Conference overview

The IR Society’s Annual Conference for 2022, New Horizons: Staying Agile and Adaptable in a Transforming World, took place on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

A huge thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates for turning up on the day and helping to make the event such a success!

Our programme focused on the major prevailing and future potential issues, trends, opportunities and challenges facing IROs in an evolving operating environment. We looked at the big picture themes, including sustainability, technology and innovation, and provided a whole host of practical tips relating to day-to-day IR activities. The varied panelists provided attendees with access to a range of views from across the investment community, as well as real life examples and experiences of IROs working for companies across a variety of companies and sectors. Ultimately, through these different perspectives, we hope the event will help our members as they stay agile and adaptable in a transforming world!

Videos of all of the conference sessions have been made available to delegates.

Photo gallery

“Thanks for putting on such a fantastic event! It was totally worth battling all the delays to attend! My first live IR conference and a thoroughly informative and enjoyable one. Great to meet so many IRO’s in person.”

2022 Conference Attendee
Venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

Videos

Highlights from some of our recent conferences

Overview of the 2022 conference: New Horizons - Staying agile and adaptable in a transforming world

2022 Conference Overview from Rob Gurner

2022 Conference Overview from Laura Hayter

Programme

08:00 – 08:45

Arrival

Registration, breakfast and exhibition

08:45 – 08:50

Conference committee chair's opening remarks

  • Rob Gurner, Head of Investor Relations, Plus500

    Rob Gurner Rob joined Plus500, a global fintech group, in May 2020, having spent 3 years as Head of IR at Inmarsat plc, a satellite operator. Prior to that, Rob was Head of Global Investor relations for TSE-listed Dentsu Inc, following their acquisition of Aegis plc in 2013, where was Head of IR. Before that, Rob had senior IR roles for Lonmin Plc, a platinum mining business, and G4S plc, a security services company. Before moving into in-house IR, Rob worked for a number of financial communications consultancies, including FTI and Gavin Anderson.

08:50 - 09:00

Welcome from the host

  • Evan Davis, Journalist and Broadcaster

    Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

09:00 – 09:30

First keynote address

Big picture view

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • Julia Hoggett, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc

    Julia Hoggett Julia Hoggett took up the post of Chief Executive Officer of London Stock Exchange plc on the 14th April 2021. Prior to this position, Julia was the Director of Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), responsible for overseeing the conduct of participants in the primary and secondary markets in the UK. Julia joined the FCA as Head of the Wholesale Banking Supervision Department in May 2014. Before joining the FCA, Julia was Managing Director and Head of FIG Flow Financing and subsequently also Covered Bonds, Short-Term Fixed Income Origination and Green Debt Capital Markets for EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). Prior to joining BAML, Julia was a Board Member and latterly CEO of DEPFA ACS BANK in Ireland and responsible for the long-term funding of the DEPFA BANK Group. Julia began her career at JP Morgan in Debt Capital Markets origination roles covering Sovereign, Supranational and Agency clients and before that Sovereign and sub-Sovereign clients in Emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Julia has a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Newnham College, Cambridge University and undertook a research scholarship at Kings College, Cambridge University focused on public policy and economic development strategies in East Africa. Julia was named one of Financial News’ 100 Most Influential Women in Europe’s Financial Markets in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2021. Julia was also named on the OUTstanding Top 50 list in 2013 and in its successor the Top 100 list in 2014.

09:30 – 10:15

Plenary: How companies are staying agile and adaptable in a transforming world

This opening plenary session, comprising senior IR professionals and industry participants, will address the conference theme, discussing some of the key trends, opportunities and challenges facing IROs in an evolving operating environment. Among other topics, panellists will consider how they are tailoring the narrative and re-positioning their investment propositions in this evolving environment. They will also discuss the future of investor meetings, roadshows, conferences and other IR activities, as companies seek to best utilise technology and optimise management time in the future, as they seek to stay agile and adaptable in a transforming world.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • John Crosse, Director of Investor Relations and Group Strategy, Royal Mail plc

    John Crosse John has worked in Investor Relations for over 17 years, starting at O2 plc in 2004. During that time he has worked across a number of business and sectors, including Severn Trent, where he led the IR function during a time of significant regulatory change and political and media scrutiny, including a successful bid defence; CYBG plc (now Virgin Money) where he established the investor relations function prior to a successful de-merger/IPO; ConvaTec Group, where he guided the business through a challenging period post IPO and developed a strong pipeline of new investors and diversified the shareholder base; and more recently at Royal Mail plc, where he has taken on a Group strategy role as the business adapts to the post COVID world. John has a background in Finance and Strategy, along with private equity and IPO experience. John has an Masters in Psychology from University College London and outside of work enjoys music, film and motorsport.

