Highlights - 06/18/2021

MZ Expands its international footprint and is now part of the Canadian Securities Exchange Service Providers Program.

NEW YORKJune 18, 2021 /CNW/ — MZ is proud to announce its approval as a Premium Service Provider for the Canadian Securities Exchange, to offer innovative technology for Investor Relations and premium IR websites to all its listed issuers.

MZ joins a select pool of providers that can offer significant benefits to the IR Professional by including automation in their daily routines and reducing unnecessary manual tasks, allowing the company to focus its efforts where it matters.

“We are thrilled to announce another exciting partnership, enhancing our expertise and support to Canadian Companies. CSE is full of dynamic and innovative companies from some of the hottest industries currently, and we will be pleased to support their IR Program and bring their message to an even broader audience,” said Amanda Munhoz, partner at MZ.

For more information on this offer, please contact sales@mzgroup.com.

All MZ websites are built with investor engagement and regulatory compliance in mind, leveraging fully responsive, modern, and GDPR-compliant designs. Websites are hosted by Amazon AWS, with a user-friendly content management tool, and connected with market intelligence.

About MZ
MZ is a global leader in investor relations solutions for over 20 years. Through innovative technology and exceptional customer service, MZ empowers investor relations strategy to over 800 clients worldwide.

MZ’s full suite of communications and intelligence solutions keeps IR professionals ahead of the market by providing them with all the tools and insights they need to make effective decisions and better engage with the market. MZ has offices in ChicagoNew YorkSan DiegoSao Paulo, and Taiwan. Visit mzgroup.com to learn more.

Contact: sales@mzgroup.com

Recent - 04/05/2021

MZ Partners with the NEO Exchange as a Trusted Service Provider

NEW YORKApril 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MZ, a global leader in investor relations and corporate communications, has partnered with the NEO Exchange, a Canadian stock exchange, to provide its investor relations and technology solutions to NEO’s corporate issuers through its Trusted Service Provider Program.

Launched in 2015, the NEO Exchange has earned a reputation as Canada’s innovative and disruptive tier-one stock exchange, bringing much-needed competition to the Canadian capital markets landscape. The Trusted Service Provider program recommends service providers who are committed to meeting the needs of capital raising companies. NEO Trusted Service Providers are leading experts in their fields and across all verticals including, legal, accounting, audit, communications, transfer agency, finance, governance, IR, PR and marketing support.

In addition to MZ’s comprehensive investor relations and outreach service offerings, MZ will provide NEO issuers preferential rates and exclusive technology packages. At launch, MZ is offering to design and implement a company’s new website in 7 days, as well as hosting of an IR website, completely free–of–charge, for an entire year. For more information on this offer, please contact sales@mzgroup.com.

“We are privileged to enroll in NEO’s partner program and to begin extending our unique one-stop-shop model of high-value services and technologies to over 120 unique listings on the NEO Exchange,” said Greg Falesnik, Chief Executive Officer of MZ North America. “NEO consistently represents close to 15% of all volume traded in Canadian-listed securities, and is backed by some of the most reputable financial organizations in Canada who recognized a need for innovation and disruption in the industry.”

“As a trusted partner, we can add significant value to the growing number of corporate issuers that turn to NEO for next-generation capital raising and liquidity solutions. NEO clients will now have access to some of the most robust outreach, consulting, and IR technology solutions on the market, such as ESG reporting and custom website capabilities. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with NEO, while providing issuers a suite of consulting and technology services tailored to their corporate lifecycles,” concluded Falesnik.

Erik Sloane, Chief Revenue Officer at NEO, added, “MZ is a robust addition to our corporate issuer toolkit as the world’s largest independently owned investor relations and corporate communications firm. Several of our clients are already using MZ, and we have been consistently impressed by their attention to detail, strategic approach to investor relations, and masterful execution. We are confident in recommending their services and look forward to continuing to work together with the MZ team to help our corporate issuers thrive. MZ Group joins a carefully vetted collection of leading experts, across all verticals, who are committed to meeting the needs of growth companies and are aligned with NEO’s vision, values, and commitment to providing exceptional client service.”

NEO Exchange Digital Market Open Event

In conjunction with the new partnership, MZ will participate in a Digital Market Open Event for the NEO Exchange on Monday, April 5 2021, at 9:20 a.m. Eastern Time. The event will include welcome remarks from Erik Sloane, NEO, and remarks and a presentation from Greg Falesnik, CEO of MZ. Register for the event here.

