2018 MEIRA Annual Conference & Awards Ceremony
High-profile speakers and panellists as well as more than 200 participants came together at Dubai’s Bvlgari Resort on 26th September to network and discuss the latest industry developments.
The opening panel titled ‘Ten years of change – what’s next?’ brought together CFOs from Mobily, Aldar Properties and Almarai. The participants of the session highlighted the importance of a solid investor relations programme to support the overall company’s strategy.
The much-awaited ‘MEIRA Talk’ series comprised a total of five sessions over the course of the day. The first talk provided a macro review on the operating landscape for listed companies in the region. Speaker Daniel Marc Richards, MENA Economist at Emirates NBD, outlined how the macroeconomic conditions seem more promising for Middle East economies after a relatively slow start to 2018. The second talk, presented by Chris Wilson, Head of Investor Relations at Aldar Properties, addressed challenges facing Investor Relations Officers in this part of the world from a practitioners’ perspective.
Thirdly, Mohamad Al Hajj, Vice President and Head of MENA Strategy at EFG Hermes, elaborated on the rise of passive investing, a trend which is significantly impacting stock markets in the Middle East. Noor Sweid, General Partner at Global Investor, unveiled practical tips on how to effectively pitch your company’s equity story to the buy side during her session. The last MEIRA Talk was conducted by Redwan Ahmed, Head of Investor Relations at DP World, who explained the impact of GCC credit from the potential inclusion in the JP Morgan sovereign index.
This was followed by an investor panel discussion on the opening of Saudi Arabia’s capital market and the effects on the wider region, gathering participants from FAB Asset Management, Franklin Templeton Investments and Jupiter Asset Management.
The Conference ended with an on-stage discussion on female leadership in investor relations, moderated by Saleha Osmani from Société Générale and Chair Middle East at 100 Women in Finance. While there is much discussion about a glass ceiling globally, the respective Heads of IR of Gulf Bank, Almarai, FAB and SODIC concluded that the investor relations profession in the region has been developing rapidly and is in the progress of overcoming the gender gap.
On the same day, listed companies as well industry leaders from across the region were recognised during the 10th MEIRA Awards Ceremony for outstanding performance in investor relations.