Put simply, intelligence gathering refers to the act of collecting information. It’s also a key responsibility of the modern-day investor relations officer (IRO). In fact, a 2021 Harvard Business Review article titled “The Changing Role of the Investor Relations Officer” listed it as the number two way that the job of the modern-day IRO needs to change.
As we saw recently with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the speed at which information is widely disseminated and priced into securities can be shocking. This current event underscores the importance of actively tracking information and staying on top of developments relevant to your company.
“Collecting information” likely oversimplifies how intelligence gathering plays into the day-to-day responsibilities of an IR professional. But it doesn't diminish the fact that when done right, it can serve as a foundational activity that allows IR teams to stand out as trusted advisers and partners to the C-suite.
How can intelligence gathering be “done right? We believe the following factors underpin it:
While intelligence gathering is likely a continuous daily process, certain IR-specific workflows lend themselves to a heightened focus on collecting and analyzing new information.
Here are a few examples of events and workflows that represent an opportunity to implement active intelligence gathering:
Earnings Season: Earnings season represents a multi-week period each quarter where an influx of new information is released to the market—making it fertile ground for collecting valuable information on a timely basis. Analyzing earnings performance and conference calls of not only one’s direct peers, but any companies that may have relevant read-throughs, can help inform messaging, communicate with investors, set expectations, and guide the execution of strategic initiatives.
Peer Investor/Analyst Days: While investor/analyst days happen less frequently and are often more sporadic, they still represent a valuable opportunity to better understand how your peers communicate and position themselves with the investment community. Conducting a deeper dive and potentially creating a framework to assess read-throughs for your business (particularly from a corporate strategy perspective) can be an effective way to stay on top of trends in your industry and get ahead of major strategic actions by competitors.
Monitoring the Market: How you monitor, aggregate, and interpret the seemingly endless flow of market information on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis is important. Ensuring you’re tracking the right data from the right sources is key to better understanding how said data drives trends across trading activity, valuation, and the cost of capital at your company and peer group.
One year ago, we launched Irwin’s Professional Services with three core service offerings: Enhanced Investor Targeting, Board Reporting, and Analyst Targeting. Since then, the division has grown significantly, working with companies across six exchanges and four countries and growing every month.
During this time, we’ve also seen the Federal Reserve embark on the most aggressive tightening cycle in recent memory, inflation hit multi-decade highs across the largest developed economies around the globe, and mass layoffs and corporate restructurings occur at some of the world’s biggest and most reputable companies—all while the role of the modern IRO continues to evolve at an accelerating pace.
With the current macro environment, we understand it’s crucial to add services to our current offerings that will help our clients save valuable time. To better support our clients’ intelligence gathering efforts and enhance their IR workflows, Irwin’s CMS team released two new service offerings that complement our existing capabilities in shareholder monitoring, investor targeting, surveillance, and website analytics.
Peer Read-throughs: Irwin's Peer Read-throughs is a tailored and timely way to extract and analyze the information most relevant to your company from peer earnings and conference call transcripts. Paired with commentary and analysis from Irwin’s capital markets strategists, we surface the critical insights you need to know about your peers and sector while saving you valuable time gathering, comparing, and summarizing data points. With a focus on delivering this data within two hours of the transcript release, you’ll have access to important insights exactly when needed.
Weekly Market Summary: Get a sector and peer-specific view of the market weekly with Irwin’s Weekly Market Summary. This tailored report provides market commentary, data on key market indicators, a summary of share price and volume performance vs. peers, and a customizable section on peer comparables and consensus estimates. Leverage these insights to prepare your management team for interactions with investors and analysts while solidifying key speaking points on your company’s performance relative to your peers and sector.
If you want to learn more about these two new services, please contact your account manager or our request a demo.