Access, Board, Careers: an ABC of IR

The IR Society's 30th annual conference took place in London on 21 June 2016. This one-day event provides unparalleled opportunities to learn, keep up to date and network with peers.

The IR Society's 30th annual conference took place in London on 21 June 2016. This one-day event provides unparalleled opportunities to learn, keep up to date and network with peers.

Conference overview

Access, Board, Careers: An ABC of IR

Access: to investors; insight; boards; senior management; and development Board: governance; diversity; ethics; and organisational culture Careers: develop your role; maximise your potential; and succeed in IR

These crucial topics, and many more, were addressed by a fantastic array of speakers at the 2016 IR Society Conference. The conference covered the key issues that are of importance to today’s busy IRO, through a range of topical and engaging sessions that helped attendees keep up to date with all the latest thinking. Each session delivered practical takeaways and there was a particular emphasis on careers and professional development throughout. With a range of highly engaging breakout sessions to choose from, unparalleled networking opportunities and a showcase of the latest IR services, the 2016 conference proved to be our best yet: the event not to be missed by anyone working in IR.

If you have any suggestions for content or topics for future conferences, or would like to get involved, please contact:

John Gollifer, General Manager, The IR Society john.gollifer@irs.org.uk +44 (0) 20 7379 1763

“A brilliant networking opportunity, great topics covered and presenters were incredibly engaging. Would recommend this to anyone in IR!”

2015 Conference Delegate
Venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

Travelling to Kings Place by public transport is quick and easy; it is within walking distance of Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations. The nearest car park is NCP London St Pancras on Pancras Road, open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Videos

See the highlights from the 2016 and 2015 conferences

Highlights from the 2016 conference: Access, Board, Careers: An ABC of IR

Preview of the opening plenary session

Highlights from the 2015 conference

Programme

The programme for the 2016 conference is regularly updated. Please note session times and titles below may be subject to change.

08.00

Registration

08.30

Chair’s opening remarks and introduction of Evan Davis, conference host and moderator

  • Sue Scholes, Chair, The IR Society

    Sue Scholes Sue Scholes was appointed Chair of the IR Society in June 2014, having previously chaired the Society's Education Committee. Most recently, Sue spent seven years as Director of Communications for AMEC plc, during a period of significant and successful transformation. A CIMA-qualified accountant, she first started working in investor relations in the late 1990s, at GKN plc. She was involved in the demerger of its joint venture businesses and the subsequent listing of Brambles Industries plc in London; as well as the later unwinding of this dual-listed company structure. Sue is a board member at mac, the Midland's most visited arts centre.

09.00

Keynote interview: Professor John Kay

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Professor John Kay

    Professor John Kay John Kay is an economist whose career has spanned the academic world, business and public affairs. Currently, he is a visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is a director of several public companies and contributes a weekly column to the Financial Times. He recently chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in July 2012. He is the author of many books, including The Truth about Markets (2003), The Long and the Short of It: finance and investment for normally intelligent people who are not in the industry (2009) and Obliquity (2010). His latest book, Other People’s Money – towards a financial system for the needs of the economy rather than financial market participants – published by Profile Books and (in North America) by PublicAffairs in September 2015.

09.30

Plenary Session: Access, Board, Careers: an ABC of IR

Setting the scene for the conference, this session will focus on building a career in, or using, investor relations. By sharing their stories, the speakers will highlight the skills, experience and technical expertise they have developed and the crucial professional relationships they have fostered with their Boards, the buy and sell-side and with their peers.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Phil Cowdy, Head of Corporate Affairs & Strategic Planning and IT, Smith & Nephew

    Phil Cowdy Phil Cowdy is Head of Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning and IT for Smith & Nephew, having joined in 2008. Prior to that he was at Deutsche Bank, providing corporate finance and equity capital markets advice to a variety of UK-based companies, and Ernst & Young

  • Amanda Mellor, Group Secretary and Head of Corporate Governance, M&S

    Amanda Mellor Amanda Mellor is the Group Secretary and Head of Corporate Governance of Marks and Spencer Group plc. She is a Non-Executive Director of Kier Group plc, where she chairs the Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Nominations, Risk Management and Audit and Safety Committees. She is on the Council and Remuneration Committee of Leeds University. She spent her early career working in investor relations, corporate communications and investment banking. She is also a visiting professor of Ethics at Leeds University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.

