IR lacks accountability claims new FTSE report

Three-quarters of investor relations (IR) directors in FTSE 100 firms have no formal performance measurement - but a similar proportion can expect bonuses of over £30,000.

The findings of a survey of FTSE 100 IR directors showed that performance measurement in the IR arena is still rare, in part because measuring IR effectiveness against share price would be misleading.

The definition of what constitutes success does appear to be blurred. One IR director reported that a good performance was 'just not screwing up on legal'.

But the study, commisioned by recruitment agency Watson Helsby, showed that despite this, IR directors are increasingly finding a place on the senior management team and are generally commanding salaries in excess of £130,000.

Thirty FTSE 100 directors from companies such as Barclays and Rolls Royce took part in the survey, which looked at what constitutes a 'world class' IR function.

More than four in five of respondents said they did not think an accountancy qualification was necessary to be a successful IR director, although 13 of the 30 do have these qualifications.

The survey created 'six attributes of a world class IR function'. They include 'an encyclopaedic knowledge of the business', 'exceptionally high levels of financial literacy', and 'the ability to build and develop strong relationships with investors'.

'You have to understand what is influencing and driving your share price, particularly if you are either a target or an acquirer,' said one respondent. 'Equally you have to make sure that shareholders understand you.'

FTSE 100 IR directors also feel corporate comms and IR should work closer together.

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