Market participants from listed and private companies, investors, analysts, stock exchanges, regulatory authorities and other capital market stakeholders gathered at the 9th Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Annual Conference and Awards, held today at The Address, Dubai Mall. During the conference, results from the first ever analysis of the Investor Relations (IR) profession in the Middle East were showcased with key highlights that offered a positive outlook for the IR profession in the region.
The MEIRA Annual Conference, themed “The IR hyperloop: Driving Transformation to Unlock Tomorrow’s Value”, continued as the flagship event for IR professionals in the Middle East, and a key forum for sharing best practice and exchange on the latest in regulatory and capital market developments.
This First Edition of the Middle East IR Practitioners Survey report, developed by MEIRA in partnership with recruitment specialists Hanson Search, looked at the function and career-related aspects of the role of IR in the Middle East, including compensation, team structure, reporting, gender parity and other KPIs. “The outlook for the IR function in this region is positive, with nearly 90% of respondents agreeing that their role is now considered strategic. More than 80% of firms surveyed now have a dedicated IR department within their company, with teams being responsible for a variety of functions including meeting investors, developing quarterly and annual reports, and liaising with existing and prospective shareholders. Furthermore, nearly 80% of respondents now have regular access to their Boards, demonstrating the established importance of the IR function among listed firms,” said Felice Hurst, Managing Director MENA, at Hanson Search.
“The first of its kind for the region, this survey provides invaluable insights to the practice and profession of IR in the Middle East. A rapidly developing function, IR in MENA is adapting quickly to changing market needs and evolving regulatory demand. It is tremendously encouraging to see listed firms dedicate increasing resource to a qualified role that can accurately tell their story and fully engage with their investor community.” said Alex MacDonald Vitale, Chairman of MEIRA. “It is worth highlighting that the majority of companies surveyed plan to maintain or grow their teams over the next year, so the outlook appears positive for IR practitioners in the region. The need to align with global benchmarks especially in the area of diversity and salaries remains a challenge, but we are hopeful that this will improve quickly as efforts to support parity continue.” he added.
Speakers at the event examined the latest trends and developments in the industry among which, the importance of ESG for today’s investors, the impact of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 on GCC capital markets and beyond, as well as Views from the investor community and an IR case study on the FGB-NBAD merger.
The 2017 Investor Relations Awards Ceremony recognised the region’s leading investor relations professionals, acknowledging their contribution to developing and raising investor relations standards across the region. A full list of nominees and winners can be found on the Association’s website at conference.meira.me