IMatheson-bw-100x130AIRA's CEO blog is an update on key industry issues & developments and Association activities for members and other interested industry professionals.


Boards and managers of Australian and NZ-listed companies are likely to be seeing a lot more of giant US investor Vanguard as it piles more funds into our capital markets and deepens its direct engagement in search of better returns. Speaking at a briefing for AIRA members recently in Sydney...

Vanguard’s US-based Investment Stewardship Officer, Glenn Booraem, said he was boosting his proxy voting team and increasing the pool of portfolio companies they engaged directly with each year to seek governance improvements.


 Presenters Vanguard 4 Attendees Vanguard  Presenters Vanguard
L - R Robin Bowerman, Head of Corporate Affairs,
Vanguard Investments Australia; Glenn Booream,
Head of Investment Stewardship, Vanguard Group
Inc; Paul Murphy, Senior Manager, Government
Relations & Industry Policy, Vanguard Investments
Australia; Ian Matheson, CEO, AIRA
   L – R Robin Bowerman, Glenn Booream, Ian Matheson

Kate HowittNavigating the ever-increasing contacts with investor relations can eat away your lunch break on the best of days. Whether it’s roadshows, webcasts, conferences or one-on-ones, making the most out of each communication opportunity has never been more important to you and your C-suite. Why not take a moment to see if you are delivering from a portfolio manager’s point of view?

Guests at AIRA’s 2016 Sydney Cocktail gathering on May 19 were treated to an insightful presentation from Kate Howitt, Portfolio Manager of the Fidelity Australian Opportunities Fund and a former Head of Investor Relations at AMP Limited.

Kate’s unique mix of investor relations and buy-side experience provided key insights on a PM’s thoughts and how to make your IR more effective.

Take a moment, put on your PM hat and enjoy the following; Kate’s Top Tips...

By: Mike Tyrrell, Editor, SRI-CONNECT 

Q1: Introduce us to AIRA and its objectives. What do you hope to achieve in the year ahead?

AIRA was set up about 12 years ago with the objective of advancing awareness of and best practice in IR by listed entities to thereby improve relationships with the investment community. Our activities encompass: Advocacy, Research, Networking and Professional Development. All of these founding objectives are as relevant today as they were 12 years ago although Professional Development is probably our number one priority.

Fund managers speak consistently about the value they place on investor relations (IR). Asked in five separate surveys during the last seven years by US researcher Rivel what the impact on a corporation’s value is of “superb” IR practices, US fund managers said each time it was a premium of 10%. The discount for “poor” IR varies from 12.5% in 2011 to 25% in 2009. The latest survey was published several months ago.

It is axiomatic with share markets that booms are followed by busts. Runaway gains in the capitalisation of mining and resource companies occur in Australia once every decade or so, along with infectious optimism among investors that the outcome this time will be long-lived.

Today’s typical investor relations team in a large Australian or NZ-listed corporation runs a sophisticated communications operation that is critical to the success of the business, its strategies, people and those who invest funds in it. But it’s a role that is rapidly becoming much more complicated thanks to the impact of technology and regulation.