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The Future of IR – Becoming a Trusted Strategic Advisor

By O’Hara Macken   

This year’s NIRI Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of NIRI.  Our theme for the event was “Power of the Past – Force of the Future,” as we also celebrated the prominent role we’ve played in the evolution of IR and the evolution of our business as we join IHS Markit and bring to market a broader set of solutions for our clients. 

As we have evolved alongside our clients, one of the most important changes I have observed is the shift of Investor Relations from a tactical to a critical strategic function.

The successful IRO today has a prominent role in the C-suite, and he or she is in the room contributing to and leading decisions on everything from M&A and capital allocation to HR policy discussions and much more.

In fact, the long list of areas covered at the NIRI annual conference provides an idea of just how comprehensive the role has become. Topics included the following:

  • Best practices for IR strategy and planning
  • Understanding and incorporating ESG, from an IR and investor perspective
  • New tools and technologies available to IR teams
  • Impact of AI and machine learning on IR
  • Changes in capital markets structure and function
  • Integration of marketing, communications, IR & PR
  • Challenges in financial reporting, regulatory compliance and corporate governance
  • And SO many more…

Wow, that is a LOT of responsibility! Given how prominent the role has become, it’s not surprising that our clients are looking to us for strategic advice and help with setting priorities and measuring and communicating performance:

  • With so many things to think about, how does an IRO begin to plan for the year ahead?
  • How do you measure progress against that plan?
  • How do you know if you are executing successfully?

In order to understand more about the process of planning and executing a successful IR program, check out a presentation delivered at the NIRI annual conference by advisory specialists, Michael Miller and Brian Matt, entitled “IR Planning – Establishing KPIs and Benchmarking your IR Program”. It offers ideas on how to set the right objectives for 2020 and ensure that your IR program is a success for years to come.

At IHS Markit, we are excited about the role we have played in the evolution of IR, and we look forward to many more years of success in delivering the data, technology and advisory services which enable IROs to evolve and achieve their goals.


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