IR Bulletin – IR and Corporate Culture – Frankfurt IR Breakfast with Citi and Fidelio

January 2016 Liveblogs

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Fidelio Partners and Citi Depositary Receipt Services co-hosted an IR Roundtable Breakfast in Frankfurt before Christmas. This was the third in a pan-European roadshow of breakfasts across European finance centres. The breakfast, titled: “The IRO is a Strategic Advisor to the Board – True or False”, was attended by leading German IR Directors who shared their views on the value the IR function brings. The discussion was moderated by Gillian Karran-Cumberlege, founder of Fidelio Partners, who enjoyed a successful career in IR with Dresdner Bank, UBS and Volkswagen. Despite the very miserable December morning, we had a combined market cap exceeding €40bln around the table from a range of sectors, with DIRK, the Association of Investor Relations in Germany, also represented. 

Fidelio is a leading Board Development and Executive Search company with a deep expertise in IR senior roles. As we conduct searches for senior IR Directors and also Board Directors, we are frequently addressing the question: what does best practice IR look like and how is IR evolving? What should the Board look for in an IR Director and what should the Board expect from IR?

The discussion was highly constructive – acknowledging that the IR role varies across different markets and making some refreshing points on how IR can increase its relevance for the Board. Some of the highlights included:

The Frankfurt event was the third in the series of Strategic IR roadshows co-hosted by Fidelio and Citi Depositary Receipts and followed on from those held in London and Paris earlier this year.

At the London breakfast, it was recognised that whether the IRO was a strategic advisor to the Board depends on both the Boardroom personalities and the company’s stage of development. It was argued formal participation at Board Meetings was of secondary importance to a strong professional relationship with the Board and in particular the Chairman. The main value of IR was seen to be the ability to engage with capital markets in a more professional and responsive manner, which in itself creates opportunity.

The Paris breakfast was very reflective of the outcome of the London breakfast but with a greater focus on governance and proxy solicitation issues which were clearly uppermost of the IR agenda.

The focus of the Frankfurt IR breakfast on culture is an important development. Regulators and Boards are giving considerable thought to the question of ensuring a healthy and vibrant corporate culture. If IR can make a significant contribution here, it will certainly strengthen the standing of IR in the eyes of the Board. And importantly by strengthening the culture, IR is also underpinning valuation.

FIDELIO UPCOMING IR EVENTS

          For more information on the events above, please contact Luke Main

About Fidelio Partners

Fidelio is a Board Development and Executive Search consultancy. We have a deep understanding of shareholders, stakeholders and valuation which underpins our Executive Search Practice. Our clients benefit from Fidelio’s functional expertise in Governance, Finance, Strategy and Communication and our ability to source diverse world-class talent across these functions. Fidelio has an outstanding capability in IR Executive Search. Fidelio operates internationally from London and our talented, highly qualified in-house research capability includes fluent German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

www.fideliopartners.com          TEL: +44 (0)20 7759 2200          info@fideliopartners.com

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