SAN DIEGO: NIRI names Nancy Humphries as its new CEO-elect and president. The announcement was made this morning at the NIRI conference by Chairman Maureen Wolff-Reid.
Humphries spent more than a decade as the IR and financial communications officer for BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta, and has previously served on NIRI's board. She said that she plans to relocate from Atlanta to NIRI's DC headquarters in the coming weeks.
Humphries, who spent a total of 30 years with BellSouth, will begin her duties at NIRI on July 7. Outgoing president Lou Thompson will be helping her during the transition period.
Thompson himself is not retiring, but moving into consulting work. He will also be penning a column for Compliance Week Magazine.
In a meeting with the media, Humphries acknowledged that she will have a learning curve coming into the position, and said she would take some time to determine what NIRI's future direction should be.
"There are so many issues this industry is wrestling with," she said, naming shareholder activism and increasing ownership of public companies by hedge funds as prominent issues on the radar of many in the IR profession.
Humphries said that although her background is in corporate communications, she expected to continue NIRI's lobbying work, which Thompson has led for the last 24 years.
Thompson said he was "absolutely delighted" with the selection of Humphries. He also spoke about the continuing integration of the IR and PR functions in many organizations, emphasizing the "importance of integrating messaging."
"You cannot have one message going to the investment community, another to the general public, and another to employees," he said. In PR, he added, "You've got to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly."