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Intro to an IRO: Marco Porro, Italgas, S.p.A.


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Marco Porro

Marco Porro is Head of Investor Relations at Italgas since November 2016, having held the same role in Snam SpA since July 2006. A graduate in Business Economics at the Bocconi University of Milan, he joined Snam as an economist dealing with preparation of the long-term energy demand scenarios. Whilst at Snam, he was assistant to the manager of Strategic Planning, from July 1997 until the end of 2000. At the end of 2000, he took on the role of Project Manager for the transfer of gas transport assets to the NewCo Rete Gas Italia and, subsequently, for its listing on the Stock Exchange as Snam Rete Gas in December 2001. From then up until May 2002 he took on the duties of assistant to the Investor Relations manager of Snam Rete Gas. He was then appointed as Financial Analyst Relations Manager in the Investor Relations Department of the Parent company Eni.

What are your top priorities and biggest challenges?

My priorities are: to be consistent in maintaining the credibility of the company and being able to translate information into a clear, unbiased message; to be proactive and always well prepared; and to maintain good relations for all relevant areas of the company organization.

The challenges I face in my role include:

  • Targeting new investors and further diversify shareholder base
  • Expanding or enhancing engagement with existing shareholders
  • Increasing liquidity
  • Increasing my management team's visibility /accessibility and the successful integration o f report ing regimes (financial, non-financial, etc) and improvement in its communication

How long have you been in your role and how have you seen the role evolve in the past couple of years?

I have been in the role for 12 years. Over this period of time I experienced changes in: our corporate structure (passive vs active investors); the function of the sell side (research, corporate access, etc); the inclusion of non-financial factors in investors' decision making; increased market transparency; and new regulation requirements

How can the IRO best engage the investment community?

The areas that I recommend are via corporate presentations (earnings and CMD), conference/video calls, 1-to-1 meetings, investor site visits, and attending sector conferences.

What is one important initiative that you've championed or experience that you've had as an IRO?

I can remember two main experiences. The first one was the IPO of Snam and the second is the spin-off of Italgas and its listing on the Milan Stock Exchange.

What advice do you have for the next generation of IRO?

To be always keen to be update on new trends, to be curious and always open to discuss with investors. This is not enough; you must always be consistent with what you present and comment to the market. It's a matter of trust and credibility that you have to build every day with investors.

What matters most to you when identifying the institutional shareholders in your company and peers?

Investment style, peers ownership, sector focus, equity assets under management, average holding period.

What are some challenges you face when liaising with other areas of your organization around proxy and earnings seasons?

I am pretty lucky. The company culture is well aware of the requirements of the financial community. Therefore, I can quite easily obtain support both in proxy and earning seasons.

What are the benefits you have seen from being a Nasdaq IR Insight and Advisory client?

A detailed and consistent shareholder analysis which supports updates in investor targeting. A friendly use of Nasdaq IR Insight with outstanding reporting tools. Continuous updates of the platform with additional tools. Sometimes it's even difficult to be up-to-speed with the new updates due to lack of time during everyday job time.

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