  • Davina Hobbs, Head of Investor Relations, Entain

    Davina Hobbs Davina has a breadth of Investor Relations experience drawing from a varied career of 20 years in the advisory and investment industry She joined Entain in early 2021, having a longstanding relationship with the company as part of the advisory team for Entain/GVC/Ladbrokes over a numbers of years. Davina holds the first in-house corporate Investor Relations role at Entain, having worked in Corporate Broking for nearly 15years at Deutsche Bank and UBS, following early roles within Equity Sales & Research at Teather & Greenwood, Deutsche Bank and Morley Fund Management

  • Michael Hufton, Founder and Managing Director, ingage IR LTD

    Michael Hufton Michael founded ingage in 2013. ingage designs, builds, distributes and licences Investor Relations software in a SaaS model. Before this, Michael spent 18 years in the capital markets, 10 as a portfolio manager and buy-side analyst and 8 on the sell-side at Cazenove & Co where he was a partner. Building on traditional IR CRM, the ingage platform helps quoted companies and other third parties manage a modern IR function; internalise a direct investor engagement & corporate access capability; adapt efficiently to new regulation; and deliver unique insight and reporting to IR, Executive Management and the Board. 9 years from launch, we’re privileged to work for quoted corporates in 15 markets around the world, including some 25% of FTSE 100 companies in the UK.

  • Joanne Russell, SVP Investor Relations and Financial Communications, Pearson

    Joanne Russell Jo Russell is SVP Investor Relations & Financial Communications for Pearson. Jo is a graduate of Edinburgh University, where she received a BSC Honours Degree in Physics with Maths. After graduation she spent two years in the Royal Air Force before moving into Investment Banking in 1997. There she spent thirteen years working as an equity and primary analyst culminating her career as one of two female Managing Directors at JPMCazenove in 2008. During this time she also ran a female mentoring group within the Bank to promote women in finance. Jo moved into Investor Relations in 2010 starting her IR career at Mothercare before moving to Whitbread plc in 2011. Here she re-shaped the corporate communications strategy, diversified the shareholder base to a more global weighting, delivered four Capital Market Days and championed the Women in Whitbread forum to increase the diversity across the business growing to 100 members in three years. Jo is also a trustee of the Pearson Pension Fund as well as a member of the Investment Committee.

10:15 – 10:45

Morning break

Exhibition

10:45 – 11:30

Plenary: ESG – the big issues for IR

This panel will cover the major themes in ESG, including the latest developments in ESG-related reporting and disclosure requirements, how investors are responding to the fast changing regulatory environment and what investors expect from companies’ communications in this area. The session aims to help demystify the key ESG frameworks that companies should be adhering to, the role and dynamics of the rating agencies, and how companies should be prioritising their reporting and disclosures in alignment with governance and stewardship standards.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • Chris Dyett, CEO, CEN-ESG

    Chris Dyett Chris founded CEN-ESG in 2020 to run alongside CEN-Advisory, an investor relations practice started in 2018. CEN-ESG currently has 30 corporate clients and a team of 28 providing advice and support for companies to improve their ESG performance and disclosure including using our bespoke assessment tool. With over 18 years of market experience, he previously led Investec’s top rated Aerospace and Defence, Industrials and Oil Field Services franchise. While at Investec, he spent substantial time working on equity raisings, IPOs and other corporate finance projects. Chris has an MSc in Financial Management from the University of Bath.

