Stacey Caravella is the Head of Investor Relations at Dunkin' Brands, based in Canton, Massachusetts. Stacey has been with Dunkin' Brands for nearly 10 years supporting the company in communications and investor relations.
1. What are your top priorities and biggest challenges?
The Investor Relations role is all-inclusive, meaning it is about working, managing and leading with external and internal stakeholders. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. is the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. My top priority is effectively communicating the Dunkin’ Brands story to the investment community to ensure that it understands the Company’s growth opportunity and differentiated franchised business model.
My biggest challenge is that so many people I speak with on a daily basis are also Dunkin’ Donuts consumers! This is a good thing, but no matter how hard they try, it’s difficult for them not to think about their morning experience at Dunkin’ and extrapolate it to nearly 9,000 restaurants.
2. How have you seen the role and expectations of the IRO evolve in the past few years?
I have been with Dunkin’ Brands for nearly 10 years, but we have only been a publicly-traded company for the past five and a half years. I’ve been the only person in this position. From starting the Investor Relations department, to forming relationships with the sell-side and buy-side, to hosting the first-ever Dunkin’ Brands Investor Day – it was all new when I started in the role. So for me personally, the role has evolved significantly and has grown as my career progresses.
I always say that if a company is going public, it’s worth taking a chance on someone internally who may never have done IR in the past (someone like me), but who understands the business. You can figure out the rest or find experts to help you out, but the most important piece is having an intimate knowledge of the business.
3. How can the IRO best engage the investment community?
At Dunkin’ Brands, we have what I like to call an “open-door” policy, meaning that we try to accommodate most requests for meetings or phone calls. I understand that this is not possible for many companies, but it has served us well. We like to have open dialogues with our investors and analysts and we don’t shy away from tough conversations.
4. What is one important initiative that you’ve championed or experience that you’ve had as an IRO?
Going through an IPO was a truly awesome experience. Dunkin' Brands went public at the start of my role in Investor Relations and shortly after, the company developed an IR department. Since then, I have built great relationships with the various teams in my organization and this is likely because we all went through the IPO together. Seeing our iconic logo with the Dunkin’ Donuts’ famous pink and orange Ds displayed over Times Square was very rewarding and one that not every IRO has the opportunity to do.
5. What resources do you rely on to stay up to date on the capital markets?
Nasdaq’s Consumer Advisory emails are a great way to stay on top of the overall market on a daily and intra-daily basis. From shareholder analysis and trading and investor activity to insights into how best to manage your investor relations outreach efforts, it definitely helps me stay up to speed in today’s dynamic marketplace. Most IR “teams” are actually one person, so having someone who you can call or email and get a fast response and reliable information is invaluable.
6. What advice do you have for the next generation of IRO?
It’s OK to admit to someone from the investment world that you just don’t know the answer and need to follow-up with them!
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