine a time when you won’t be spending every waking moment with your…

Think Like a Politician: Use Investor Perception Audits as a Strategic Advantage

In politics, there is an age-old debate as to whether elected leaders should vote according to the wishes of their constituents, or vote their conscience as the people’s representative.   We have seen politicians criticized for using polling too extensively to guide policy (see Bill Clinton) — and not enough (see Barack Obama).  When I worked…

Perfect 10 or Face Plant? IPO Success Hinges on IR Planning

On January 4th, the first business day of the new decade, Dow Jones VentureSource released figures suggesting that 2010 will be a stronger year for IPOs.  They reported that eight companies completed public offerings in 2009, raising $904 million.  This was a 64% increase from the $551 million generated through seven IPOs in 2008. Looking…

Grab the Tiger by the Tail in 2010

Earlier this week I moderated a NIRI webinar with three senior-level investor relations officers representing the finance, real estate and retail industries.  The panelists highlighted some new initiatives that IROs should consider in 2010 which, according to the Chinese calendar, is The Year of the Tiger. This just might have been the world’s only “Tiger”-related…

Board-Shareholder Communications

To whom is the corporation accountable? Before SOX, majority voting, proxy access and “say on pay,” director elections were democratic in name only, and the lines between board and management were blurry at best. Except for the occasional gadfly at an annual meeting, boards rarely communicated with shareholders directly. Today, after nearly a decade of…