  • Elly Irving, Director Of Stewardship, Lazard Asset Management

    Elly Irving Elly Irving is Director of Stewardship in the Sustainable Investment and ESG team. She is focused on developing our stewardship strategy, supporting our portfolio managers and analysts on their engagements, monitoring engagement impact and aligning our proxy voting and engagement activities. Prior to joining Lazard in 2021, she was Head of Engagement at Schroders where she developed the engagement framework and infrastructure for equity and credit investment teams globally and supporting ESG integration. Elly joined Schroders in 2014 as an ESG Sector Analyst covering Consumer Staples and Discretionary. This role focused on thematic research, publishing investment-focused research on modern slavery, sugar & obesity trends, living wages and single use plastics. Elly co-founded the Investor Expectations on Sugar and Obesity trends, a collaborative engagement which was endorsed by £1.3trn of assets. Prior to Schroders Elly held ESG roles at Newton, where she focused on proxy voting and company level ESG analysis and started her career at F&C (now BMO Asset Management) where she focused on screening for ethical funds. Elly holds a BA (Hons) in Business Studies with Accounting & Finance from Nottingham Trent University. She passed CFA level 1 and has completed the Investment Management Certificate.

  • Gareth Pearl, Investment Director, Rathbones Group

    Gareth Pearl Gareth is an Investment Director at Rathbones who manages portfolios on behalf of charities and other not-for-profit organisations. Gareth joined Rathbones in 2015 from Quilter Cheviot. Prior to this, he graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2012 with a BA (Hons) degree in Politics. He is a member of Rathbones’ Portfolio Construction Committee and Engagement Committee. Gareth is a Chartered Fellow of the CISI (FCSI) and holds the Masters in Wealth Management. He has passed the CISI Professional Assessment in Sustainable and Responsible Investment. He has attended the Cass Business School “Charity Investment – Theory and Practice” course, the leading investment course for charities in the UK. Gareth is a governor of a primary school in East London.

  • Jennifer Walmsley, Partner, Dentons Global Advisors

    Jennifer Walmsley Jennifer is a partner based in London. She specializes in advising companies and investors on managing the increasingly complex area of ESG. She brings almost 20 years of experience in this area and deep insights from multiple perspectives having been a journalist, an investor, a regulator and an advisor. Jennifer joined Dentons Global Advisors from Teneo, where she founded the ESG practice in London, advising management teams and boards at some of the largest companies and investors globally on building effective stakeholder communication and engagement strategies. Her previous roles include Hermes Fund Managers, where she led the ESG team until 2015 and the UK Financial Reporting Council where she was Head of Investor Engagement. Her client experience includes financial services, real-estate, energy, retail, and industrials. Jennifer is also a member of the investment committee at The Big Exchange and a trustee of a learning disabilities charity.

11:40 – 12:10

Breakout sessions: ESG – focusing on E, S and G

Breakout 1: Environment - communicating your transition to a sustainable future

This panel will debate what companies should be prioritising when it comes to articulating their environmental strategy and policy. In addition, the session will focus on how companies should be aligning their reporting with the key mandatory and voluntary reporting frameworks, including TCFD, the EU Taxonomy and the various climate-related and biodiversity-related reporting standards and requirements. To this end, with the use of best practice examples, speakers will address some of the disclosure challenges and how IROs can improve the quality and efficiency of their companies’ environmental reporting.

  • Moderator: Louise Curran, Senior Investor Relations Manager, Johnson Matthey

    Moderator: Louise Curran Louise joined Johnson Matthey as Senior Investor Relations Manager in 2018. Previously she was part of the Investor Relations team at Janus Henderson – formerly Henderson – where she supported the communication of a transformational, cross-border merger of equals. Prior to this, Louise worked for a strategy consultancy in the financial services sector having initially qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. Louise completed her MChem in Chemistry at the University of Oxford.

  • Amit Bhalla, Head of Investor Relations, Schneider Electric

    Amit Bhalla Amit Bhalla is the Senior Vice President - Head of Investor Relations at Schneider Electric based in London. Amit joined Schneider in 2012 in Singapore and transitioned to his current role in 2016. During his IR tenure, Schneider Electric has been Rated as “Most Honoured Company” by Institutional Investor while Amit was ranked the top IR Professional within Capital Goods category in successive years. Amit started his career in consulting with Arthur Andersen in 1994 and has over the years worked in leadership roles in global corporations (Cisco, Huawei, Nortel) leading diverse teams. Amit has accumulated strong international exposure having lived and worked in UK, Singapore, China, France and India. Amit has a Bachelors’ degree in Commerce and is a qualified Chartered Accountant with management courses from Insead and UNC.

