Iro organization

How should an IRO work with C-suite management?

Within the corporate organization, the Investor Relations Officer (IRO) is one of the most interesting and challenging roles and can offer a strong sense of accomplishment. Whether you are a junior IR or a senior spokesperson, working effectively with C-level executives is a crucial factor in being a successful IRO. The IRO faces many different topics during their daily IR routine: the company’s long-term strategy, industry outlook, technology development, capacity planning, and results/directions. Preparing an IR SOP covering the above topics is definitely a great starting point for most IR agents, so communication and building an internal network within the company is essential to being an IR. efficient. Below is an overview of how an IRO can work and communicate with C-suite management:

board of directors

To ensure the long-term sustainability of a company, the board of directors (BOD) and the president oversee the overall strategy and take into account the interests of all shareholders. As environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues become a key part of many funds’ investment assessments, it may also be the responsibility of the IRO to actively communicate the company’s ESG efforts to the capital market. while presenting the latest ESG insights and trends to board members. . From understanding the board election process to participating in board meetings, the IRO should be familiar with not only local government regulations, but also international ESG standards. Interacting with global ESG rating organizations gives IROs insight into the criteria for their assessment processes. This is important to implement ESG best practices, from the board to every employee and also help improve the company’s overall ESG scores.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As the main representatives of the company, the President and CEO help establish the company’s vision and goals, which serve as the foundation for the company’s long-term strategy. Whether it’s a technology innovator or a fast follower, a niche solution provider or a volume-driven manufacturer, the company’s long-term strategy and image of Capital Market brand are forged through the IRO’s efforts to communicate with the President and CEO at the start of the IR program. After setting the tone for the company’s strategy, the IRO can then accelerate the IR program internally with the support of the CEO and start conversations with the rest of the C-suite leadership to establish the IR SOP.

Director of Sales (CSO) or Director of Sales

To drive business growth and meet revenue goals, the CSO is often the most knowledgeable C-level leadership when it comes to customer acquisitions and industry insights. From an IR perspective, sharing company and competitor sell-side reports and buy-side investor feedback is a good way to communicate with the sales department. In addition to top ten customer contributions and sales mix analysis, IROs should also regularly and actively update the industry supply/demand status, new business opportunities, landscape competition and rolling sales forecasts with the CSO. This helps to shorten the IR learning curve of understanding industrial dynamics and form the basis of financial orientation.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Head of R&D

Although the importance of R&D differs by industry, in general, the CTO not only uses technology to improve current products/services, but also develops strategies to increase revenue and performs return on investment (ROI) analysis ). Through collaboration with the R&D department, an IRO must establish a clear picture of the company’s future technology milestones, R&D pipeline, product roadmap, and patent portfolio. Additionally, the R&D information above generally echoes the company’s long-term strategy of expanding the Total Addressable Market (TAM); strengthen the competitiveness of advanced technologies, and becomes one of the key messages that the IRO must communicate to investors.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of a company, the COO is the key executive for improving operational efficiency. From CapEx/capacity planning, resource allocation, manufacturing process, inventory management to quality control, the IRO can gain deep and detailed knowledge of operations from the COO, who tends to be the most senior member. more experienced multi-core management teams with a solid understanding of company culture and history. The IRO may wish to focus on operational initiatives that lead to improvements in long-term profitability when communicating with the COO, as this is of particular interest to the capital market.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Responsible for managing the finance and accounting divisions, in Taiwan, the CFO often acts as the spokesperson for the company and leads the IR team, especially in larger companies. From day-to-day communications with the CFO, the IRO participates in individual/group investor meetings and earnings conferences. Summarizing meeting minutes, IR Q&A sessions, and entering investor information into the IR database are the initial tasks of every IRO. In preparation for regular results conferences, the IRO should coordinate all C-level executives to discuss last quarter’s operational results and form direction for the next quarter. From time to time, IRO may work on internal projects, including ESG, long-term ROE improvement, M&A synergy simulation, corporate/project finance, new business investments, competitor performance tracking, supply chain monitors and day-to-day inventory analysis. This requires financial, accounting, investment skills and in-depth industry knowledge related to the company’s core business.

The bottom line

The job description of an IRO covers a wide range of responsibilities from internal coordination to external capital market communication. Being a successful IRO, communicating and collaborating effectively with C-suite management would be the first priority to expedite the establishment of an IR SOP and shorten the IR learning curve. Although it takes a lot of hard work to become a veteran IRO, it is still one of the most interesting roles and a unique career opportunity for one’s “top down” perspective within the organization. ‘business.

Editor’s note:

To give our readers a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of investor relations from an investor’s perspective, DIGTIMES has invited QIC as a contributing partner to share their insights. The article is the fifth part of the QIC Inside Investor Relations series, originally published on CIQ website.