TUESDAY 24 FEB 2009 12:01 PM


Companies worldwide are adapting their investor relations strategies and boosting communications with analysts and investors to deal with fallout from the credit crisis, according to an annual survey conducted by BNY Mellon.

Communications with analysts and investors have increased among 90% of respondents, due largely to financial market volatility in the last 18 months. The survey of 270 companies cross 42 countries also showed that the messages being delivered also underwent change. The most frequent shift in investor relations messaging was related to credit concerns (66%), followed by outlook horizon (50%) and cost-cutting (50%).

“This year’s findings show the importance that issuers attach to their investor relations programs, both in their home markets and abroad,” said Michael Cole-Fontayn, chief executive officer of the bank’s Depositary Receipt Division. “While there is a positive correlation between a company’s size and its IR practices, in light of recent events in the capital markets, companies appear to have a regional bias to communications, regardless of their market cap.”

North American firms (73%) showed the highest tendency to shift IR messaging based on credit concerns, followed by Western Europe (70%). Asia-Pacific companies (54%) were the least likely to have shifted messaging on this issue.

However, many organisations are yet to recognise the importance of written crisis communications plans. In Western Europe only 52% have them in place. This compares to 46% in North America and 40% of companies in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe.

Financial companies led all sectors in increasing their communications (67%) and were the most likely to have changed their outlook horizons due to ecent market uncertainty (65%). The survey has been running since 2004 and looks at how publicly traded companies are managing investor relations practices in the current economic climate, including investor outreach, communications and disclosure.