Success Story:

WSP Global Inc

WSP Global Inc
20 B
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Company Overview

WSP is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, WSP exists to future-proof cities and the environment. They provide strategic advisory, engineering and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, environment, building, power, energy, water, mining and resources sectors. Their 55,000 trusted professionals are united by the common purpose of creating positive, long-lasting impacts on the communities they serve through a culture of innovation, integrity and inclusion. Sustainability and science permeate their work. WSP derived about half of its $10.3B (CAD) 2021 revenues from clean sources. The Corporation's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WSP).

Meet WSP’s Senior Advisor of Investor Relations

Quentin Weber is the Senior Advisor of Investor Relations and has been with the company for three years. Quentin is based out of the Global headquarters in Montreal and leads their complete investor relations program working closely with C-Suite in his role. 

Before his role at WSP, Quentin worked in the transfer agency business for eight years at Computershare. He is also active in the investor relations community as a CIRI board member and Chairman for CIRI Québec. He also recently won the Rising Star award at the IR Magazine 2022 Canada edition.

With its rapid company growth, WSP needed an intuitive platform to diversify their investor base 

Before implementing Irwin, WSP did not have a platform to track its IR efforts. The company experienced rapid growth totaling 70,000+ employees by the end of 2022, and reached a 20B market cap. With business accelerating over the last few years and significant acquisitions, they knew they needed to strategize on their investor targeting efforts. 

“We have grown significantly by acquisitions. Our prior approach to IR was based within communications and marketing. We have shifted to a more finance-based approach and are always trying to diversify our shareholder base.” 

A strong ESG proposition helps companies tap new markets and expand into existing ones

WSP is a large-cap company with a number of institutional investors. They are currently at a point in their business where investors are familiar with their story and interested in investing based on it. That being said, Quentin knows there is still room to broaden their reach. 

“I use targeting right now to develop an IR strategy around ESG-focused funds. There is a growing interest for ESG thematic funds and Irwin allows me to gather further data and identify funds who might be interested in our story, and ultimately find a way to organize a one-on-one meeting with them.”

"An ESG-focused IR strategy is what we are deploying at WSP, and Irwin has given me the data and intel to build around that."

Measuring the value of investor meetings 

One of the main issues that WSP faced was the time-consuming effort of manual data entry using Excel to track their efforts. They wanted a solution that was more modern, accessible, and user-friendly. Of high importance was to be able to easily calculate the ROI and value in the meetings that were being booked over time. 

“I began considering an IR platform, especially for the CRM portion. It was important to become more aware of how our stock is being traded, the shareholder base, and being able to research and do targeting to better understand and prepare C-Suite when we go to meet investors.”

“I wanted to ensure that we meet with the right people and that we're just not meeting without a reason. We're meeting for a purpose, and we're meeting with an outcome.”

Improved organization to centralize their IR activity

Some of the main benefits of having dedicated investor relations CRM software include increased access to critical data, improved business continuity, time savings, and regulatory compliance, which are all critical to WSP. 

“Using the IRM is a way for me to easily know who we met in the past, how many times we've met, and also really helps me with anything that is reporting based.” 

Internally, they have monthly and quarterly reports for the board. Irwin allows them to showcase their efforts each quarter to exemplify how active their IR program has been and is easily accessible anytime. 

Planning investor days with the help of Irwin’s Customer Support Team 

As the sole IR practitioner at WSP Global, Quentin needs to make the most with limited resources in order to focus on more strategic initiatives. Leveraging the capabilities of the IRM and the larger Irwin team to help plan roadshows, conferences, and investor days has been impactful to the business. Tracking attendance, and conversations, and entrusting his Account Manager to upload itineraries, schedules and meetings have saved him time and effort. 

“Once I have the final schedule, I confirm everything with the equity research team we're working with, and then I'll send that to [my account manager] Dylan and his team. They then create the event in my IRM and send me the schedule and all the data on the people we are meeting with. I then send that to our CEO & CFO, so they can access who we’re meeting with, how many years they've been with the firm, their type of holdings, and of course, their position.”

Valuable insights using the Capital Markets Strategy Services 

With the recent launch of the Capital Markets Strategy Service, a product designed to help IROs navigate the ever-changing capital markets environment, Quentin shares how this service has been valuable and has saved him significant time that he previously dedicated hours of time to. 

“I receive a custom monthly report that I send to a large audience at WSP on the first day of the month, to recap the previous month of activity. That's been very good. Honestly, it has saved me a lot of time. Previously, I was doing everything manually, so working closely with a former equity analyst who knows WSP is useful. The feedback internally has been very positive so overall, I am very pleased with the service.” 

How Irwin differentiates from other IR software

WSP conducted a thorough comparison of Irwin and other solutions on the market. Ultimately, they decided to go with Irwin because of the constant innovation and investments. 

“At the end of the day, the competing products are all quite similar. The interactions with [the CEO], David, were helpful. He went over the different features of the product and took the time to explain everything to me. Ultimately, the team is innovating, and I liked that.” 

Premium level Customer Support Services 

Quentin leverages all levels of Irwin's premium customer support services. Whether it's using Irwin Assistant to help with manual data entry, or the additional Capital Markets Strategy Services that provide enhanced capabilities. Quentin described his support experience:

“The support has been great. Dylan [my account manager] has been responsive to my sensitive and rushed requests, and the same goes for Ryall, who manages our Capital Markets Strategy. I have not experienced any issues with the platform regarding accessibility.”

A message to IROs considering Irwin 

“I think the IR function has been a certain way for the last couple of years, and many companies have been using Excel and the old ways of working.  Now, the dynamic is different, and everything is evolving quickly. I think for an IRO, especially one within a small team, Irwin is a very good companion to help you save time, be better organized, and leverage all the tools that are out there.”

“Having that extra tool internally is necessary if you want to be efficient and work effectively. I think innovation should be a top priority with service providers, and I think Irwin is continuing to move in that direction.”

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