  • Rupert Taylor Rea, Investor Relations Director, RSA Insurance

    Rupert Taylor Rea Rupert has spent 15 years working in financial services. He began his career at PwC working in both audit and transaction services with a broad range of financial services clients but with a core focus on the insurance sector. In 2010 he joined RSA Insurance Group, initially working in Financial Planning & Analysis before moving into Investor Relations in late 2012. He has led the IR team at RSA for the past 2 years. Rupert is a qualified chartered accountant.

  • Mav Wynn, Ex Head of Brand Communications, SuperGroup Plc

    Mav Wynn Mav has 14 years’ experience in Investor Relations. After many years working in the financial services sector, she chose to gain IR experience in other sectors. This includes her most recent roles at SuperGroup Plc, parent of the global lifestyle brand Superdry, where she led the IR function for 12 months and thereafter stepped into a newly created role as Head of Brand Communications. Prior to SuperGroup, Mav led the IR functions of Thomas Cook Group and Henderson Group plc (the parent company of Henderson Global Investors) – the latter for over eight years. Prior to that she held IR roles at Aviva plc and Standard Bank Group in South Africa.

10.15

Morning break

10.45

Break-out sessions 1 & 2

Session 1: Working with Activism

John Dawson, Head of IR at Rolls-Royce, will discuss with his expert panel of leading advisers how the company worked with US activist ValueAct, as they looked to develop their interest in the company against a backdrop of challenging market communications. The team will explore how the relationship unfolded, the key considerations at each stage in the process, the dos and don’ts and how to secure the most positive long-term outcome

  • Moderator: John Dawson, Director of IR, Rolls-Royce

    Moderator: John Dawson John joined Rolls-Royce as Head of / Director, Investor Relations in July 2015. Always a corporate animal, John has spent his career in engineering, finance, strategy and communications. He started his career at TI Group (Specialty Engineering), before moving to Exel (Logistics), ICI (Chemicals), Cadbury (Consumer Goods) and National Grid (utilities), always with a Board advisory / IR role as a core part of his responsibilities. From 2011 to 2014 he chaired the UK’s IR Society. John is a qualified accountant and Engineering graduate of Cambridge University.

  • Robert Falzon, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

    Robert Falzon Robert is a managing director in the European Industrials team and a member of the European Merger Leadership Group. He focuses on the Energy Equipment sector as well as Aerospace and Defense. Robert joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 and was named managing director in 2009. Robert earned a BSc in Economics from Bristol University.

  • Michael Henson, Managing Director, Sard Verbinnen & Co

    Michael Henson Michael Henson is Managing Director and co-head of the London office of Sard Verbinnen & Co (“SVC”). He advises SVC’s global client base on complex investor relations, financial communications, and corporate governance issues. Michael has specific expertise providing strategic counsel and tactical support to companies navigating sensitive shareholder interactions, undergoing friendly or unsolicited M&A, and / or preparing for such activity. He has acted for dozens of companies across sectors and geographies as they interacted with leading activist funds and managed the broader capital markets implications of those interactions. Michael attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada and holds an honours degree in Philosophy.

