Independently Organized Investor Meetings Around Equity Conferences and Other Best Practices to Attract New Investors
One of the hot topics discussed at InspIR Group’s café de manhã roundtable in São Paulo earlier this year was how to attract new investors, particularly at a time when declining investor attendance at equity conferences is making it more difficult. Decreasing attendance has been one of many ways that MiFID II has impacted investor marketing (see our February 11, 2019 blog on this subject by clicking here). As a solution, the experts who comprised the roundtable, including Priscila Nannetti, InspIR’s co-head of Investor Access, recommended independently organizing separate one-on-one investor meetings around bank-sponsored equity conferences. As conferences are now resuming after the usual summer lull in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought it would be a good time to revisit this subject as well as other best practices for identifying new pools of capital.
Long before MiFID II was implemented, CEOs, CFOs and IROs frequently told us they often see the same investors at bank conferences and would like to meet more potential new ones. However, arranging separate one-on-one meetings around conferences requires a careful and thoughtful approach. First and foremost, you should try to avoid contacting investors that will be invited to a conference, in fairness to the bank that has invited your company to participate. This necessitates obtaining from the bank a list of institutions it will invite to the conference; however, not all banks are willing to provide a list and not all invited investors will attend either. Without a list, you will invariably contact some invitees, but at least the corporate access and equity sales teams of your host bank will be aware of this eventuality.
Most equity conferences are held in large cities like London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, where the greatest numbers of investors are located. Consequently, understanding which of the hundreds of investors are best to contact in a host city requires a targeting analysis. Knowing whom to contact at targeted institutions is even more important, and this is where a third-party advisor can also help.
At the core of effective investor targeting is a robust peer set. From a geographic standpoint, InspIR recommends that companies based in Latin America incorporate emerging market peers, not just companies from their region (see our August 26, 2019 blog on this subject by clicking here.) We also utilize peers with similar financial attributes in our analysis, in addition to sector-based peers. That is because a large segment of the equity market employs a purely bottom-up approach to selecting stocks.
When targeting investors and organizing one-on-one meetings, InspIR is careful not to place too much emphasis on a target’s equity assets under management, as hedge funds and other small Tier III institutions can maintain portfolios concentrated in relatively smaller numbers of companies, meaning that a position could approximate investments by a larger institution or fund that has spread its capital across 50 or 70 companies. Also, bear in mind that some firms are employing more leverage than in the past, given today’s record-low interest rate environment.
Some companies avoid institutions with high turnover rates in their portfolios. However, keep in mind that these investors can benefit your company if it has low trading liquidity. Further, the turnover rates assigned by institutional databases can be blanket categories for large institutions and hedge funds. It’s important to remember that the former are often comprised of multiple portfolios with different investment strategies, which can also be the case at hedge funds. Event-driven funds within investment management firms are just one example of how turnover rates can be distorted and therefore misleading.
Lastly, utilize a targeting analysis as a roadmap for investor marketing, not as a sole means for identifying potential new sources of demand for your company’s shares. No peer group is singularly appropriate and portfolio holdings of peer companies are derived from historical ownership data that is also dated to one degree or another; in the case of SEC 13F filings, the data can be as old as four and a half months. At InspIR, where our client base spans the entire Latin America region and numerous industry sectors, we have insights into current investor interests. This real-world market intelligence, combined with robust targeting and the ability to reach key decision makers at target institutions, can lead to high-impact meetings around equity conferences and at other times during the year.
Investors often prefer meetings in their offices, and clients frequently tell us that the quality of these meetings is noticeably better with attendance of one or more senior decision makers who are often more prepared for conversations with senior management; it’s an unspoken rule that investors conduct sufficient research prior to any one-on-one meeting in order to ensure and facilitate a high-level discussion with a company’s management. Complementing equity conferences with such meetings is an excellent way to expose your company to a wider audience of investors in host cities and maximize the time an IRO and senior management spend in them.
For more information about InspIR’s Investor Access practice, please visit our website at https://inspirgroup.com/en/investor-access/