  • Lily Crompton, Group Sustainability Lead, Foresight Group

    Lily Crompton Lily is a chartered sustainability and environmental professional with over 13 years of experience working in sustainability across the infrastructure, renewables, construction, and engineering industries, creating and delivering sustainability strategy to drive continuous improvements. Working with stakeholders from investors and clients through to the supply chain in order to deliver results. Lily chairs the Foresight Sustainability Committee which has a number of sub-committees that tackle key areas of focus such as ‘climate change and emissions’, ‘charity and social value’ and ‘sustainable offices’. Lily’s focus for the year ahead is to deliver a Group wide net zero plan that commits to science based targets as well as partnering with the Eden Project to deliver biodiversity enhancements and nature recovery across the portfolio of assets.

  • Amelia Pan, Managing Director, PJT Partners

    Amelia Pan Amelia Pan is a Managing Director in the Strategic Advisory Group at PJT Partners, based in London. Ms. Pan has extensive experience advising global corporations on the impact of ESG on corporate strategy, focusing on areas of greatest business materiality to mitigate risks and enhance value creation. Prior to joining PJT Partners, Ms. Pan was a Partner in the London office at Brunswick Group, a global strategic advisory firm. Ms. Pan founded Brunswick’s ESG practice to deliver strategic counsel to multinational companies and international NGOs including TCFD and UN PRI. Her areas of focus included investor engagement, climate finance, regulatory developments and best practice corporate reporting.

Breakout 2: Social – delivering a credible, people-focused narrative

With an increasing focus on greater transparency around organisational culture, diversity, human capital and working practices, this session will explore some of the key initiatives that companies are participating in to align company culture with day-to-day workplace practices and improve external transparency around people initiatives. To bring this to life, this panel will include a number of case studies and best practice examples in these areas.

  • Moderator: David Shriver, Director of Communications, Ocado Group

    Moderator: David Shriver David Shriver is Director of Communications at Ocado Group, a FTSE 100 technology and retail company, and has served as a member of the Supervisory Board of SDAX-listed online retailer zooplus AG. He was formerly Managing Partner of Tulchan Communications LLP, a leading international financial PR firm. Before that he served as Strategic Adviser to the Chief Executive and Director of Group Financial Communication at Groupe Carrefour in Paris. David also spent sixteen years as a top-rated food retail analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston and NatWest Securities. At Credit Suisse, as a managing director in the equities division, he was joint head of the global retail research group.

  • Evelyne Bull, VP Director, Investor Relations, Experian plc

    Evelyne Bull Evelyne joined the Experian Investor Relations team as VP Director in September 2019 and has lead on transforming their ESG communication. Prior to Experian she spent 7 years in the BT IR team, which was voted No.1 in England in Extel for four years running. She began her career working in a number of finance roles across BT. Evelyne read Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, is a member of CIMA, and holds a Certificate in Investor Relations.

  • Matthew Courtnell, Responsible Investment Analyst, Legal & General Investment Management

    Matthew Courtnell Matthew is a member of the responsible investment team at Legal & General Investment Management, focused on the integration of its ESG philosophy and integration into the investment process across Active Strategies. His responsibilities incorporate a combination of developing our engagement framework, qualitative research and thought leadership around ESG and long-term themes. From a product perspective, Matthew is primarily focussed on the Future World Sustainable UK and European Active Fund range, heavily involved in engagement with corporates, fundamental research and marketing responsibilities. Matthew joined LGIM in 2011 from boutique wealth management business Psigma Investment where he held the title of investment analyst. During his time at Psigma, he was a key member of the UK equity team, making a regular contribution to deep dive research and being involved in asset allocation.

  • Charlotte Lush, Workforce Disclosure Initiative, Senior Research Manager, ShareAction

    Charlotte Lush Charlotte joined ShareAction in August 2020 as the WDI Research Manager, leading on the development and management of the WDI survey and research relating to workforce topics and corporate reporting. Before joining ShareAction, Charlotte worked for Stonewall where she was responsible for global research projects on responsible business practices, and for the Manushya Foundation in Thailand where she focused on the Thai Government’s National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.

