In the IR Society’s 40th year, and as companies navigate through these incredibly turbulent and uncertain times, we celebrate the pivotal and increasingly strategic role that IR plays within organisations and how it will be influenced by the current crisis. Alongside keynote addresses, our sessions will look at key themes and mega trends, ESG and stewardship and how to shape your IR programme in a post-COVID world.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all our members and sponsors for your ongoing support. As a member-led, not-for-profit organisation your contributions to our events, professional development and membership fees underpin everything we do to promote excellence in IR, including being able to run our flagship Annual Conference. While this year the conference format might be a little different, we look forward to bringing you the same unrivalled content combining live interactive discussions and on demand sessions with our esteemed guest speakers. You will also have the opportunity to network with peers and visit our exhibitors via our virtual platform throughout the event.
The IR Society Virtual Annual Conference will take place on Tuesday 29th September 2020 - book your ticket now!
Highlights from the 2019 and 2018 conferences plus the Diploma in IR
Highlights from the 2019 conference: IR: Leading Change; Driving Value
Introduction to the Diploma in IR
Highlights from the 2018 conference: IR: Future-proofing Business
Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry, VMware
Chris serves as CTO, Global Field and Industry at VMware. In that role, he is responsible for helping to shape VMware’s long term technology vision, while ensuring that Research and Development priorities align with customer and industry needs. Wolf’s team drives thought leadership and industry alignment in a number of emerging areas, including Cloud, Edge, IoT, server platforms, HPC, and NFV. Chris also leads VMware’s 140+ member CTO Ambassador program, which further scales VMware R&D to customers and the technology community at large.
Prior to joining VMware, Chris was a Research Vice President for Gartner’s Technical Professionals service, where he managed the data center and private cloud research agenda. Before that, Chris was a founding member of the Data Center Strategies team at Burton Group, an independent virtualization consultant, and had stops at multiple colleges and at CommVault Systems along the way. Wolf’s IT and technology journey began in the US Marines.
Wolf holds a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has authored several technology book
The IR Society’s CEO welcomes delegates and raises the curtain on this year’s virtual conference
Laura is CEO at the IR Society. Formerly Head of Policy and Communications, Laura has been with the Society for more than eight years. Laura has over 17 years’ experience in the Investor Relations industry. She joined The IR Society in 2011, and among other roles, was formerly a director at the IR consultancy, Taylor Rafferty, providing IR advisory services to blue chip clients, both in London and New York. She graduated from the University of Leeds, with an honours degree in German and management studies.
A ‘big picture’ discussion of the current crisis and how this is shaping macro-economic, governance and technology mega trends that are likely to have a major influence on financial markets and issuers in the years ahead
Peregrine has run award-winning investor relations programmes for companies ranging from £500m to £80bn in value over the last 18 years. After graduating with a degree in Classics from Oxford University, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand and then spent six years in the City, firstly on mid-cap M&A advisory at Close Brothers and then as an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, before moving into IR. He is a Fellow and former Chair of the IR Society.
Chris has responsibility for developing and implementing the Bank's strategic approach to climate change. He has been particularly focused on the PRA’s supervisory approach to addressing the financial risks arising from climate change and the development of the Bank's climate stress test. Beyond climate, Chris has responsibility for the authorisation, supervision and analysis of foreign firms operating in the UK. Prior to working at the Bank, Chris held roles at HM Treasury and Ernst and Young, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Andrew is the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs. Before politics he worked at Sky plc for 20 years and rose to become Group Chief Operating Officer. In 2019 he was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Chief Business Adviser. He served on Sky’s Board of Directors from 2008-19, at the time being the youngest person to hold such a role in a FTSE100 company. Throughout his tenure at Sky, the company was a leader in taking action on climate and the environment, becoming one of the first companies to be carbon neutral in 2006 through partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Between 2014-2019, Andrew served as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Just Eat plc. After acting as interim Chairman between April 2018 and April 2019 he was named The Sunday Times Non-Executive Director of the Year for his leadership. Andrew previously worked at PwC and Rothschild. He studied Law at Nottingham University and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1995.
