NIRI NY NextGen – Fireside Chat with Spencer Wang, IRO of Netflix

May 16, 2019 06:00 PM


Fireside Chat with Spencer Wang, IRO of Netflix

Netflix IRO, Spencer Wang, Speaks to NIRI New York NextGen members

On May 16, 2019, NIRI NY NextGen IR professionals attended a fireside chat with Spencer Wang, IRO of Netflix, at Shake Shack’s headquarters in Manhattan. The fireside chat was moderated by Tanya Kamatu of Catalyst IR. The event was hosted by NIRI NY NextGen Committee members Allison Sobel, Sherif El-Azzazi, Tanya Kamatu, Adam Fromowitz and Mei Kuo.

Spencer Wang, Vice President of Finance/Investor Relations & Corporate Development at Netflix, comes with an impressive background, starting in equity research before being handpicked by the CEO of Netflix to lead investor relations. As moderator, Tanya spoke with Spencer about his career, IR best practices and career advice. Below are key takeaways from the fireside chat:

  • In addition to his role in IR, Spencer does significant work in business development and commercial partnerships.
  • Crucial skills for IR include a forward-looking view, the ability to think critically and analytically, a deep finance background, and verbal and written communication skills, as well as to be a big believer in the company.
  • A good IR practitioner will be transparent and communicate clearly their objective, attract the right investors, have depth of knowledge in finance, and spend time with company leaders to become a source of knowledge on all matters related to the company.
  • Netflix does a post-earnings sell-side call including all the analysts in place of individual calls. This allows for efficiency and lets analysts hear more questions.
  • The IR website is a great tool for making information available and organizing it for investors.
  • Ways to improve financial literacy include formal qualifications but you can learn basic accounting and financial statement analysis by taking online courses.
  • It’s important to spend most of your time with the buyside – win investors over with the depth of your thinking and the ability to articulate why you made a choice. Even if investors disagree, they will respect your view.
  • If you bring value to other people, you will be rewarded.
  • Regarding promotions, always be prepared for when an opportunity opens up.
  • It is crucial to find a culture that matches your values and risk tolerance.

Following an engaging talk with Spencer Wang, attendees had the opportunity to network while enjoying refreshments courtesy of Shake Shack, Brooklyn Brewery and Gotham Wines.

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