Recently, Ipreo’s Mark L. Thompson, Director, Global Markets Intelligence, participated in a panel on IR Careers. When he got back, he decided to put some of his thoughts down on paper.
The following document offers his invaluable perspective on how one might land a career in the IR field, with insights he gleaned from discussions with a variety of IROs about how one might make the transition into the industry, details on how the investor relations officer shares some DNA with market intelligence analysts, and some of the tools necessary to succeed in a role in investor relations.
In early October, I had the opportunity to participate on a panel at an IR Think Tank event in Toronto. The subject of the panel was IR careers.
On a personal note, I myself had attempted years ago to move from the field of market intelligence to a role in Investor Relations. People may not realize that many market intelligence analysts have successfully made the transition into the role of IR including, but not limited to, such companies such as AOL, HSN, Pfizer, Perrigo, Curtiss-Wright, Nielsen, Incyte, and AllianceBernstein to name a few. I’ve always believed that market intelligence analysts have several common attributes to those IROs that they serve (i.e. an interest/knowledge of the stock market, a certain level of financial knowledge, knowledge of buy-side investors, knowledge of the company/sector, an ability to communicate effectively, knowledge of IR-related products, as well as a fundamental understanding of the role of IR).
In preparation for the panel, I reached out to a number of IROs to see if there were any common themes specific to a career in IR, approached from several different angles which I’ve listed below. I also realized it was an opportunity for me to learn more about how others came into the role of IR and what about their experiences might be beneficial for others to hear.