How to Streamline Client Management and Enhance Investor Engagement

How to Streamline Client Management and Enhance Investor Engagement
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6 Habits of High-Performing IR Firms & Consultants

IR firms and consultants balance numerous clients with differing IR strategies—but building and managing an effective investor pipeline is typically at the top of priority lists.

How can you better understand your client's needs and keep track of investor conversations and outreach campaigns—all while building transparency and trust?

We recently sat down with IR experts from Prosek Partners, Clermont Partners (a sector of Riveron), and irlabs to get their advice on tactics that positively impact client strategy.

In this article, you’ll learn what these high-performing professionals do to best execute a successful client program. We’ll reveal how different strategic advisory firms:

  • Build and manage investor pipelines
  • Hold high-quality investor meetings 
  • Effectively monitor investor outreach for clients
  • Use tools to track overall program success
  • Select which clients to work with
  • And more

Let's get started:

1. Develop and Implement Custom Targeting Strategies

Investor targeting is the process of identifying and focusing on certain audiences who are most likely to have a financial interest in a particular company. It requires IR professionals to strategically select and prioritize potential investors based on their investment preferences, risk tolerance, geographic location, and other relevant factors.

For IR firms and consultants, effective targeting helps ensure the right messages reach the right audiences. By implementing a targeting strategy, IR firms can optimize their communication efforts and increase the likelihood that key stakeholders will receive and act upon key messages—including investors, analysts, and other financial industry professionals. 

Todd Skene—Director of Capital Markets at irlabs—believes that “effective outreach and targeting is one of the most critical factors for success and maintaining good long-term relationships with the investment community.” He states that “investors don't want to hear about a company that doesn’t fit their investment criteria.” To help achieve success, Skene breaks down his targeting efforts into two methods:

Peer Targeting:

Monitoring who is investing in your peers can provide valuable insights into the behaviors of your desired target audience. By analyzing the investment trends of your peers' investors, you can better understand what motivates your desired audience to invest in companies in your industry.

“Here at irlabs, we’re able to maximize our peer targeting efforts with the help of Irwin. We build multiple peer groups in the platform that we use to run searches and find funds and managers of said funds that are investing in those peers.”

Profile Targeting:

Profile targeting involves targeting investors based on their specific investment profile, including investment goals, risk tolerance, industry and sector preferences, geography, capitalizations, and other investment-related factors.

Skene states, “The search capabilities in Irwin allow for using a profiling approach to identify investors. Where the data quality stands out is the contact and profile information for asset managers. It's comprehensive, good quality, and more in-depth than other legacy systems.” 

For Alex Jorgensen—Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations at Prosek Partners—it all comes down to custom outreach. “It’s important for IR firms and consultants to customize their approach to whichever client they’re working with at that moment,” he explains. “Are you putting together custom emails? Are you leveraging newsworthy moments accordingly? Are you doing outreach when you’re attending live events? This will significantly impact both you and your client's success.”

One of the most crucial aspects of targeting outreach for Steve Adams—Managing Director of Investor Relations & ESG at Clermont Partners—is balancing quality and quantity. “We want to ensure we're getting our clients in front of the highest quality target holders possible. We ask ourselves: does our client have the characteristics and the qualities of a company that would make up that individual's portfolio?” he explains. 

“However, while quality is the primary focus, we also consider quantity. If we only reach out to a handful of target investors, our success rate will be lower because not every opportunity manifests into an investment.” Adams especially finds value in Irwin’s capability to provide numerous contacts at various firms and individual funds. “If we’re able to identify one isolated fund that could be a great opportunity for our client, we leverage Irwin to find additional analysts or managers responsible for that specific fund,” he explains. “The more people we can target and reach out to, the higher the likelihood of getting an investor meeting.”

2. Set and Track Measurable KPIs Aligned with IR Goals

Activity and performance-based KPIs are two metrics that IR firms use to measure and assess the success and effectiveness of a client’s IR program. 

Activity-Based KPIs:

These metrics are typically quantitative and focus on completing specific tasks or activities. Activity-based KPIs track the volume, frequency, or speed of tasks completed, and can include metrics such as the number of investor presentations, roadshows, or conference calls conducted within a specific period.  

Performance-Based KPIs:

These metrics focus on measuring a specific process's overall outcome, value, or result. Performance-based KPIs are often aligned with the strategic goals of a specific team, and can be both qualitative and quantitative. They include metrics such as stock-price performance, market-capitalization growth, and the number of analysts covering a particular company. 

Measurable KPIs are vital for IR firms and consultants because they can provide a more complete and balanced view of progress toward your and your client’s goals. Tracking ensures you’re on the right course while still identifying any areas for improvement.

Just ask Skene. “For activity-based KPIs, the most common measurement we’re accountable for is how many investors we’ve been able to put the client or issuer in front of,” he explains. “We’re also evaluated on the quality of those potential investors. It all goes back to the depth and sophistication of our targeting efforts.”

Skene and his team are also familiar with performance-based KPIs. “Performance indicators focus on trading volume and the performance of the stock price,” Skene states, as he and his team leverage the charting capabilities in Irwin to view comparable stock price performance. 

