Today’s Investor Relations Officer is a leader required to have expertise in multiple areas – shareholder relations, strategy, finance, sustainability, communications, capital markets, ESG, and competitive intelligence. Nasdaq’s IntroToAnIRO feature highlights the IROs who perform this beyond the traditional role. In this feature, we highlight Tina Madon, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Focus Financial Partners.
Tina Madon joined Focus Financial Partners in early 2019, shortly after its IPO, as Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. Tina has three decades of experience in the financial services industry through a combination of investor relations and corporate finance roles. At Focus, Tina is responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of its global investor relations strategy. She is also responsible for leading Focus’s corporate communications worldwide, including its media and public relations engagement.
We spoke with Tina to get her insights on the challenges facing IROs and the skills needed to be successful.
How have you established your company’s priorities amid the Coronavirus pandemic?
Our primary objective has been to demonstrate the resiliency of our business model and strong financial performance, as well as our ability to deliver sustained growth, despite the pandemic-related uncertainties. Since we are a capital markets sensitive stock operating in a sector of the wealth management market that is not well understood, this was especially important.
How has the spread of COVID-19 affected your strategy as an IRO?
We significantly increased our visibility and outreach to the investment community during the pandemic and were highly proactive in our approach. We did this through a combination of investor conference participation, non-deal roadshows and company-specific calls and events. The pandemic required a different approach to targeting and investor engagement since we weren’t able to build our targeting around travel to specific cities but made our outreach activities much more efficient. I anticipate that investor engagement – for us and others – will remain a hybrid of remote and in-person conversations because of the efficiencies gained.
We also increased our guidance and expanded our disclosures to reduce investor concerns about various aspects of our business. We also included a number of our partner firms in our outreach so the investment community could talk to them directly and hear about their experiences. Taken together, these actions contributed to a significant re-rating of our stock last year.
How has your team prepped for earnings and post-earnings investor engagement?
We spend a lot of time thinking through the topics we know investors will be interested in and the questions they will ask on the call. We put together a comprehensive Q&A to ensure that our messaging on all elements of our business is consistent, transparent, and provides the information the investment community is looking for.
After our earnings call, we host catch-up calls with each equity analyst who covers us, our 10 largest active holders and our top prospective holders. Our philosophy is that each should have a least one touchpoint with our management team every quarter, although many engage with us more frequently.
What advice do you have for the next generation of IR leaders?
I believe that a strong corporate finance background and a solid understanding of the capital markets are essential for success in IR. Investors have an ever-increasing number of choices on where to invest their capital, and equity research resources are stretched more thinly than ever, so the IRO has to play a more active role in explaining the fundamentals and differentiating business characteristics of the companies they work for.
What is one important initiative that you’ve championed or experience that you’ve had as an IRO?
Having helped two newly public companies establish their equity market profiles, I have seen first-hand the importance of clear, consistent and detailed financial disclosures. During my time at Focus, we have made a significant investment in not only expanding our disclosures but continually looking for ways in which we can evolve them to better address investor questions. A particular high point was our first investor day in 2019, less than 18 months after going public. Many investors told us that it was one of the best investor days they have ever attended because of the depth and breadth of information we provided on our business.
What are some benefits you have seen from being an IR Intelligence client?
The analytical capabilities of the IR Intelligence tools are a differentiator for me. The interfaces are easy to use, and the flexibility to quickly screen and pull information in a customized format is very helpful. However, what has been most valuable for me is the team of people at Nasdaq that support me. They are highly knowledgeable, and the team has been consistent throughout my time at Focus. They are thoughtful and proactive, and they have been true partners to me.
While you have been at Focus Financial, can you recall a highlight while working with Nasdaq?
Our Nasdaq team helps me in many ways, but a highlight for me is not a single event but rather our monthly calls. Everyone on Focus’s Nasdaq team participates, and I always gain great insight into the trading patterns in our stock, short interest trends, intelligence on investor buying and selling within financial services stocks, and many other timely topics. These calls are always a great use of the hour invested!
Focus Financial Partners Inc. is a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides access to best practices, resources, and continuity planning for its partner firms that serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with comprehensive wealth management services. Focus partner firms maintain their operational independence while they benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices offered by Focus to achieve their business objectives. For more information about Focus, please visit www.focusfinancialpartners.com.