Yael is Chief Economist at KPMG in the UK and a Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. She has been advising clients on the global economic outlook and its impact on their strategy for over 20 years. Her experience spans private sector clients across a wide range of industries and geographies, as well as public sector bodies. Her research looks at the impact major shocks, as well as new technologies, could have on the economy and on individual businesses. Her work at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research looks at ways to lift growth across UK regions. Yael is a regular commentator on economic issues in the media.
An opportunity for delegates to connect with each other, visit the exhibition hall or take a quick break
This session will look at the best practice in investor relations that is emerging from the crisis and discuss the practicalities of a longer-term shift towards virtual engagement with investors and other stakeholders, alongside the trends in technology for IR that have been accelerated by recent events.
Diane is an IR specialist with over 25 years’ experience gained in a variety of disciplines including UK plc corporate roles, consultancy and banking. Today she is an IR education course leader, advisor and mentor. Over her 10 years in-house Diane was involved in IPO/secondary offerings, US listings and developing strategies to increase and improve two-way communication with shareholders. She has dealt with investors from all regions, investment styles and size. Diane spent 14 years with Citi’s Equities and Depositary Receipt businesses advising and assisting international companies on IR strategy, practice and shareholder engagement. She has been a member of the IR Society since 1994, a board director from 2000-2006 and Chairman of the Society from 2003-2005.
Ben Grindley is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Corporate Broking at Morgan Stanley. He has worked in investment banking for more than 20 years and has been at Morgan Stanley for 17 years, holding a number of senior roles in the firm’s Global Capital Markets division before joining Corporate Broking. Ben has been involved in a large number of corporate actions, including IPOs, demergers and M&A. Clients include Avast, BAE Systems, British Land, Direct Line, Lloyds Banking Group, SSE and Sage.
Edward joined Land Securities in 2007 as Head of Investor Relations. Before joining Land Securities, Edward worked for The Boots Company for 14 years in a variety of roles. He joined The Boots Company in 1993 as an economist and helped to develop rental forecasting models for Boots Properties PLC. Edward joined the finance department in 2000 as an analyst in the Investor Relations department. In 2002 he moved to the Group Finance department and managed the performance reporting team responsible for the analysis and reporting of the trading performance of the company. In 2006 Edward re-joined the Investor Relations team to work on the merger of Alliance UniChem with The Boots Company to form Alliance Boots plc.
Ellie Tinto is Head of the Corporate Solutions Team for BlackRock EMEA. Corporate Solutions sits in the BlackRock Capital Markets group. BlackRock Capital Markets (BCM) operates across the entirety of the firm’s investment platform to provide our investors the ability to access primary issuance markets, source across the capital structure and unlock greater alpha opportunities for the benefit of our clients. Covering the full spectrum of public and private markets, BCM offers a centralized function for sourcing and syndication, financing, co-investment and corporate solutions activities. Ellie has 16 years’ experience of working in corporate access, beginning with her role as an originator at Société Générale in London where she also ran the UK roadshow and conference desk. She joined Sanofi Investor Relations team in 2010 where she was tasked with driving European and US investor engagement through targeting and strategic outreach. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2018, Ellie took a sabbatical in Tanzania working for ‘Pikilily’, a social enterprise focusing on women’s health in rural areas. She also worked as a consultant for Comic Relief, conceiving and executing ‘Step Up’; a corporate workplace fundraising initiative for Sport Relief 2018.
Louise is a capital markets professional and Director of Investor Relations at William Hill where she leads the investment narrative and engagement with the investment community. William Hill is at an exciting turning point in its long history as it grows its US business and, during her year with the Group, Louise has combined her background on the buy-side with her more recently gained experience as Head of IR at Kier to rebuild the IR team, reposition the investment case and re-engage with analysts and investors. Louise is a CFA charterholder, gaining 20 years of asset management experience managing global and emerging market equities at Morgan Stanley while her tenure at Allianz Global Investors was focused on special situations.
The main mid-way networking and exhibition break of the live conference.
This session will consider active versus passive investment, the greater influence of hedge funds and the potential for an acceleration in shareholder activism and M&A activity in the wake of the crisis. It addresses the importance of understanding the needs of your existing and potential shareholders and developing a board-level action plan to deal with major events.