Another KPI Skene finds helpful for irlabs clients is monitoring email campaign performance and analytics, especially since implementing Irwin Mail. Through just the click of a button, Skene is provided with details about a particular email campaign, including open rates, number of replies, and bounces. “When I use different pitches in an email campaign, I can easily see which performs better than others and adjust the pitch accordingly.” 

Adams and Clermont Partners find value in measuring their successes through more qualitative measures:

"It all comes down to the quality of the meetings and the conversations that our clients are having. It’s our job to put the IRO, CFO, or CEO in front of a potential investor that believes the opportunity is a good fit before the management team even begins to explain the business and its story.”

Adams believes that this, paired with consistency, will help IR firms and consultants see success in their strategy. He states, "You want to ensure you’re continuing to get your clients in front of higher-quality opportunities as time goes on. Making sure your client is experiencing high-quality conversations will require repetition and consistency on your end."

For Jorgensen, ensuring his clients’ can access the most up-to-date version of investor data is a critical KPI he holds himself accountable for. “I believe an excellent metric for companies to focus on is their repository of contacts,” he explains. “Your database should continuously be updated and refined. It moves the needle because everything else will follow.”

3. Benchmark Success with Activity Reports 

Another great way to share success rates with clients is through activity reports. These give you and your clients an overview of activity performance and allow you to benchmark progress relative to the company’s IR goals.

Activity reports can include: 

  • Type: The types of meetings your company carries out, including conferences, roadshows, inbound and outbound calls, and individual one-on-ones.
  • Location: Where the activities are taking place. 
  • Broker: The brokers who have set up the meetings. 
  • Internal Attendee: Activities by the internal attendee who was present. 
  • Weekly Cadence: A weekly view of the number of activities being performed.

When asked how impactful this level of reporting is to irlabs’ strategy, Skene explains that “activity statistics are beneficial reports because it displays the activity by type.” He states he “can see the number of emails and calls, who’s been conducting them, and get a wider perspective on the funnel and how it’s progressing. I can see whether our outreach has translated to investor buying behavior over time.”

4. Conduct Pre- and Post Investor Meeting Evaluations  

Building off the importance of qualitative KPIs, Adams also stresses the importance of actively evaluating the quality of investor meetings. “Is the potential investor well-informed about your client’s business, strategy, etc.?” he explains. 

For Adams, ensuring potential investors have a solid understanding of his clients is a significant indicator of the quality of the organized meetings. “It's important to share a fact sheet or a synopsis of the business, including what they do, how they operate, and high-level financial metrics with portfolio managers before meeting face-to-face,” he states. “Part of our job as an advisor is to make it as easy as possible for potential investors to access important information and better understand our client’s business.”

There are other indicators of a good-quality meeting, according to Adams. He continues to explain, “Is the portfolio manger asking good questions? Are they engaged, or have they disassociated?” IR firms and consultants should keep track of the success and details of every meeting to stay a step ahead. By keeping a backlog of meeting data, they’ll know which portfolio managers would be a good fit for future clients and which would be better suited for other opportunities. 

5. Be Selective About Your Client Base

Being selective about which clients you work with is critical as an IR consultant or firm. By focusing on clients who are a good fit for your business, you can provide better service, achieve better results, and build stronger relationships. Plus, it helps to align interests, protect your reputation in the industry, and manage your time and resources effectively. 

Though they’re industry agnostic, Skene and irlabs “tend to gravitate to companies doing something innovative or doing something impactful for people or the planet.” He continues to explain:

“When evaluating companies to accept as clients, we have a qualification process that we go through. Some factors include: does that team show they can work collaboratively with us? Do they want to work in a cooperative environment? Are they open to fresh ideas and willing to go past their comfort zone? Their previous approach hasn’t worked, so they must be open to new suggestions.”  

Adams and the team at Clermont Partners have a similar mindset. “We work well with folks who truly want to improve their IR program,” he states. “Potential clients who resist help or new ideas are a non-starter for us.” 

Adams continues to explain that IR professionals need to remain flexible, especially in such a fast-paced industry: 

“One of the things we value in our approach to supporting clients is the ability to get creative and think outside the box. The Clermont Partners and Riveron team realize there isn’t a right or wrong way to do things. It’s important for our clients to feel the same and to be able to embrace creativity, new ideas, and inventive approaches. We actively try to find and engage clients who are not only open to it but are actively interested in trying new approaches to managing their relationships and engagement with capital markets. Those tend to be the most fruitful relationships.”

For Jorgensen, a leading factor in selecting a client base is understanding what aspects of the strategy the client most wants to be successful. “Prosek is a strategic advisory firm and is, therefore, more focused on ensuring our clients’ IR program follows a curated narrative with management, investors, and other stakeholders,” explains Jorgensen. “We want to ensure that they feel like they have a partner regardless of what might arise in the industry.” 

6. Leverage an IR CRM

When it comes to saving time, staying organized, and providing clients with critical insights, IR firms can find incredible value in an IR CRM. 

Irwin can help you to streamline client management, identify and connect with new investors for your clients, and centralize your IR activity. A strategic targeting approach and comprehensive shareholder monitoring, paired with active relationship management and reporting, will help save you time and allow you to focus on what’s important: building stronger relationships with your clients and investors. 

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