  • Jim Rossman, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Preparedness, Lazard NY

    Jim Rossman Mr. Rossman is the Head of Corporate Preparedness at Lazard and advises clients in connection with preparing for and responding to shareholder activism. Mr. Rossman joined Lazard in 2003 and has over 20 years of experience as both a lawyer and investment banker. Prior to joining Lazard, Mr. Rossman was a senior equity capital markets banker at Lehman Brothers. Prior to his work at Lehman Brothers, Mr. Rossman was a corporate lawyer at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in their New York and Brussels offices, specializing in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and debt restructuring. Mr. Rossman also served as Head of Capital Markets for the Americas at HSBC and Head of U.S. Equity Capital Markets at Macquarie Capital Advisors. Mr. Rossman is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Brooklyn Historical Society; serves on the Board of Advisors of the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania; and serves on the Corporate Governance Forum Advisory Council for the Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance. Mr. Rossman earned a B.A. cum laude in English from Kenyon College in 1985, an M.A. in English from The University of Virginia in 1988, and a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1993.

Session 2: An ABC of IR: Planning the perfect roadshow

This highly practical session will cover all aspects of roadshow preparation, including where and when to go, who to see and how get the most from your advisers. It will also provide a host of best practice advice on producing first class briefing and meeting notes, gathering and handling feedback and top tips on roadshow logistics.

  • Moderator: Charles King, Investor Relations Director, Worldpay

    Moderator: Charles King Charles King has been Investor Relations Director at Worldpay, a global leader in payments processing technology and solutions for merchant customers, since November 2015. On a typical day, Worldpay processes 31 million mobile, online and in-store transactions, and in 2014 handled around 11.5bn transactions, with a total value of approximately £370bn. Worldpay supports approximately 400,000 merchants in 126 currencies across 146 countries, offering over 300 payment methods. Prior to this role, most recently he led the investor relations teams at SSP Group and Lloyds Banking Group and his previous experience includes investor relations roles at Tate & Lyle, Cadbury and Serco, and corporate broking and investment banking at Hoare Govett, UBS and Lehman Brothers.

  • Jonathan Brown, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Access and Product Marketing, Credit Suisse

    Jonathan Brown Jonathan Brown is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in London. He is a member of the Equities department and responsible for Product Marketing and Corporate Access in Europe. Mr. Brown served as a member on the Managing Director Evaluation Committee (MDEC) during 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Mr. Brown joined Credit Suisse First Boston in April 1996 from Enskilda where he was an Equity Salesman. Mr. Brown holds a degree in Law LLB Honours from the University of Edinburgh.

  • Debbie Holmes, IR Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group

    Debbie Holmes is Investor Relations Manager at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) PLC. She is responsible for managing relationships with external IR stakeholders, website management, IR event planning and activity including results, site visits and other strategic events. She manages roadshow activity and targeting and supports the Head of Investor Relations and Executive Management with production of investor documents briefing books and internal reports. Debbie

  • Simon Young, formerly of Blackrock and Aviva

    Simon has been a UK equities fund manager for over 18 years, having spent over 15 years at BlackRock and most recently at Aviva Investors. Simon regards meeting company management teams as an important part of his investment process; he is firm believer that fund managers shouldn’t shy away from asking difficult questions, but in return they should listen to the answers given.

11:45

5 minute movement break

11.50

Break-out sessions 3 & 4

Session 3: Governance goes Prime Time

Not so long ago, conventional wisdom held that corporate governance was of marginal concern to the buy-side … a relatively rare problem and one for which advance planning could be deferred until (if and when) it hit investors’ radar screens. Times have changed. Governance is now centre stage with 57%* of investors stating that governance is now more important than in the past. This session will reflect on the journey of governance and highlight how it is now seizing the attention of far more investors than it used to. We will look at how governance impacts investment decisions and examine the top drivers of ‘good’ governance, as well as that of an ‘effective’ board. Finally, we will look at governance from the standpoint of an IRO. Where does governance sit in their list of priorities/responsibilities? How much time do IROs currently allocate to governance? What more can IROs do to educate management on investor’s governance predispositions and lastly, do IROs now need to expand their core competencies to include the governance domain as a matter of course? *Rivel Research Group – 2015 Corporate Governance Report

