Turning the Tables on Corporate Access

By Meaghan Montegari

Corporate access — the investment industry vernacular for the process of connecting corporate management teams with prospective investors — is a vital to the health of every public company as well as those with aspirations to one day become public.  Establishing a solid foundation of committed long-term investors who understand a company’s story, and regularly updating and engaging with new prospects, is essential to business and financial success in the capital markets. Some would also argue that connecting with the right investors also helps create an efficient market over time, as the two parties with symbiotic interests and expectation align for mutual benefit, leading to valuations that fully and properly reflect market potential.

Corporate Access Today

In the post-MiFID II environment, management teams find themselves taking a proactive approach to shareholder targeting and their investor outreach strategy. Historically, connecting management teams and investors has been managed through investment banks and broker/dealer intermediaries, providing corporate clients the opportunity to meet with recommended investors through non-deal roadshows (NDRs) and other forums, on a no-cost basis.  But of course, as we have learned with Facebook and other social media platforms, if the product is free, you are the product.  The intermediaries understandably have competing interests and are not necessarily singularly focused on identifying and facilitating relationships with who may best fit with goals of the issuer.

This dynamic not only impacts the ultimate outcome of a company’s investor outreach program (e.g., what funds ultimately invest and why), but it creates inefficiencies along the way:  time spent meeting with prospects who are not the right fit; low quality meetings with less-prepared investors; soliciting investors who may not be aligned with company’s long-term goals; and opportunity cost of missing or never connecting with investors who have highly aligned investment strategies.

What if Corporate Access was Actually Investor Access?

It is a simple semantic adjustment, but the very term currently used to define this process demonstrates that the customer is the investor, and they are being provided with access to corporates.  What if the customer was the company and they were being provided with access to investors?

ICR developed Investor Access to offer exactly that: non-conflicted access to the investment community.

While many investment banks or broker dealers have corporate access teams that focus on serving the investment community, at ICR, our focus is to ensure corporate clients are introduced to investors that best suit their needs. Through proprietary databases and historical investment information, data analytic tools and information sharing services, we develop an investor targeting approach that ensures all parties —management teams and investors — access the necessary information up front to help build and sustain long-term, value-added relationships. Our goal is to provide management teams with an opportunity to meet with the most promising investors, particularly those that are most likely to support the company’s long-term goals, and to solicit investors that are most likely to have mutual interest. Un-informed or blind outreach that yields mis-matched objectives is not a productive use of management or investors’ valuable and limited time.

How does Investor Access eliminate the inefficiencies of corporate access?

Identification: Through existing buy-side relationships, strong account knowledge, proprietary databases and analytics, and experience managing corporate access, we increase our clients’ visibility among investors and target high-potential investors to establish new connections.

By identifying investors that best align with management’s interests, we facilitate open, productive relationships that yield optimal returns.

Connection:  Whether virtual or in-person, our goal is to ensure management’s time is spent as efficiently as possible. To support both new and current connections, we help coordinate non-deal roadshows, group meetings, reverse roadshows, field trips and fireside chats. Following events, corporate clients are able to upload previously recorded meetings and presentations and track viewer information.

Retention: Once investors are on board, ICR crafts and delivers messages that resonate with existing shareholders and build trust to retain them. We help ensure that communications moving forward strengthen and solidify shareholder relationships.

Built by Wall Street professionals with unique market knowledge, insight, and relationships, ICR is nationally known for improving investor relations for thousands of companies. As a trusted intermediary, ICR’s Investor Access services facilitate productive relationships that put our clients’ interests first. To learn more, get in touch.