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Shareholder Identification Important to IR Initiatives

December 6, 2013


The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) recently conducted a survey aimed at highlighting challenges in shareholder identification and engagement. Additionally, the survey will assist the NIRI Board of Directors in upcoming discussions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) surrounding the improvement of shareholder engagement. The questionnaire was administered electronically and all NIRI corporate members were invited to participate.

 

According to the NIRI executive summary, 88 percent of survey respondents stated that shareholder identification is extremely important to successfully completing its organization’s IR initiatives. The majority of the other survey addressed how much IR professionals currently know about their investors, as well as the methods that are employed in gaining and using this shareholder information.

 

Survey results show that while 51 percent of IR professionals feel they are very familiar with their investor base, 49 percent rate their level of familiarity as “somewhat.” An overwhelming majority, 91 percent, of respondents use SEC filings to identify current stakeholders. Other methods of identification include proprietary stock surveillance services (65 percent), direct questions to shareholders during one-on-ones (53 percent), shareholder registers (37 percent) and non-objecting beneficial owner (NOBO) lists (23 percent).

 

IR professionals use this shareholder identification information primarily to prioritize investor meetings. Additionally, the information is communicated internally to the C-suite and is used to instigate proactive shareholder outreach and to react to shareholder activist interest.

 

Information is power. Therefore, it seems only natural that IR professionals should desire the maximum amount of information possible regarding their investors. The NIRI survey identified progress made in shareholder identification, but also highlighted areas of potential improvement, especially in increasing familiarity between IR professionals and investors.

 

This article was written in conjunction with the NIRI Shareholder Identification and Engagement Challenges 2013 Survey Results report, released September 25, 2013.


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