MZ Group’s Comprehensive Service Offerings:

  • Investor Relations and Outreach – Full-service investor relations services and introduction capabilities, with a database of over 140,000 investors worldwide.
  • Financial Media Awareness – Targeted campaigns to business and financial media, as well as branded newsletter contributors.
  • Social Media Services – Account creation & optimization, custom graphics, posting and management, advertising campaigns and detailed monthly reporting.
  • ESG Consulting & Software – Education, auditing, reporting and strategic implementation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics leveraging MZ’s proprietary software, ESGiQ.
  • Market Surveillance & Intelligence – Stock surveillance on a micro and macro level with real time ownership monitoring.
  • Website Design & Hosting – Corporate and investor relations websites designed to bring a better experience using benchmark practices based on the latest technology and trends.
  • Conference Calls & Webcasting – Enhance your audience engagement with top-tier call and webcasting services.
  • Investor Relations CRM – Manage information on key stakeholders and access investment fund profiles to enhance your targeting efforts.
  • Board Portals – Nasdaq Boardvantage® Board Portal. A paperless boardroom for effective corporate engagement that improves workflow and organization for the board of directors.
  • Press Release Distribution Services – Unlimited news release distribution via our newswire partners, using the world’s largest distribution networks.
  • Regulatory Filings – Edgar & XBRL filing capabilities to meet SEC and other regulatory requirements.

To learn more about MZ Group, please visit www.mzgroup.com or contact Greg Falesnik at greg@mzgroup.us. For more information on NEO’s Trusted Service Provider Program, click here.

About MZ Group

MZ North America is the US division of MZ Group, a global leader in investor relations and corporate communications. MZ North America was founded in 1996 and provides full scale Investor Relations to both private and public companies across all industries. MZ North America has a global footprint with offices located in New YorkChicagoSan DiegoAliso ViejoAustinMinneapolisTaipei and São Paulo. For more information, please visit www.mzgroup.us.


Greg Falesnik, Chief Executive Officer
MZ North America 
Direct: 949-385-6449

Highlights - 02/04/2020

Opening Panel with Roberto Sallouti, CEO of BTG Pactual

Highlights - 03/06/2019

How to effectively approach your Targeting Plan

For many companies, attracting new investors is one of the most important objectives of an IR department. Effective targeting enables an IRO to balance the limited time available from both senior management, as well the IR team.

There are many moving parts to consider and executing the ones that will derive the best results for your particular need at a specific given time takes advance planning.

While targeting is a continuous process, there are few key steps, including understanding where your company is positioned relative to peers and competition, appropriately selecting and prioritizing your list, understanding where and when to include hedge funds and finally, measuring you progress and effectiveness.

IROs should start by assessing where your company lies along the Value and Growth spectrum.

Another essential part of targeting begins with Shareholder Identification. You need to know who your shareholders are and therefore also identifying who they are not.

The low-hanging fruit of target includes peer targeting and identifying underweight shareholders. Such investors are a natural target, as they are already familiar with your company. Additionally, underweight holders are often overlooked by IROs who are typically focused on top shareholders.

Given the analysis and research required to value a stock typically requires considerable time, and most investment managers like to follow a company and its management for some time before making an investment decision, do not wait for valuation issues to arise to begin searching for new investors.

Furthermore, the identification of the appropriate contact is the key to any targeting strategy. Details such as whether an analyst or investor prefers to receive their content through the IR website, via email, face-to-face or even just through their Bloomberg terminal, can be key to amplifying the impact of each individual message.


Moving Target

IROs should determine a set of ‘fundamental peers’, similar to where they expect their company to be at a given point of time in the future. You’d be surprised at some of the companies with similar forward attributes, many which may be well outside of your current sector. As an example, many MedTech firms may actually trade like high growth Technology, and should be looking well outside of traditional Health Care-oriented holders.

The challenge is to find the right mix of shareholders, given a need to attract some short-term investors, with the aim of fostering liquidity in your stock, balanced with securing enough longer-term investors to help mitigate price volatility.

It is crucial to prioritize the investors within each tier.


Hedge Funds

Many Targeting summaries will say to avoid hedge funds at all costs. Hedge fund managers are often portrayed short-term traders, shorting stocks, and often display activist styles. But not all hedge funds should be avoided. Indeed, some can be beneficial as shareholders.

And if you are relying on the sell-side, you will NEVER be able to avoid them. As such, you need to focus on the more desirable firms in this group.

Another reason hedge funds can be good targets is they are often more knowledgeable about a company than other investors. That is because hedge funds typically manage portfolios with fewer holdings than traditional money managers.

Hedge funds also have a relatively greater appetite for risk and can therefore provide price support during periods of distress, when other investors are selling or unwilling to invest. I have seen agile IROs effectively utilize hedge fund targeting following a disappointing earnings release to mitigate some of the post-earnings pressure on the shares.


Environmental, Social and Governance

Institutional investors are increasingly integrating ESG assessments into their investment process. In the new era of ‘shareholder stewardship’, companies and investors face an increased responsibility to focus on sustainability issues.

As a result, the scope of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) has significantly expanded to look beyond purely ethical motivations, encompassing ‘best-in-class’ companies with both sustainable and competitive advantages.

