Over the last several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to join multiple issuer presentations to institutional investors. These are a longstanding practice in our market that continue to be beneficial for many issuers, and they’ve taken different shapes over the years.
Virtual roadshows and newer technologies like Zoom were vital to issuers engaging investors during the difficult COVID period of 2020 and 2021 when in-person meetings were near impossible. That COVID period also included extraordinarily Federal support for the muni market, which pushed rates and spreads to lows and reduced some urgency around investor meetings.
The choppiness of the bond market in 2022, along with the reduced COVID risk, produced one notable silver lining: the return of in-person issuer investor presentations.
After sitting in on a number of these recently, I came away with some refreshed thoughts.
I think these can be invaluable in terms of making a general connection with your bondholders. For investors, these are incredible opportunities to go deep on a topic with a CFO or state budget director. A recent poll conducted by Corbin Advisors found that a whopping 87% of investors look forward to the flexibility around a live Q&A with the issuer, and 83% pay close attention to presentations conducted by leaders outside of CEO & CFO roles. It can be so much easier and impactful for investors to consume information in this way vs. constantly relying on reading flat documents online.
The ability for issuers to respond is a big part of how investors are evaluating management as part of their broader credit review, too. It’s equally important for issuers to effectively communicate their stories to investors during these valuable in-person periods, along with proactively presenting content that addresses topics, concerns, questions, etc. that are top of mind for investors in the room. Overwhelmingly, investors want issuers to address their long-term strategy, capital allocation priorities, and long-term targets.
But in-person investor events are still going to be rare going forward – they’re time consuming and can be expensive for issuers. So, what are the keys to maximizing your limited time with investors? How do you take your investor meeting from good to great, to borrow from Jim Collins, so you make all that time, effort, and capital worth it?
The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) has a lot of good resources on this topic on their website. If you have an investor meeting planned for 2023, or are thinking about adding one into the mix, this virtual presentation from NIRI can be worth your time.