Breakout 3: Governance – the big issues for IR

This panel will cover the key issues for IRO’s in the field of governance, in particular those issues that are top of mind for the investment community. Issues include Board composition and diversity, stakeholder relations, executive remuneration, succession planning and Board accountability and oversight.

  • Moderator: Holly Gillis, Senior Director, Citigate Dewe Rogerson

    Moderator: Holly Gillis Holly is a strategic communications consultant with an Investor Relations specialism. Before moving into consultancy in 2021, Holly had amassed over 15 years of FTSE-listed in-house experience in finance, corporate communications and investor relations roles. A trusted advisor to Boards and Executive Management, Holly is also a respected Investor Relations professional with institutional investors and analysts. An active member of the Investor Relations Society, Holly currently sits on the Finance Committee, having previously been a member of the Society’s Best Practice Committee. With many award wins behind her, and as a regular presence on award judging panels, Holly understands what great Investor Relations looks like. Holly is an ACCA qualified accountant and has a BSc in Psychology.

  • Catherine James, Treasurer, The Household of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

    Catherine James Catherine is an independent Non-Executive Director of Numis, Treasurer to TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and a director of Walhampton Limited. Catherine was the Head of Investor Relations of Diageo Plc where she worked for the business for twenty years (1997- 2017). Prior to that Catherine worked as Finance Director of Grand Metropolitan Estates and IR Director for Grand Metropolitan (prior to the merger with Diageo in 1997).

  • Vishal Khosla, Partner, EY

    Vishal Khosla Vishal is a partner in EY’s PAS team and leads their FS Reward Advisory practice. After qualifying as a chartered account in 1993, Vishal held a number of senior tax and HR roles with Citigroup followed by roles as Head of Group Reward for Deutsche Bank and Head of Group Compensation at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Vishal joined Ernst & Young in February 2013 from RBS.

  • Robert Lyons, Deputy Company Secretary, Marks and Spencer

    Robert Lyons Rob has been the Deputy Company Secretary at Marks & Spencer Group plc since 2018. In addition, to core Co Sec work he is responsible for ‘end-to-end equity’ covering share schemes and corporate legal work including M&A. Following law school and via a brief stint in politics he worked for a third sector consultancy firm. His first listed role was at Ophir Energy plc were he worked for 5 years, leaving to join M&S. While at M&S he has developed the FTSEs first digital private shareholder Rights Issue offer supporting the 50% acquisition of Ocado Retail, and played a pivotal role in the creation and delivery of M&S’s digital AGM that tripled private shareholder participation. In 2021 he was the recipient of the Chartered Governance Institutes (“CGI”) - Governance Professional of the Year award, as well as being a winner of the Governance Hot 100 awards in both 2021 and 2022.

12:20 – 12:50

Breakout sessions: ESG – focusing on E, S and G

An opportunity to attend another of the previously run ESG breakout sessions

12:50 – 14:00

Lunch

Exhibition

14:00 – 14:30

Keynote interview

A different perspective

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • Amanda Young, Chief Sustainability Officer, abrdn

    Amanda Young Amanda is the Chief Sustainability Officer for the Investment Vector at abrdn.  She has had over two decades of experience in responsible investment.  She leads the Sustainable Investment strategy to support abrdn’s investment teams, its active ownership activities, client support and abrdn’s sustainable product funds.  Previously, Amanda held positions in responsible investment and economic research at Newton Investment Management, CCLA Investment Management and Rabobank International.  Amanda graduated from Lancaster University with a BSc in Psychology and has completed the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Executive Women’s Leadership Programme.  Amanda led a workstream for the UK Government’s Taskforce on social impact investment and is a board director for Social Investment Scotland’s SIS Ventures fund.  She currently Chairs the FTSE Russell ESG Advisory Committee and is deputy Chair of the Sustainability and Responsible Investment Committee of the Investment Association.  She served on the board of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) for six years.  Amanda has appeared on the Financial News top 100 most influential women in European Finance for 5 years, from 2017 to 2021.  In 2021, she was the inaugural winner of Women in Investment Awards Sustainable & ESG Investment Woman of the Year.

