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The Art of the Virtual Non-deal Roadshow

By Polly Pearson, Senior Vice President

5 Ways to Enhance Your Virtual Presence with Institutional Investors

Virtual NDR Image

In the coming quarter (and possibly quarters), the inability of your management team to travel during the pandemic should not derail your pending investor meetings and non-deal roadshow plans.  Virtual non-deal roadshows offer an easy, high-ROI means of positioning your company with receptive institutional investors. In fact, this is a real-time need. Active investors are in the market looking for stories and opportunities while market volatility is still offering favorable valuations. Help them help you. Consider putting your company out there to offer virtual (on-line), face-to-face investor meetings to best connect active investors with your refreshed story. With virtual meetings, both sides of the interaction are guaranteed to be more engaged in what is said. Use this moment of attention to build deeper and “real” relationships with existing and prospective investors to introduce your refreshed story. Virtually.

Following are five tips to help you conduct virtual one-on-one investor meetings and NDRs.

1) Be a unique asset to investors at a time when they are thirsty for insight. Every story is now new. The markets have changed. Your company is changing. This is your time to take the lead and deepen market understanding of what your company believes to be important strategic markers for this new era.

Where to begin? Consider your ownership today and how it could be expanded. Think of potential new investors -- especially those who may have found your shares too expensive in the past. Think of ESG investors – do they know your story and how your Social programs or Governance attributes are working in this climate? Think of your existing investors – how can you make their job of covering your company and others in this emerging era easier?

2) Use a virtual, secure platform to reduce scheduling legwork.Streamline the process of planning, organizing and hosting these value-add meetings by using a virtual scheduling and video platform. The right platform is secure and enables attendees to select or update their preferred meeting times, eliminating the need to keep track of multiple email exchanges or constantly rearranging schedules. And remember that you do not need to schedule full days of meetings for every non-deal roadshow. When you’re virtual, you can take advantage of small openings in management’s calendars to reach as many investors as possible.

3) Feature other members of the senior leadership team whose perspective can help the financial markets better understand your company and that of your industry in this new, change-filled economic era. With the cost and time advantages of virtual meetings, leverage the opportunity to feature members of the senior executive team in addition to the CEO and CFO. Which executives could be helpful to ESG-oriented investors, as an example, to better understand your strategy? Your heads of R&D (sustainable products) and HR (culture/engagement/remote work, future of work) could be beneficial. Consider which aspects of your company you would like to have the narrative further understood, and what type of questions you are getting from investors. Start at this intersection.

4) Weave regular, publicly accessible webcasts into the fabric of your IR Program in 2020. In times of change, communication and transparency need to be greater. In addition to non-deal roadshows, consider hosting weekly publicly available video webcasts or video clips that focus on key topics of investor interest. For example, you could feature an aspect of operations, sales or product development.  

5) Prepare your executives. Of course, executives who haven’t “been on the road” with investors before will need training on messaging and Reg FD considerations. Holding professional virtual meetings can be easy, as long as management is prepared for the additional nuances such as smooth screen sharing, eye contact, body language, aligning with the IRO on messaging when in differing locations, and more. See our blog on virtual meeting preparation. This can be a great value-add moment for your IR program. Executives often are the over-looked, under-served employee category when it comes to formal training. You can help make them shine, and they’ll remember you for it.

With every story being new or greatly altered now, IROs can rapidly and uniquely help investors in today’s market. Sharon Merrill counsels IROs on virtual non-deal roadshow strategy; access to a secure, video-based scheduling and meeting platform; and virtual meeting presentation coaching. Contact us to discuss how we can help.

Polly Pearson is Senior Vice President of Sharon Merrill. Polly has a track record of advising CEOs for more than 25 years while blazing trails in building market and brand value for the companies she represents.  Her work is rooted in understanding corporate strategy and financial levers; storytelling; innovation; relationship building; creating message connections and leverage between investors, employees, media and customers; brand power; and in the delivery of remarkable results.

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