2020 has accelerated recent shifts in IR practices with lasting impacts. Outlined below are the key trends we expect in 2021, and what they mean for IR capabilities and budgets.
- The investment story needs to refocus from operational and financial flexibility to outlining a pathway to value creation as business models have evolved.
- Sustainability will have a direct impact on valuation, putting tokenism to an end. Management teams that embed it into their strategic framework and disclosures will benefit from access to capital – both passive and active.
- The impact of MIFID II is now normalised, increasing the onus on issuers to drive direct investor engagement. Shifts in investment portfolio strategies and increasing influence of passive funds to further shape market engagement.
- Defence preparation is a must given increased activist activity. Heightened market assessment expected, given emergence of disruptors across many sectors.
- Digitalisation to be the critical enabler in efficient execution of IR programme priorities. The shift to virtual meetings will remain and provide a platform for IR to lead more direct engagement. Scrutiny of IR budgets, processes and approach to increase.