14:30 – 15:00

Presentation: Key macro, investment and corporate trends

This session will set the scene for the afternoon conference agenda. The presentation will address some of the current themes in the macro landscape and capital markets. Including outlook for economies, rates, inflation and equity markets; a discussion on valuation, fund flows and investor positioning.

  • Sharon Bell, European Strategist, Goldman Sachs International

    Sharon Bell Sharon is a senior strategist on the European Portfolio Strategy team, which is responsible for STOXX Europe and FTSE 100 forecasts and thematic investment recommendations for the European equity market. She is a member of the GIR Inclusion and Diversity Council. Previously, Sharon served as co-head of the EMEA Global Investment Research Women's Network. She joined Goldman Sachs as an associate in 2002 and was named managing director in 2015. Prior to joining the firm, Sharon was an equity strategist at HSBC. Sharon earned a BSc in Economics from the University of Bath in 1996. She is a CFA charterholder.

15:05 – 15:55

Breakout sessions

Breakout 4: The opportunities and challenges of being a listed company

This session will review some of the opportunities and challenges companies are facing when looking to attract capital in an increasingly crowded market, both for companies and for investors. With the recent trend of new ways for companies to come to market, including SPACs in the US and other alternative investment vehicles, the panel will discuss their learnings and experiences from the IPO process, the merits and challenges of being publicly listed versus being privately owned and the impact these dynamics have for an IRO in their day-to-day role.

  • Moderator: Rob Gurner, Head of Investor Relations, Plus500

    Moderator: Rob Gurner Rob joined Plus500, a global fintech group, in May 2020, having spent 3 years as Head of IR at Inmarsat plc, a satellite operator. Prior to that, Rob was Head of Global Investor relations for TSE-listed Dentsu Inc, following their acquisition of Aegis plc in 2013, where was Head of IR. Before that, Rob had senior IR roles for Lonmin Plc, a platinum mining business, and G4S plc, a security services company. Before moving into in-house IR, Rob worked for a number of financial communications consultancies, including FTI and Gavin Anderson.

  • Amie Gramlick, Head of Investor Relations, Network International

    Amie Gramlick Amie has over 15 years’ experience across Investor Relations and Capital Markets. She is currently Head of Investor Relations at FTSE250 payments business, Network International. Previously, she spent six years as the Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs at Pets at Home plc. She specialises as an IR for newly listed companies. She started her career in equity research, covering the healthcare sector at UBS in London and at Morgan Stanley in Sydney.

  • David Hancock, Head of Investor Relations, Deliveroo

    David Hancock David joined Deliveroo in 2021 to build and lead its IR function following its IPO earlier in the year. Prior to Deliveroo, David was at the Adecco Group (2013-2020), spending over 4 years as Head of Investor Relations based in Zurich before becoming CFO Digital, with finance responsibility for all the Group's digital ventures and investments. David started his career at Morgan Stanley (2002-13) in London, where he was an equity research analyst covering the Business Services sector. David is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (FCMA), CFA Charterholder, and holder of the CFA Institute's Certificate in ESG Investing.

  • Adam Key, Head of Shareholder Relations, Bridgepoint Group Plc

    Adam Key Adam joined Bridgepoint as Head of Shareholder Relations in August 2021 shortly after its IPO in July. Prior to this he set up IR at Calisen plc, an owner and operator of domestic gas and electricity meters, prior to its listing in February 2020. His first job in IR saw him join Virgin Money (UK) Holdings plc ahead of its flotation in November 2014. He remained with Virgin Money until its acquisition by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group and the re-branding of the combined group as Virgin Money. Adam started his career at Schroders and Citi in Equity Capital Markets.

Breakout 5: Optimising capital allocation in a transforming world

This panel will discuss how companies should be structuring and communicating their allocation of capital, balancing investment in growth with shareholder returns, in the current market environment. The session will draw on first hand experiences of investors and senior IRO’s to provide some understanding of the various dynamics that companies should be thinking about, in this regard.