John has been a leader in the field of investor relations for over 20 years and is a former Chairman of the IR Society. As an in-house practitioner, John has advised senior management and Boards on numerous complex investor, corporate and communications challenges leveraging his financial expertise and practical experience. John is currently Head of Investor Relations at RB, and prior to this has led Investor Relations, Corporate Communications and Strategic Marketing functions over his career with Cadbury, ICI, Exel, National Grid and Rolls-Royce.
Simon is Co-Head of Quality at Investec Asset Management. He is a portfolio manager with a focus on UK equities, the strategy leader for UK Alpha and is responsible for the co-management of the Quality capability. Simon is based in the firm’s London office. Prior to joining the firm, Simon worked for Threadneedle where he was Head of UK Equities and responsible for the portfolio management of the Threadneedle UK Fund. He has been managing funds for over 14 years having started his career with Schroders in 1998. Simon graduated from Durham University and the University of Aix-Marseille with a BA Honours degree in Economics with French. Simon holds the Institute of Investment Management and Research (IIMR) certificate.
Edward Cole is responsible for investment strategy at Man GLG. He joined Man Group in 2015, co-managing emerging-market equity strategies until the end of 2018. He started his career in 2001 working for specialist Eastern European-focused investment banks as an equity strategist during the period of EU accession for former communistbloc countries, and moved to JPMorgan in 2005 as a global emerging market equity strategist. He has worked in investment management since 2007, managing long-only, long/short and multi-strategy emerging market funds. Edward graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc in Politics and from the London School of Economics with an MSc in International Development.
Bill Kennedy is a Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMR Co.) In this role, Bill manages Fidelity International Discovery Fund and Fidelity Advisor International Discovery Fund. Additionally, he co-manages Fidelity Worldwide Fund and Fidelity Advisor Worldwide Fund. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Bill managed the Fidelity Pacific Basin Fund and Fidelity Advisor Japan Fund. Previously, he served as an assistant Portfolio Manager and as a Research Analyst covering investment opportunities in India and the regional power sector. Bill also served as Director of Equity Research in Fidelity’s Hong Kong office as well as group leader of the Global Research group. Before joining Fidelity, between 1990 and 1994 Bill worked in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore as part of Prudential’s Private Equity team as a Research Analyst. Bill has been in the investments industry since 1990. Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame. Bill is also a CFA® charterholder.
Harlan Zimmerman is a Senior Partner of Cevian Capital, with responsibilities across investment, engagement and business matters of the firm. He has lived in London since 1992 and has worked with Cevian since 2003. Cevian is Europe’s largest constructive activist manager, and one of the largest in the world, with c. $14 billion dedicated to long-term investing in listed European companies. Cevian is long-only and has an average holding period of 5+ years. In many cases it plays the role of “anchor investor,” and team members frequently join company boards. Mr. Zimmerman is a graduate of the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an MBA in Finance from Wharton and an MA in International Relations. Previously he earned a BA (International Relations/Russian) from the University of California, Davis.
Another opportunity for delegates to connect with each other, visit the exhibition hall or take a quick break.
This panel will discuss the growing importance of ESG and stewardship amid the changing regulatory landscape, and how this has been influenced by COVID-19 What does this mean for companies going forward and what will responsible corporations look like in the future?
Gillian Karran-Cumberlege leads Fidelio Partners Board Practice, supporting Chairmen and CEOs in building effective Boards and Executive leadership teams which drive value for stakeholders and shareholders. In this context Gillian is actively engaged in promoting greater Board effectiveness through increased diversity. Fidelio is accredited by the Hampton-Alexander Review for its contribution to increasing gender diversity on Boards and leadership teams ‘Beyond FTSE350’. An internationally recognised thought leader on ESG, Gillian is a Board and Steering Committee Member of Chapter Zero, which supports Board Directors to address climate change on the Board Agenda. Gillian is also an advisory Board Member of the German British Forum. Previously Gillian served as an Independent Board Member of Jaguar Land Rover India and a Member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board (2015-2018). Prior to founding Fidelio Gillian held senior executive roles within some of Europe’s leading corporates; this included Global Head of Investor Relations / Capital Market Communications for Volkswagen AG (2000 – 2007) sitting on the Group Governance and Marketing Committees – the most senior female executive globally. Previously Gillian had enjoyed a highly successful career in banking for example heading Group Investor Relations for UBS (1998- 2000). She started her career in Banking Supervision with the Bank of England. Gillian has an MA in History from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and attended the Harvard General Management Programme.
