A Crash Course in Investor Access

08/09/2016

Lara Pyliotis, Investor Access

We answer some of your FAQs about Investor Access.

A Crash Course in Investor Access

Here at Redleaf we have an Investor Access function within our Capital Markets department. “What is that?” you say? This is quite often the response I receive when people ask me what I do for a living.

In fact, they give me a perplexed look and proceed to smile and nod - essentially, this means that they don’t know what I’m talking about, mostly because they can’t differentiate it from Investor Relations. Therefore I’ve decided to clear things up: here is a crash “Q&A” course on what Investor Access actually is.

 

What is Investor Access and how does it differ to Investor Relations?

Like investor relations, investor access handles the communication between a listed company and its investors, integrating finance, communication and compliance. It differs because Investor Access uses a more targeted approach by focusing on Private Client Wealth Managers and individual investors, rather than taking control of the entire shareholder register of the company in question.

What is the overall aim of someone who works in Investor Access?

 To effectively provide disclosed company information to private client wealth managers that will allow them to make informed buy and sell decisions. In this way, it contributes to achieving a fair valuation of the company.

Also, to leverage relationships between current and future potential private client wealth managers, broadening their shareholder base and helping to increase their market presence. It can be particularly useful for smaller companies who need to increase their liquidity.

 What are the advantages of having an effective Investor Access strategy?

  • It forces companies to evaluate how the business model is perceived by investors on a regular basis
  • Leveraging relationships with existing and potential private client wealth managers will help the company to recognise areas whereupon companies can improve and, as a result, attract new investors
  • It can be particularly useful for small companies seeking more liquidity as private client wealth managers tend to trade smaller parcels of shares compared with the large institutions
  • If a company is facing a downturn, a strong relationship with existing private client wealth managers will mean that investors will not immediately abandon ship
  • Top line management is often very busy and so having an investor access team who communicates to both the investors and the CEO or CFO on a daily basis can be very helpful.

Why the private client community is so important?

Whilst the fintech sector grows, investing becomes easier and quicker as you invest through online platforms with a click of the button. However, the rise of fintech also means that relationships are more important than ever and private clients seek the advice and wisdom of their designated wealth manager who will have actually met the company being put forward as a potential candidate to invest it.

For this reason, it is important that companies meet with wealth managers who communicate with their private clients on a daily basis and have built a relationship and gained their trust.  

 What does a job in Investor Access involve?

  • Developing and overseeing the investor access strategy
  • Keeping the investor community up to date with company news
  • Keeping the company up to date with private client wealth manager feedback, questions and concerns
  • Introducing the Company to a variety of wealth managers throughout the country, rather than sticking to London

Generally, who handles a company’s Investor Relations functions?

  • An outsourced consultant e.g. Redleaf Communications Investor Access department
  • The company’s in house investor relations or corporate communications department

Who does the Investor Access department report to?

Similarly to your typical investor relations department, it would be to the Chief Financial Officer.

There are many cases in which they would also report to the Chief Executive Officer and this way the higher management team will always be aware of current investor sentiment. Because we often work alongside the in-house investor relations department, we will often report to the Investor Relations Officer as well.

What rules and regulations does the Investor Access department have to abide by?

  • The rules established by the FCA which have developed considerably since the 2008 crash
  • Announcing of any company development that could affect the share price to the stock exchange as soon as possible.
  • It goes without saying: no insider trading or disclosing of information that shouldn’t be disclosed!

 

So there it is - an introduction to a role that an investor relations function plays along with its importance. Next time someone asks me what I spend my days doing, I may refer them to this.