  • Moderator: Stuart Morgan, Director of Investor Relations, Capita

    Moderator: Stuart Morgan Qualified as a chartered accountant at PwC where I worked in audit and corporate finance. Moved into investor relations almost 20 years ago and have worked at UK companies such as easyJet, RAC and National Express, as well Eurofins (a French-listed testing company based in Brussels). I joined outsourcing company Capita in September 2019 as part of the company’s ongoing transformation.

  • Siobhán Andrews, Head of Corporate Affairs, Spectris

    Siobhán Andrews Siobhán is Head of Corporate Affairs at Spectris, a FTSE 250 industrials company, which she joined in 2016. Prior to that, Siobhán was IR Manager and then Deputy Head of IR at BG Group, a FTSE 100 oil and gas company. Before that, Siobhán was a sell-side analyst covering the utilities sector at UBS and also worked on the buy-side at a UK institutional investor. She graduated from City University with a BSc in Economics.

  • Derek Brown, Head of Investor Relations, Trustpilot Plc

    Derek Brown Prior to joining Trustpilot, Derek held senior positions on both the buy and sell-side of the investment industry, and has built significant corporate experience as a director of investor relations for three prominent UK technology companies listed in the FTSE 250 and FTSE 100. Formerly an equity analyst covering the global technology sector, Derek has particular expertise in the software sector, where he has been involved with a number of high-profile initial public offerings and M&A transactions during his career. Derek also sits on the Best Practice Committee for the Investor Relations Society. He was educated at University College London, and Cambridge University.

  • Adrian Frost, Investment Manager, Artemis

    Adrian Frost Alongside co-managers Nick Shenton and Andy Marsh, Adrian manages Artemis’ UK equity income strategies, which he has done since he joined the firm in January 2002. After graduating from Jesus College, Cambridge, Adrian began his career at Deutsche Asset Management (Morgan Grenfell) in 1983. He was appointed a director there in 1990 and head of UK equities in 1996. In 2020, Adrian received Investment Week’s ‘Outstanding Fund Manager Over 25 Years’ award.

  • Tom O’Hara, European Equities, Janus Henderson Investors

    Tom O’Hara Tom O’Hara is a Portfolio Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, a position he has held since 2020. He co-manages the Concentrated Pan Europe Equity, the Continental Europe Equity, Pan Europe Equity, and Concentrated Continental Europe Equity strategies. Before joining the firm as a research analyst in 2018, Tom was an equity research analyst specialising in metals and mining with Exane BNP Paribas from 2016. He held similar mining and steel sector positions with Redburn (Europe) Limited from 2013 and with Citigroup Global Markets from 2010. Before Citigroup, Tom was a metals analyst with Metal Bulletin Research from 2008. He began his career in 2006 in the treasury of Northern Rock plc. Tom received his BA degree (Hons) in economics from Newcastle University. He has 16 years of financial industry experience.

15:55 – 16:15

Afternoon break

Exhibition

16:15 – 17:00

Plenary: New horizons for IR – key themes and issues going forward

The final session of the day will summarise the key themes from the day’s discussions, refining these themes into clear priorities and outputs for IR practitioners, with a view to ensuring they remain agile and adaptable in a transforming world.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • Rob Barr, Partner, Pantheon

    Rob Barr Rob is a Partner and Head of Investor Relations for the EMEA, responsible for the overall leadership of the Investor Relations team across EMEA. He is a member of Pantheon’s ESG Committee and has been heavily involved in all aspects of the development and distribution of products for the private wealth and defined contribution markets. Before joining Pantheon, Rob was a Director at Deutsche Asset Management and prior to this worked in private equity for Morgan Grenfell Development Capital. Rob qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAS) with Ernst & Young, having previously worked in industry for Johnson Matthey. He received a bachelor’s degree from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

  • Tim Garratt, Client Director and Partner, Baillie Gifford

    Tim Garratt Tim joined Baillie Gifford in 2007 and is a Client Director, overseeing the institutional client base that invests in Long Term Global Growth, one of Baillie Gifford’s most concentrated Equity strategies with a focus on transformational payoffs. Tim has been heavily involved with the development of Baillie Gifford’s Shanghai office over the last few years and he also has a keen interest in helping to further raise Baillie Gifford’s role in responding to the climate crisis. Tim became a Partner of the firm in 2016. Prior to joining Baillie Gifford, Tim joined Arthur Anderson in 2000 before moving to AT Kearney where he managed a number of private equity projects. Tim graduated MEng in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Bristol in 1999.