  • Moderator: Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, ICSA

    Moderator: Peter Swabey Peter Swabey is Policy & Research Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). Based in London, he is responsible for developing the profile of the Institute to members, regulators, policymakers, employers and other stakeholders by delivering thought leadership and lobbying campaigns aligned to ICSA strategy and promoting strong governance as the vital ingredient for success in organisations. Peter, who joined ICSA in 2013, has almost 30 years’ experience of the share registration industry. He joins from Equiniti where he was Company Secretary and Industry Leadership Director; he was also a Director of Equiniti David Venus, Equiniti’s Company Secretarial Services provider. Peter is a member of the ICSA Company Secretary’s Forum, the CBI Companies Committee, the QCA Corporate Governance Expert Group and the Shareholder Voting Working Group, as well as being an Alternate Member of the Takeover Panel and a past Chairman of the ICSA Registrars Group. A history graduate, and Fellow of ICSA, Peter is a regular speaker at industry conferences and events, with an industry-wide reputation as an expert on shareholder and corporate governance matters.

  • Adam Kay, Head of Investor Relations, Just Eat

    Bio to follow.

  • David Patt, Senior Analyst, Corporate Governance and Public Policy, Legal & General Investment Management

    David Patt The Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment team within LGIM performs a highly active role in engaging with the companies in which LGIM invests on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, seeking to deliver the best possible long-term value for shareholders. David has over 9 years working in the industry and is responsible for LGIM’s UK corporate governance activity including proxy voting, company engagement and client reporting. David is also responsible for responding to government/industry consultations in order to position LGIM as thought leaders in corporate governance. LGIM approaches ESG in an integral way through its engagement and voting policies, in order to exert influence over companies to drive best practice and reduce the risk of corporate failure. The ultimate goal in doing so is to protect, align and maximise shareholders’ interests for the benefit of its clients.

  • Mark Simms, CEO, CMi2i

    Mark Simms Mark was a co-founder of Capital Precision and was its Chief Executive Officer until resigning in June 2013. For 20 years he has specialized in the provision of Capital Markets Intelligence Services to some of the world's largest companies. Prior to founding Capital Precision, Mark was CEO of Ilios Europe and has held senior Business Development positions within the Investor Relations industry, including at Thomson Financial and ICV Ltd.

  • Blake Stephenson, Head of Business Development, Governance - Corporate Solutions, Nasdaq

    Blake Stephenson Since joining Nasdaq in 2013 and before joining the Directors Desk management team in 2015, Blake was the Associate General Counsel in London, ensuring regulatory and governance compliance for Nasdaq's London interests. Blake currently serves as company director for a number of Nasdaq’s subsidiary companies in the UK. After being called to the English Bar in 2007, Blake has held governance, risk and compliance roles and has had a particular focus in regulatory compliance and good governance in UK markets infrastructure. His experience in this regard is from SIX Swiss Exchange and the UK's Financial Services Authority (now Financial Conduct Authority), where he supervised the London Stock Exchange Group. Blake also spent time as an advocate towards the European political institutions while working at the Futures and Options Association (now FIA Europe). In addition to being called to the Bar, Blake has a degree with honours from the University of Kent, Canterbury, a Graduate Diploma in Law and a CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance.

Session 4: An ABC of IR: Consensus Management

Consensus management should be a relatively straightforward part of the IR role but is it? This practical session will address what the market expects and what IROs can do to manage the process of keeping the market on side. Ultimately, how do you manage expectations without falling foul of any rules, regulations or other considerations?

  • Moderator: Alex Money, Managing Director, Ace Consensus

    Moderator: Alex Money Formerly a fund manager at Citigroup and Bessemer Trust, Alex has some 20 years of investment industry experience. At Temple Bar Advisory, he built the investor relations practice to include clients from under £100m to over £100bn by market value. He established ACE Consensus in March 2013. Alex holds masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford, where he is a research fellow at the Smith School. He directs the school's Business Fellows programme, which periodically convenes senior business executives in the field of sustainability with members of Oxford's academic community. Alex is also an undergraduate tutor and member of the senior common room at St. Catherine's College, Oxford.