Julie Hudson CFA is Global Head of ESG Research (GRAC) at UBS. In 2019, she reached her 25-year anniversary with the firm, and in April 2020 we reached the fifteen-year anniversary of the team's first publication - Why Try to Quantify the Unquantifiable? The ESG "competition model" we have developed over the years is based on extensive collaboration with UBS's world-wide sector teams on the basis that so-called "ESG" issues are embedded in any firm's business model. Julie believes experienced sector analysts are well-positioned to understand the many ways in which environmental, social and governance issues can change the markets addressed by their companies. External publications: The Environment on Stage: Scenery or Shapeshifter? (Routledge, 2019); From Red to Green? How the Financial Credit Crunch Could bankrupt the Environment (Earthscan, 2011), and Food Policy and the Environmental Credit Crunch: From Soup to Nuts (Routledge ,2013), both co-authored with economist Paul Donovan; The Social Responsibility of the Investment Profession (Research Foundation of CFA Institute, August 2006); and '"If you want to be green hold your breath": Climate Change in British Theatre', NTQ 111 (2012). Julie much enjoyed being a trustee of the Cardboard Citizens theatre company from 2013 to 2019. In her spare time she has participated as a volunteer in several Earthwatch expeditions, focusing on water in the Gobi desert, climate change at the 'Arctic's edge' (at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) and in Dechenla (NWT, Canada)), sustainable coffee in Costa Rica and biodiversity in the Peruvian Amazon. She holds an MA in Modern Languages from Oxford University, a London University (SOAS) MSc. in Financial Economics, and a City University MSc. in Economic Regulation and Competition. Her most recent book grew out of her 2018 Warwick University PhD.
Joanna Kennedy is the Director of Investor Relations at Coca-Cola HBC, a strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company and a FTSE 100 constituent. Prior to her career in IR she spent over a decade on the buyside, first as an analyst at Sloane Robinson, an emerging market focused hedge fund and latterly as a portfolio manager at IronBridge Capital Management, a developed market focused long-only. She read history at the University of Edinburgh, earning a first-class degree in 2006 and is a CFA charter holder since 2011. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Rupert Krefting joined M&G in 2016 as Head of Corporate Finance and Stewardship. M&G manages £350bn with c. £60bn in equities – half is in UK and half is Global. Rupert qualified as a chartered accountant then worked in investment banking for more than two decades. Most recently, he was at Numis for 8 years. At M&G, Rupert chairs M&G’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee which pulls together all M&G’s responsible investment initiatives internally and externally and sits on the following external committees: Investment Association’s Stewardship Committee, European Fund and Asset management Association Stewardship and ESG committee, Institutional Investors for Global Climate change (IIGCC), UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA), International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), All Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group
Neil Stewart joined SASB in 2020 as its New York-based Director of Corporate Outreach, bringing more than 25 years of experience in and around investor relations and corporate governance. Previously he was with Citigroup as VP IR Advisory on the ADR team, helping non-US issuers develop IR and ESG strategies. Formerly Editor-in-Chief of IR Magazine and then Editorial & Research Director of both IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary magazine, Neil is well known for having led a global lineup of conferences and awards events. He is a board member of NIRI NY, the New York chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute, and has lived and worked in Montreal, London and New York.
IR Society Chair, David Walker, will close the formal proceedings with a round up of the main themes of the day
David Walker qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers within their Banking & Capital Markets division in London. Following this, he spent over seven years in the city at Deutsche Bank where he held a variety of roles within the Corporate Finance division, including Business Development and most recently as a Vice President in the UK Corporate Broking team. Since leaving Deutsche Bank David has worked at Hays PLC, the FTSE250 listed specialist recruitment group, where he headed up the Investor Relations & Corporate Development team, taking responsibility for all aspects of shareholder and other stakeholder communications. In October 2017 he joined British Land as Head of Investor Relations.
A last opportunity during the live event for delegates to connect with each other, visit the exhibition hall or take a quick break - but remember, you can visit the exhibitors' booths for 30 days after the live event!
Our 2020 conference sponsors, supporters and exhibitors
Thank you to the following IR associations for supporting the conference