While ESG & SRI should not be direct focuses of your Targeting efforts, you should be conscious of how they drive specific targets investment decisions.



While IR Targeting is often compared to a Sales process, and it is, IROs have the benefit that the ‘customer’ often WANTS to hear their pitch (unlike most cold calling). 80% of investors indicated that potentially compatible companies initiating direct contact will or will possibly prompt them to conduct further research.

Furthermore, investors appreciate and welcome proactive contact from IR professionals, with 70% asserting they are “open to good fit companies reaching out”.

So, once you have a list, prioritized it, and made initial contact, what are the next steps to cultivate the relationship?


Sell Side Roadshows and Conferences

Many IROs rely on roadshows and conferences to meet their investors. According to NIRI, on average, U.S. companies attend 5.6 domestic equity conferences each year, spending 10.1 hours at each conference.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, but be aware that when using brokers, be mindful that they tend to favor high-turnover institutions because these investors generate more trading commissions.

Additionally, using the same research provider all the time it can limit the group of investors you are seeing, and repeat many of the same holders.

With that said, investors report they are inundated with voicemails and emails from people vying for their attention, and sell side analysts help sort through communication overload. So this should remain a necessary and effective part of your Targeting approach.


Going Direct

IR Magazine’s 2015 research report, Direct targeting: What’s changed?, indicated that almost half of IROs have increased their direct targeting of investors, sidestepping the sell side and reaching out to existing and potential investors themselves. Overseas, MFiD has only increased this trend.

Additionally, it is not always necessary to go to your target investors – you can have them come to you. Hosting a one-day corporate visit is an efficient way to meet numerous investors at one time, as well as an effective opportunity to familiarize them with your company in the best place to do so: on site.

You can also invite groups of target investors to tour your headquarters and major operations centers or to meet with members of the management team.


Measuring Effectiveness

Investor relations requires considerable resources, both in terms of time and money. As is the case with other uses of corporate resources, a well-managed company needs to measure its return on investment.

The IR department, however, should not be solely judged on the number of new investors it has managed to attract. Equally important is the quality of the investors it has attracted.

Concentration and diversification of ownership is also an important measure. While an IRO cannot prevent an investor from acquiring a large stake in their company, he/she can help set the stage for future demand when it is needed.

Furthermore, obtaining investor opinion regularly is one of the best ways to gauge an IR department’s effectiveness.

While all of the above summarizes how to effectively approach your Targeting plan, we’ll be back with follow-on analysis and demonstrations of how MZ can help IROs with their Targeting plan and approach. Future posts will include how to use MZ’s newest technology platform, MZiQ, to identify appropriate targets, using our industry leading data on current and peer holders, our in-depth Contact profiles and CRM tool, as well as how to create reports to measure effectiveness. Additionally, as one of the few providers who have an integrated product offering, we’ll also include how to use your IR website as part of your multi-sided Targeting strategy.


Peter Belesiotis is Vice President of Capital Markets Intelligence at MZ.

Highlights - 02/05/2019

First year of mandatory remote voting for all companies

After the first year of adoption of remote voting by all category A companies with traded shares, B3 published a survey showing that the average quorum at meetings increased from 71% in 2016 to 78% in 2018. Of the 321 companies that held shareholders’ meetings in 2018, all of them eligible to receive remote voting, 64% received remote voting forms submitted through the different authorized channels.

The data were presented at the Remote Voting Workshop, held by B3 and Lobo de Rizzo in São Paulo this week. The recently announced interconnection of the B3 (Corporate Intelligence Center) system with Empresas.net will allow companies to prepare and send the remote voting form to both B3 and the CVM at the same time, directly through CI. CORP, without having to print a pdf of the system, save it as a document and then file it in Empresas.net, in the BdV category.

This measure is designed avoid version mix-ups, as companies sometimes sent a document via the system and posted a different version of the document on the website, which often created a conflict between the votes received through the company and those received through the bookkeeping agent.

It is important to emphasize that the main purpose of the voting form is to ensure shareholders’ rights, whether exercised in person at the meeting or not, i.e. those who submit their vote in advance should not have misleading information that may hurt decision-making. This is the mindset that should be adopted when preparing the voting form, as many questions can arise in the process.

In addition, companies must make sure that the information in the voting maps is clear, so that there is no conflict of information between what was voted on the map and what was accounted for in the meeting’s D0. Therefore, it is not advisable to change the order of questions, summarize information or exclude responses.

In the latest data available after the 2017 annual shareholders’ meetings, 98% of the votes received via custodian/depository agents – equivalent to approximately two-thirds of the remote votes – were from foreign shareholders, which shows the importance of remote voting as a tool to ensure more comprehensive shareholders’ rights and strengthen corporate governance in the Brazilian capital market. As the practice matures, both for shareholders and for the areas dealing with this matter within the companies, participation is expected to increase, as is the relevance of remote votes.

Originally published by Cássio Rufino and Isabela Perez