  • John Crosse, Head of Investor Relations, Clydesdale Bank

    John Crosse John has over twelve years experience in Investor Relations, and has been Head of Investor Relations at CYBG PLC since September last year, prior to its demerger from National Australia Bank and IPO in February this year. Prior to that he led Severn Trent's IR team for six years, through 2 price reviews, significant regulatory change, political and media scrutiny and a £5 billion approach in June 2013. Previously he was part of an award winning IR team at O2 Plc, before its acquisition by Telefónica for £18 billion in 2006. John has also held various finance and marketing roles across the telecommunications sector at Orange, Hutchinson 3G and O2 Plc. He has as Psychology degree from UCL.

  • Bethany Hocking, Director of Investor Relations, N Brown Group

    Bethany Hocking Bethany has been Director of IR at N Brown since February 2015. Bethany has worked as a sell-side research analyst covering general retail companies for five years, most recently at Berenberg, and before this at Investec. Prior to this, she worked for capital markets advisory firm Makinson Cowell. She is a CFA Charterholder.

  • Geoff Lowery, Partner, Redburn

    Geoff Lowery Geoff is a Partner covering Non-Food Retail and Sporting Goods at Redburn. Prior to joining Redburn Geoff worked at Dresdner Kleinwort covering the UK and European Non-Food Retailers. Prior to that, he looked at UK Mid and Small Cap retailers. Geoff graduated from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge with a degree in History. He is a CFA Charterholder.

12.50

Lunch

13.00

Lunchtime sessions

IR and leadership: Expanding your influence

Looking to develop your career into a more senior role? Specialist knowledge and experience will be important, but you’ll also need to develop your authority, gravitas and leadership skills. This session will focus on understanding and developing your personal skills so you can pursue more fruitfully what is important to you.

  • Mark Fritz, Managing Director, Procedor Limited

    Mark Fritz Mark Fritz is an international leadership speaker and consultant focused on helping international business leaders to achieve even greater success in leading across distances and cultures. He has lived and worked across the world and speaks regularly on the Power of Ownership in leading today’s organisations. Mark is the author of The Truth About Getting Things Done, and teaches extensively on leadership at the international IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Embracing change: How IR can benefit from new regulation and technology

The regulatory environment in the UK and Europe is seeing significant structural change. In the UK, the FCA is reviewing the investment and corporate broking model, while the EU’s draft rules under MiFID II could see corporate access as an inducement and much tighter controls around the payment for research. With this rapidly changing landscape, IR technology platforms are on the rise, taking advantage of these proposed regulatory changes. They are looking to offer in-house the opportunity to take more control over their engagement with the shareholder community, as well as provide add-on IR services. Can technology offer a complete IR solution? Will regulatory change positively impact IR in terms of budgets, resources and IR team sizes? Will these changes help fill any perceived gaps on the buy- and sell-side?

  • Moderator: Emma Burdett, Partner, Head of IR & Governance, Maitland

    Moderator: Emma Burdett Emma is head of the IR practice at Maitland, the financial and corporate communications consultancy. She joined Maitland in 2004 after 14 years as an equity investment analyst in the City specialising in the retail sector, latterly at ABN Amro where she was a director of equity research. She has developed the IR advisory practice at Maitland so that it is now an integral part of Maitland's product offering across the full client base from unlisted to FTSE 100 companies. Emma studied at Bath University, where she obtained a BSc. She is currently a Board director and chair of the Policy Committee of the Investor Relations Society.

