Mastering the Art of Investor Matchmaking

The Art of Investor Matchmaking

The Key to Successful Financial PR & Investor Relations

Successful Financial PR & Investor Relations involves being a master matchmaker. Agencies and in-house teams need to identify and engage with investors that might be a good fit for their company’s shareholder base.

 

Most of the time, that means seeking out long-term, active investors that share the vision of management. But it can also refer to other goals, such as adding retail investors to boost liquidity.

 

The benefits of effective investor matchmaking are manifold. It helps companies maintain a shareholder base that suits their current and future profile. It helps avoid risks in the share register, such as too much fast money or excessive concentration. It ensures management time is allocated to the most important investor meetings.

 

Start with what your existing shareholder base

 

The first place to start with investor matchmaking is to identify the most likely buyers, which often means looking at your existing shareholder base. The More Profitable Marketing Financial PR teamstarts by analyzing whether the current shareholder mix is the right one for the company – for right now as well as the next stage of our clients business evolution.

 

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that having the right investors that align with our clients’ corporate strategy is very constructive and helps businesses withstand periods of market volatility.

 

I also look at opportunities for existing shareholders to grow their position. Clearly, there’s already interest, so I’d look at who is underweight and has the potential to add more.

 

Goals and targets

 

The next stage is setting objectives and identifying targets. Depending on the circumstances, companies may have overarching goals for their shareholder base, such as adding institutional investors, boosting liquidity, growing international exposure or attracting ESG-focused funds.

 

To identify specific targets, I recommend companies look at a broad range of criteria. On a tactical level, I would start with an analysis of how your company is positioned against its peers, whether you do that by sector or financial profile, to try to understand whether you’re in the sweet spot of the investors you’re trying to target, and how much added value they bring.

 

Other considerations include location, industry sector allocations, peer ownership and investment style.

 

Marketing plan

 

To execute their targeting strategy, PR teams should typically set up an engagement calendar, featuring key events such as investment conferences, results announcements, investor or analyst days and non-deal roadshows.

 

Traditionally, the sell side operates as a key facilitator of meetings with investor targets, although in recent years this has been increasingly supplemented by firms and investors reaching out to each other directly.

 

There has been a notable trend of buy-side investors engaging directly with companies. It can be more efficient to cut out the middleman and schedule a quick call. But I maintain that the sell side will always be a critical conduit to investors. The buy side still depends on sell-side research and conferences for new investment ideas.

 

Tracking progress – beware of phantom metrics

 

There are various ways for Investor Relations teams to monitor the progress of their targeting efforts. It can be tempting to focus on quantitative measures, such as the number of meetings held or conferences attended.

 

Some Financial PR Professionals look at softer measures to judge success, such as quality of meetings and effective use of management time.

 

But of course these are meaningless metrics. While targeting can be a complex process, the ultimate goal is simply to find investors that are the best fit for your business.

 

It’s about reaching a willing audience that has the highest potential to become your shareholders, and to close on that investment.

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Alexander Bentley-Sutherland is the visionary founder behind More Profitable Marketing (MPM+). With a dynamic career spanning over two decades in the digital marketing and Financial PR sector in the United States, SE Asia and the UK. More Profitable Marketing help clients in all sectors at every stage of their business journey: from start up firms to large International businesses. Our growth-focused initiatives, bespoke media relations and content-rich campaigns. MPM+ powers significant growth and delivers exceptional Return on Investment.