  • Miriam McKay, Director of Group Communications and Investor Relations, HomeServe plc

    Miriam McKay Miriam McKay is a battle-hardened investor relations practitioner with experience across three sectors – Media, Asset Management and Consumer Services. She started her career in product management and strategy at Reuters before finding her niche in corporate communications. She is a veteran of countless upgrades, downgrades, capital markets days, management defenestrations and deals (Reuters / Thomson; Man / GLG; Henderson / Janus; HomeServe / Brookfield) and is proud to be a non-executive director of Emperor.

  • James Spalton, Senior Analyst and Partner, Odey Asset Management

    James Spalton James is a Partner and Senior Analyst at Odey Asset Management. He joined the firm in 2006 having graduated with a First in Classics from Keble College, Oxford University. Initially he worked within Odey’s research team, assisted in managing the firm’s Long Only European funds, and seconded with a privately owned portfolio company. He became a Senior Analyst in 2013 covering financials, and was promoted to Partner in 2018 with responsibility across a range of sectors and for some of the core positions in Odey funds (including Brook AM funds). James is a CFA charterholder.

17:00 – 17:30

Closing keynote

Fireside chat with the conference host

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

  • Angus Thirlwell, CEO, Hotel Chocolat

    Angus Thirlwell To say that Angus Thirlwell is passionate about chocolate is an understatement. As he willingly admits, it’s more of an obsession. Together with his business partner, Peter Harris, he founded Hotel Chocolat in 2004 with two specific aims for their chocolate: for it to excite the senses and for it to be widely available. Angus religiously eats chocolate every day, tastes and approves every single recipe the company produces, and is as much at home in the development kitchen – affectionately known as the ‘inventing room’ – as he is in the boardroom or among the cocoa trees. It was a bold move to become a cocoa grower, a point underlined by the fact that Hotel Chocolat is one of very few to do so, but it was all a natural progression of Angus’ passion for chocolate. In 2013, Hotel Chocolat became the world’s first chocolatier and cocoa grower to present a single-côte chocolate (made from a single terroir-defined grove of cocoa trees known as a côte), the Rabot Estate Marcial 70% Dark. This innovation propelled Britain to the forefront of the highly competitive super-premium chocolate market, among a dynamic field of craft American and European competition. More than a decade after Angus and Peter set out their initial aims – for their chocolate to excite the senses and be widely available – you can find Hotel Chocolat’s innovative luxury chocolates in their own boutiques up and down the country and through market-leading digital and club platforms – and those two goals have transpired to be just the beginning. From growing fine cocoa in Saint Lucia and creating the world’s first single-côte chocolate to opening a hotel, cafés and restaurants, it’s clear that Angus’ passion has only grown over the years, and that he’s on a mission to put the ‘Great’ back into British chocolate.

17:30 – 17:40

Final remarks

  • Evan Davis, Journalist and Broadcaster

    Evan Davis Evan Davis is the presenter of the Radio 4 daily news and current affairs show PM. He is also the host of Dragons Den and the Radio 4 business discussion programme the Bottom Line. Until November 2018, he presented Newsnight on BBC2. And prior to that he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He also spent seven years as the Economics Editor of the BBC. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and at the London Business School. Evan's latest book is called Post Truth: Why we have reached Peak Bullshit and what we can do about it.

17:40 - 17:45

Conference close

Chair of the IR Society

  • David Walker, Chief Operating Officer, British Land, Chair of the IR Society

    David Walker David is Chief Operating Officer of British Land, where he leads British Land’s Property Management team and is responsible for implementing their strategy and further improving the effectiveness of their Real Estate operations. He also heads up British Land’s Investor Relations function and oversees the company’s corporate sustainability programme. He acted as Interim Chief Financial Officer from November 2020 to July 2021. David joined British Land in 2017. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, before spending over seven years at Deutsche Bank in the Corporate Finance division. Since then, he has worked for over 10 years in Investor Relations, Strategy, Finance and Corporate Development roles within UK listed businesses. David is Chair of the UK Investor Relations Society, having served on the Board since 2012.

17:45

Drinks reception

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