  • Michael Chojnacki, CEO, Closir

    Michael Chojnacki Michael is responsible for shaping the overall direction and product strategy for Closir, a technology platform helping professional investors with better information and access to investment opportunities in emerging and frontier markets. Closir's platform provides investors market and company-specific information and helps them schedule meetings and calls with management and local experts. Closir is a founding member of Innovate Finance, a UK government body promoting innovation in financial technology. The company is based in London and New York. (www.closir.com) Michael is the co-founder of the Middle East Investor Relations Society, a Dubai based association of regional publicly traded companies, investors, exchanges and regulators. Through its country chapter programme, the Society promotes excellence in Investor Relations practices across the region. (www.me-irsociety.com) Previously, he was the Vice President at the Bank of New York Mellon, where he was responsible for IR advisory for the firm’s issuer and institutional investor clients across Europe, Middle East and Africa. He was also involved in the firm’s Strategic Growth Initiatives group, where I sourced and researched European deal flow for the firm’s early stage FinTech investments. (www.bnymellon.com)

  • Anna Clauser, Head of Product Development, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange

    Anna Clauser Anna Clauser is Head of Product Development at London Stock Exchange Group. Anna has been with the Group since 2005, working initially in the Buyside team and afterwards in Primary Markets. In the last three years, Anna has been involved in the development of ELITE Connect, a portal dedicated to supporting IR activity. Prior to Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange Group, Anna worked in Investment Banking and Corporate Finance advisory. She holds a Master’s degree in Corporate Finance.

  • Michael Hufton, Managing Director, ingage IR ltd

    Michael Hufton Michael Hufton founded ingage 3 yrs ago with the aim of providing a best-in-class solution for IR software and Corporate Access, specifically designed for the changing regulation in this area. Prior to this he spent 10 yrs as a fund manager and buy-side analyst, and before that he was a partner of Cazenove & Co where he spent 8 years in equity sales. The best part of two decades spent engaging with corporate management teams, from both buy and sell side perspectives convinced Michael that the system was fundamentally flawed and that there was a better way of doing things. Regulatory attention to this area in 2012 was the catalyst that led to ingage

  • Charles Nelson, Managing Director, Meetyl Europe

    Charles Nelson Charles has almost 30 years experience in investment banking primarily in equity sales with the majority of his career at Macquarie Group in London. He started in resources equity sales at Smith New Court (now BofA in the UK) and then moved to Australian Equities at Macquarie Group. At Macquarie Charles ran the top rated Australian equities franchise in Europe, and also co-managed the Pan Asian sales desks (including South Africa). Latterly Charles managed European equities sales with responsibility for global sales, corporate access and deal syndication. Post Macquarie, Charles joined Bell Potter Securities, the leading independent Australian equities broker, where he managed the London sales team distributing research and helping raise equity for growth companies to institutional investors. Charles joined Meetyl in March 2015 to build the franchise in Europe with responsibility for investor on-boarding.

14.00

Plenary session: IR as viewed from the C-Suite

The relationship between an IRO and the company’s CFO is a vital one, whether or not this is a direct reporting line. During this informal discussion, two experienced CFOs will share their views on the importance of IR, what they see as best practice and how a company can maximise its IR efforts for the benefit of all.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Chris Sweetland, Deputy Group Finance Director, WPP plc

    Chris Sweetland After graduating with an honours degree in Pure Maths, Chris trained as an ACA at KPMG. Prior to joining WPP in 1989, Chris worked for nine years at PepsiCo, latterly in the beverages division where he was Regional Financial Director for Central Europe. Chris joined WPP in London in 1989 before working in one of the operating companies. He returned to the parent company in his current role as Deputy Group CFO in 2000. Chris has responsibility for policy on client remuneration issues for WPP’s major clients, back office efficiency projects (outsourcing/shared service centres), investor relations, capital expenditure, the Group property portfolio and supporting the Group CFO on day-to-day financial management.

  • Paul Venables, Group Finance Director, Hays

    Paul Venables A Chartered Accountant and also USA qualified, Paul started his career at Deloitte & Touche where he was a Senior manager in its USA practice. This was followed by a 13 year career at Exel plc where he held a number of senior finance and operational roles including Deputy Group Finance Director and was a member of the executive board of Exel plc and Chairman of their Acquisitions and Project Review Board. Following the acquisition of Exel plc by Deutsche Post, Paul worked in its DHL Logistics division before joining Hays plc in May 2006 as Group Finance Director.

