Sample IR Magazine Research Report - Corporate Access 2022 Part 2
The independent voice of IR
Examining the impact of virtual meetings and events on investor engagement
<sub>Part 2 – How virtual corporate access has affected engagement with investors outside of a company's region</sub>
Who did we survey?
The past two years have seen considerable changes to the world of corporate access. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic meant the practical elimination of in-person meetings and events. Up to the end of 2021, interactions between companies and the investment community have been overwhelmingly virtual.
This report is the second of two reports by IR Magazine looking at the impact these changes to corporate access have on IR. In this report we investigate the effects of the virtual format on meetings and events with investors outside of a company’s region. We examine the changing level of engagement with investors from outside the region and whether this has resulted in a change to the shareholder make-up of the investor base. The report also looks at future expectations for such engagement and compares the effectiveness of virtual and in-person events with investors from within and outside the company’s region.
Findings are taken from IR Magazine’s Global IR survey conducted from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 and Global Investor Survey conducted in Q4 2021. This report uses the term 'IRO' to represent IR professionals in general and ‘investor’ to represent members of the investment community, both buy side and sell side. The term ‘domestic’ is used for investors within a company’s region and ‘non-domestic’ for investors from outside of a company’s region.
Findings in this report from both IROs and investors are broken down by geographical region. Data from investors is additionally separated between buy side and sell side, while IRO data is broken down by market capitalization. For the purposes of this report market cap is defined as:
Small cap <$1 bn
Mid-cap $1 bn-$5 bn
Large cap $5 bn-$30 bn
Mega-cap >$30 bn
Total IRO respondents: 255
Total investor respondents: 185
Chief copy editor
Art & design
What IROs told us about investments, shares, meetings and effectiveness, both inside and outside their regions
North American companies have the highest level of domestic investment, while European companies have the most investment from outside of their region.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a slight increase in shares held outside of a company’s region.
Just under ******** of European investor interests are outside of the region, while just under ******* of Asian investor interests are non-Asian.
In the past 12 months, ******** in 10 investors have seen an increase in the number of companies they follow or invest in that are outside of their region.
Approaching four in 10 companies have seen meetings increase with investors outside of their region since the start of the pandemic.
More than ******* in 10 IROs expect meetings with investors outside of their region will continue to increase through 2022.
IROs typically spend more than twice as long on targeting domestic investors as they do international investors.
More than ****** in 10 investors say virtual corporate access has increased how much they have engaged with companies outside of their region in the past year, with ** percent identifying a large increase.
Meetings with domestic investors are more likely to be set up by direct contact than are meetings with international investors.
At least 95 percent of IROs give a positive rating of at least six out of 10 to all domestic in-person investor events.
For all virtual non-domestic investor event types, more than ***** in 10 IROs give a highly effective rating of either **** or ****.
Half of IROs outside of the three main investment regions rate virtual site visits/investor days as highly effective for engaging with investors outside of their region.
*Subscribe to see all figures
Where are shareholders based?
Shareholder base by region
What is the regional breakdown of your investor base?
North American companies have the highest level of domestic investment, with 88 percent of shares held by investors within the region. European companies have the most investment from outside of their region, but even here two thirds of shares are held by European investors.
North America is the second-largest source of investment for both Asian and European companies, with a quarter of European company shares held by North American investors. Among companies in the rest of the world, more investment typically comes from North America than it does from a company’s own region.
Meetings with investors outside of the region and changes to non-domestic investor meetings
Meetings with investors outside of the region
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (around March 2020), how has the number of meetings with investors based outside of your region changed?
While companies have seen only a slight increase in shares held by non-domestic investors since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a more significant increase in the number of meetings with such investors in this time.
Globally, 38 percent of companies have seen meetings increase with investors outside of their region, compared with 18 percent that have witnessed a decrease.
The increase in non-domestic investor engagement has been most notable among North American and European companies. Increased engagement also rises with company size. Among small-cap companies, more have seen a decrease than an increase in the number of meetings held with investors outside of their region, while 56 percent of mega-cap companies have seen an increase in such meetings, compared with just 12 percent that have seen a decrease.
Tracking the changing trends in targeting domestic and non-domestic investors
Targeting non-domestic investors
How is your investor targeting split between domestic and international investors?
IROs typically spend more than twice as much time targeting domestic investors as they do targeting international investors, with a 70/30 ratio on time spent targeting investors from inside and outside their region.
North American IROs spend the most time targeting investors inside their region. This is unsurprising given that North American companies typically have the most heavily domestic shareholder registers. IROs in companies outside of the three main investment regions spend an average of 45 percent of their targeting seeking to attract non-domestic investment.
The proportion of time spent on targeting international investors increases with company size. Small-cap IR professionals spend a fifth of their time targeting investors outside of their region. This rises to 37 percent among mega-cap IROs.
Which is most effective: in-person or virtual investor conferences, roadshows and investor days?
For investors within your region, to what extent do you find the following formats of engagement effective?
IROs have an overwhelmingly positive view of the effectiveness of in-person events in engaging with investors from inside their region. Across all in-person event types, at least 95 percent give a positive rating of 6+/10. Two thirds of IROs rate in-person investor conferences as highly effective, giving a score of either nine or 10, while more than three quarters give the same rating to the effectiveness of in-person investor days/site visits.
IROs are less enthusiastic about virtual events with investors in their region. While most are generally positive, fewer than three in 10 give a high rating of nine or 10 to virtual roadshows and investor days/site visits, while less than a quarter give the same rating to the effectiveness of virtual investor conferences.