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Iridium Satellite Communications

Iridium Satellite Communications
Telecoms / Communications
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About Iridium Satellite Communications

Iridium is a global satellite communications company, enabling voice and data services anywhere on earth. In a world where global communications are increasingly essential, Iridium supports mission-critical applications and keeps people connected with communications solutions ranging from satellite phones to broadband services. Iridium is a leader in satellite voice communications and IoT mobility. 

Meet Iridium’s VP, Investor Relations

Kenneth Levy is the VP, Investor Relations at Iridium and is based out of Washington, DC. He is an accomplished corporate executive and has served as a corporate spokesperson for over two decades, managing all aspects of investor relations, corporate communications, FP&A, and institutional outreach, including capital raising, shareholder activism, regulatory disclosures, equity valuation, credit ratings, and proxy solicitation. 

He has been at Iridium since 2015, and during that time has focused on enhancing investor engagement and broadening institutional ownership. His IR program emphasizes regular communication with institutional investors using salient messaging and timely outreach with the goal of educating generalist investors to ensure that satellite and industry-specific concepts are easy to understand. This thrust, combined with targeted investor outreach has supported the expansion of Iridium’s market cap and valuation in each year of his tenure. He has solidified investor comprehension around Iridium’s unique business niche, which has helped to broaden the company’s institutional ownership and delivered investor gains that exceed satellite peers. 

Finding a Solution Tailored to Iridium’s Needs

Having watched the company emerge from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, and later go public as one of the original SPACs, Iridium’s executive team has a unique appreciation for investor relations and the importance of clear and consistent messaging within the investment community. 

When Kenneth joined, Iridium was using a small CRM to handle their investor relations program. He had difficulty finding adequate support with this vendor and felt his needs weren’t going to be supported long-term, leaving him to question whether it was the right platform as Iridium grew.

Kenneth on choosing Irwin: “The Irwin team really had a passion for building a new type of solution. There wasn’t a product out there that was intuitive, easy-to-use, and that simplified some of the functions I was looking for. I have appreciated the transparency and the open dialogue with Irwin as they have evolved their platform - they really encourage feedback”. 

“I also really appreciate that Irwin cares what its users think -- my expertise and background as an IRO have helped to build the product. Within 6 months of onboarding, the Irwin team was asking me questions, and in turn, I was seeing changes in the product that reflected my needs”. 

Activity Tracking Breeds Continuity and Institutional Knowledge

“I do a lot of advanced work for NDRs in Irwin. I’m able to download profiles and review prior discussions with investors. This helps me cull topics of interest for each investor and really sharpen our talking points for the next investor meeting. I upload my meeting notes into Irwin so I have continuity for my company. What I love about Irwin is it’s intuitive, easy-to-use, and I can search for an event or topic that I’ve previously created — the IRM ensures that I’ve captured the information, and the Irwin platform provides Iridium with institutional knowledge that will live beyond me.”

Kenneth uses the IRM functionality within Irwin to book and manage investor meetings. He especially appreciates that building itineraries are no longer laborious for him thanks to Irwin’s clone feature. He elaborates:

“The time it takes me to book meetings has gotten much shorter. The clone feature allows me to take the details of a conference (days, location) and simply clone it for the next 12 meetings I’m booking that day”.

Using Irwin to manage roadshows allows him to screen potential meetings and conference agendas, getting ahead with investor intelligence. Before meetings, he is able to look at investor profiles and specific institutional investors, quickly understand what their relative knowledge is (if they’re specialists or more generalists) in the telecom sector, which allows him to plan his message.  In some cases, Kenneth will send an introductory note to the investors ahead of the meeting with Iridium’s executives to provide important background information and highlight factors that distinguish the company from its satellite peers. This makes investor meetings more productive and ensures that Iridium’s executives are discussing the current state of the business and future opportunities, rather than dwelling on industry fundamentals.

“This makes me savvier, and allows for more meaningful conversations when we go into a meeting”. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Investor Targeting

“The last couple of years, with COVID, our targeting has been more limited to online conferences. This brings me back to the IRM where I can dig up profiles and figure out whether an investor is the right fit. COVID has moved us away from the geographic focus that we were accustomed to and taken the momentum out of that manner of prospecting - the one that says we’ll be in Northern California for a day, who can we meet with?” 

Instead, Kenneth uses Irwin’s targeting features to identify investors who invest in Iridium’s space and find relevance in other areas:

“We have a monthly newsletter that we blast to investors, and we use Irwin’s targeting application to identify investors who invest in our space. Pre-screening for this level of sector interest allows us to include information in our outreach that is relevant, as well as tailor our emails along with our monthly newsletter to generate interest”. 

Shareholder Monitoring for Strategic Outreach

Kenneth uses the holder data within Irwin to get historical information so that he can have insight as to what’s being held by large institutional investors. This allows him to compare and contrast so that he can understand what Iridium as a communications company comprises of their broader portfolio holdings. 

“It gives me perspective in understanding some of the decision-making and portfolio considerations they have when it comes to strengthening or lightening their position. This allows me to engage with the PM and message why Iridium is a good communications investment and what we can offer over other investments in their portfolio. Easy-to-access data allows me to do more effective strategic outreach.”

How Irwin’s Customer Support Compares

“[The customer support] is excellent. I’ve been with a lot of different vendors through my 20-year career in IR. There’s continuity, there’s responsiveness -- even if my Irwin representative is traveling, I can easily find support and know that I will receive a quick response.” 

A Message for IROs Considering Irwin

“I would encourage you to look at Irwin. The fact that they’re always listening for feedback and continuing to evolve the platform shows that Irwin is aligned with my interests as an IRO, and so it’s a very different offering than buying something off the shelf where you’re the 4,501st customer, and for me that’s important.” 

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