"Honesty is the theme for the day" according to conference moderator and nationally recognised journalist, economist and presenter, Evan Davis, at yesterday's 2012 IR Society Annual Conference, "The Competition for Capital". The conference was packed with insight, anecdotes, messages and strategic considerations as investor relations professionals from around the world convened at the UK’s most important IR event. Honesty and transparency in communication were identified as fundamental for best practice IR throughout the day, as expert speakers and delegates considered corporate capital raising through both debt and equity.
Sessions included plenaries on the shifting flows of capital in the global marketplace, the nuances of the debt market, the 'acceptable face of capitalism', breakout sessions on equity management and allocation, a discussion on rating agencies and a further debate on the changing relationship between investors to name a few. The conference opened with a keynote address by Rich Ricci, co-chief executive of corporate and investment banking, Barclays in which he iterated that "In the capital markets confidence is king", and how "Deficit reduction and growth are not mutually exclusive". The latter was the theme for the lunch keynote address from The Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP, chief secretary to the Treasury who judged that the cabinet is the UK's IR department as he outlined the Government’s economic and business programme.
What emerged from the day was the importance of IR in enabling companies to meet their objectives and overcome challenges. In the words of our final keynote speaker, Luke Johnson, one of Britain's best known entrepreneurs and business figures: "IR has become a very serious, sophisticated industry since the1980s and is a critical link in the system".
Full reaction will follow in the forthcoming edition of Informed magazine with video highlights to be published shortly. Many thanks to all speakers, exhibitors, delegates & sponsors - in particular conference sponsor Barclays and platinum sponsor BNY Mellon.
A piece from Gorkana PR on the day had the following to say on the conference:
Today’s case for more economics tomorrow
It’s not too late to trot off to King’s Cross and catch the second half of the Investor Relations Society conference this afternoon. Other than enticing sessions on how technology is impacting comms and an address by the FT columnist Luke Johnson, you would also pick up some tips on how to arrange a successful conference. The masterstroke of the IRS has been to secure the services of Evan Davis as the moderator for the third year in succession. This year’s theme is The Competition for Capital, a topic for an IMF conference let alone the IRS, and the input of such a polished broadcaster as Davis meant that a strong narrative took hold linking the sessions together.
However, it is not the broadcasting stardust that was Davis’ key attraction, it was his deep understanding of the economic and financial issues underpinning the programme. The panel sessions he chaired this morning had the whiff of Newsnight about them, whereas his political interviews on Today are, to this mind, especially successful because he has the ability to challenge statistical gobbledegook, particularly of the economic kind. As the Today Programme’s audience figures begin to show the first signs of weakening perhaps it is time to deepen the pool of economic credibility on the roster of Today presenters. Looking at the agenda for the next ten years it would be the best bet for shining light on the challenges ahead. With this in mind, the campaign for recruiting The Economist’s Philip Coggan, who was also in sparkling form this morning, to Today starts here.
Published: 23 May, 2012