14.45

Interactive session: 'Fudging Talk'

Join us for this interactive and highly entertaining session led by a panel of Senior IROs who will duke it out for your attention with their views and expert opinions on a series of topical issues. This light-hearted and fun afternoon session promises to be full of wit and humour, as well as an opportunity for attendees to pick up practical hints, tips and ideas for their IR programmes.

  • Moderator: Craig Marks, Director of IR, Astrazeneca

    Moderator: Craig Marks Before joining the business eighteen months ago, Craig spent over eight years in various investor relations roles, including as Head of Investor Relations at both Britvic and then Halfords. Craig was voted Best IR Officer at the IR Society Best Practice Awards in 2013, with Halfords winning the award for Most Improved IR in the prior year. Craig also spent ten years in Corporate Treasury. Roles included Head of Treasury at Britvic and Group Treasurer of Halfords, both during the companies’ respective flotations. Craig was also Assistant Group Treasurer at Electrocomponents. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Economics from the University of Southampton. Craig lives with his family in Worcestershire and, at the time of writing, is looking forward to Wales winning the European Championships next month.

  • Sarah Heald, Head of IR, Pennon Group

    Sarah Heald Sarah Heald is the Head of Investor Relations at Pennon Group, the UK-listed environmental infrastructure company that owns South West Water, Bournemouth Water and Viridor recycling, energy recovery and waste management. Sarah joined Pennon Group from Finsbury, a global consultancy advising companies on their strategic communications and investor relations. Before joining Finsbury, Sarah was an investment banker at Canadian bank BMO Capital Markets where she specialised in metals and mining. Sarah started her career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the multi-industries investment banking team. Sarah holds a BA Honours degree in European Social and Political Studies from University College London, including one year at the French University Sciences-Po in Paris.

  • Rupen Shah, PLC Finance and Investor Relations Director, Britvic

    Rupen Shah Rupen joined Britvic in 1995 and whilst he remains a ‘one business’ veteran, he has enjoyed a variety of ‘careers’ in the company. Qualified as an accountant, he has now spent as many years outside of finance in areas such as sales, marketing, International and strategy. More recently in 2011, he took on the Head of Investor Relations role, the first couple of years experiencing a number of challenges for Britvic in the market, which led to a rich IR experience. A profit warning; a major product recall; a potential merger that was referred to the competition commission; a new CEO and revised strategy were just some of the challenges to be managed, and during this time, the value of the business first halved and then doubled! In 2013 he was promoted to his current role that saw him become both the Finance and Investor Relations Director.

  • Ramona Tipnis, Director of Investor Relations, Mothercare plc

    Ramona Tipnis Ramona Tipnis is Mothercare’s Director of Investor Relations and has been in the role since November 2011. She has worked on a wide range of Corporate issues including a successful Rights Issue. She has both buy-side and sell-side experience as an investor and analyst, which offers deep insight into stakeholder needs and requirements. She holds an MBA from Cass Business School.

  • Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR, William Hill

    Lyndsay Wright Lyndsay Wright is Director of Investor Relations at William Hill PLC, one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies. She joined the Group in November 2008 to establish the investor relations function and now covers aspects of financial PR and corporate responsibility as well. She switched to the leisure sector in 2008 after eight years in the biotech sector with Acambis PLC from 2001 until it was acquired by its corporate partner, Sanofi Pasteur. An English graduate by background, she started her communications career in 1995 with Associated British Ports Holdings PLC. Her recent corporate experiences include a number of international acquisitions, supported by a rights issue in 2013, and the challenges posed by the politically charged issue of responsible gambling.

