Market - 10/24/2018
Our Intelligence. Your Advantage.
Many IROs struggle to understand how to use Intelligence data. Some receive the service because it has been subsidized by their stock exchange. Others see it as part of a larger bundle of services, including the investor relations website, earnings/event webcasts and IR database/CRM. In fact, Intelligence is integrated into ALL of these things. And more.
What should IR Intelligence be, and more importantly, what should you expect from it? It should be something which is Always On. Something you learn to Trust and find Actionable. What you are really doing is Investing in Answers.
Unlike websites or databases (both of which are essential expenses), which, after an initial investment, are mostly just managed as needed, Intelligence is often more difficult to assess and, occasionally, to understand. It is also rarely a ‘one-size-fits-all’ proposition.
- To some, Intelligence is purely seeing updated data on Institutional Buyers & Sellers between 13F filings.
- To others, it helps IROs (and by extension, management) offer a clearer understanding of how and why the company’s public equity is trading as it is today, this week, versus its peers and the market.
- Some mostly use it as a Targeting focus.
- Others heavily rely on it to assist with projects, reports, slide decks or other consulting-like requests.
- Others still rely on it to assess broker conferences and roadshows, seeking to determine the best use of management and IRO time.
In fact, Intelligence is ALL of these. And more.
It needs to be Personal.
- While every public company needs to have the tools in place and at their fingertips, including always-on online platforms and mobile apps, it goes without saying how beneficial it should be to use Intelligence as an extension of your department, as another resource or analyst down the hall that you can call on during a fire drill, rather than need to dig through the data yourself.
It needs to be Collaborative.
- The best Intelligence is the result of teamwork, and responsibility is shared between internal and external members.
It should also be Proactive.
- In addition to delivering updates on trading, institutional activity, etc., Intelligence includes the ability to understand subtle shifts in trading or the shareholder base, which often trigger questions from management or the Board, and act on them in advance, so you are prepared for the inevitable internal and external questions before the phone rings.
It needs to be Customized.
- Data can be cut and sliced in so many ways, and not every management team wants to see their analysis in the same manner.
- While online platforms put the tools at your disposal, our Intelligence team, has worked with so many public companies over the years that a simple conversation or quick email often can make your life a lot easier. And we will probably just do it for you!
And, most importantly, it needs to be Transparent.
- While the increasing use of algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Neural Engines allows technology to clearly improve the IRO’s ability to sift through the billions of data points and hundreds of data sets available to market participants, it is just as important to be clear about how and why that particular output was achieved. Smoke-and-mirrors solutions are too easily sold under the guise of AI, without questioning why and sometimes, more importantly, why not.
- Additionally, transparency is tied into all of the above. While a machine might be able to select appropriate Targets, it does not always explain why they were chosen. However, when there is a personal relationship with the Intelligence analyst and team collaboration is integral to the entire process, as it should be, the results inspire more Trust and, therefore, lead to Actionability.
- At MZ Group, we are working to build an innovative new platform for the IRO, MZiQ. Our goal is to create a single, integrated solution for each and every Intelligence issue facing the Investor Relations community. MZiQ will ultimately combine the industry’s most accurate Shareholder data, Contact and Institution profiles, Targeting, IR Website Management, Mailer, Webcast and the appropriate integrated analytics into a single collaborative tool, allowing you to further focus on the relationship between your company and its stakeholders.
Peter Belesiotis is Vice President of Capital Markets Intelligence at MZ Group.