15.45

Afternoon break

16.15

Plenary session: An ABC of IR: Views from the buy-side

Critical to success in investor relations is a strong understanding of this fundamental, yet highly-diverse audience. Our experienced, expert panel will share their views on the impact of regulatory and structural changes, global investment in 2016 and what they consider to be best practice IR.

  • Moderator: John Andrews, Head of Investor Relations, Deutsche Bank

    Moderator: John Andrews John has global responsibility for all aspects of Investor Relations, Creditor Relations and Credit Rating Agency Relations for Deutsche Bank. John has a worked nearly 30 years in banking with substantial international experience having been based in Europe, the US and Asia during his career. John’s IR career began in 1995 when he was named Head of Investor Relations for Morgan Stanley after having worked for nearly ten years in various finance roles there. Since then John has spent 20 years as the head of IR for Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citadel, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. John has extensive experience advising CEOs, C-suite and senior management on financial, strategic and crisis communications as well as communicating to investors, creditors and analysts across a broad spectrum of market conditions, strategic transactions and restructurings. John is also one of the few senior IR heads to have worked in both Europe and the US.

  • Matt Born, Managing Director & Director of Research, Fidelity Management & Research

    Matt Born Matthew Born is a managing director of research for Fidelity Asset Management. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries. Mr. Born assumed his current position in August, 2013 and is responsible for leading the research team in Fidelity’s London office and coordinating the firm’s equity research efforts across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Mr. Born joined Fidelity in 1992 as a mutual fund service representative for Fidelity Retail Investor Services. From 1993 to 1995, he served as a premium service representative. He briefly left the company in June 1995 to pursue his MBA. In 1996, Mr. Born returned to Fidelity as a summer intern in the High Income Equity group. From 1997 to 2008, Mr. Born was a research analyst in the High Income division and was responsible for covering numerous industries, including gaming/lodging, health care, cableTV/satellites/telecom, and utilities. Mr. Born also was responsible for leading the High Income associate group from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 he joined the management team as a managing director in the equity research group and was responsible for leading the Small-Cap, Financials, and Cyclical research teams. Born in 1968, Mr. Born received a bachelor of arts degree in American history from Hobart College in 1991 and an MBA from Cornell University in 1997.

  • Marina Leacock, Senior Vice President, Research Analyst, Lazard

    Marina Leacock Marina Leacock is a Research Analyst on the Global Research Platform, covering the Consumer, Tobacco and Business Services sectors. She began working in the investment field in 2001. Prior to joining Lazard in 2004, Marina worked for INVESCO Asset Management, where she focused on institutional marketing and consultant relations. Marina has a Masters of Civil Engineering (MEng) from Bristol University.

  • Ross Turner, Founder, Pelham Capital

    Ross Turner Ross Turner founded Pelham Capital in 2007. Pelham Capital manages European equity funds, with a fundamental approach to investing. Current AUM is c.$4.7bn. Prior to founding Pelham, Ross was a partner at Lansdowne Partners where he worked on the European Equity Fund from 2002-2007. Before this he worked at Cazenove & Co. on the European Small Cap Equity team. Ross graduated from Nottingham University where he read Economics.

17:00

An exclusive interview with Sebastian James

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Sebastian James, Group CEO, Dixons Carphone

    Sebastian James Sebastian James was appointed Group Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone on 6th August 2014 following the merger of Dixons Retail Group with Carphone Warehouse. He joined Dixons in April 2008 and held various roles, including Group Operations Director prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive in February 2012. Before joining Dixons Retail, Sebastian was CEO of Synergy Insurance Services Limited and gained wide retail experience as strategy director, responsible for developing and implementing the turnaround strategy at Mothercare. He started his career at The Boston Consulting Group having completed an MBA at INSEAD and an MA at Oxford University. Sebastian is also a Non-Executive Director of Direct Line Insurance Group plc and a trustee of the charity Save the Children.

17.35

Evening reception

The IR Society and our conference sponsors invite you to join us for refreshments and an opportunity to meet fellow delegates at our post-conference reception.

#IRConf2016

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