The Strategic IRO: Roadshow Roadmap Post-MiFID II

April 4, 2019 05:30 PM
 Domain 1:
IR Strategy Formulation
 Domain 4:
Marketing and Outreach
 Domain 8:
Capital Markets


MiFID II: Corporate Access Point-Counterpoint – Views from the Buy and Sell-Side

On April 4th, NIRI NY conducted its third program of the ‘Strategic IRO’ series. The program, entitled ‘The Strategic IRO: Roadshow Roadmap Post-MiFID II’, focused on the changes MiFID II has brought so far to corporate access and how those changes are impacting investor relations. The event took place at EY Headquarters and was kicked off by Amy Merrill, a Senior Manager who works with EY's asset management clients on risk assessment. Amy reviewed how MiFID II has changed investor reporting, transparency and protections. 

The discussion was moderated by Neil Stewart, Vice President, IR Advisory, Citi Depositary Receipt Services, and a member of NIRI NY’s board of directors. Our distinguished panel consisted of: 

  • Sarah Regan, Head of Corporate Access for U.S. Equity, T. Rowe Price

    Sarah Regan is Head of Corporate Access for U.S. Equity at T. Rowe Price. In this role, Sarah is responsible for establishing and managing in-house corporate access solutions to positively impact the investment research process. Sarah is also focused on originating access to corporate management teams and, in partnership with the investment professionals, finding opportunities to innovate events around the investment professionals’ research and ideas. She is also responsible for building on and fostering new corporate relationships to best educate companies on T. Rowe’s global funds and ensure proper connectivity between the firm’s investors and the management teams they engage. Prior to joining T. Rowe Price, Sarah was Head of Consumer, Energy & Industrials Corporate Access at Cowen & Company and a Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch within their Corporate Access unit. Sarah also worked at Sloane & Company, a corporate communication, crisis management and investor relations firm based in New York. She earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Sarah chairs the Shadwell Society’s “Speaker Series”, Jefferson Scholars at the University of Virginia.

  • Darcy Volpe, Head of Corporate Access Solutions, BlackRock

    Darcy Volpe is Head of Corporate Access Solutions for BlackRock. She joined in May 2018 from Barclays where she was the Head of Corporate Access. Prior to Barclays, Darcy was the Head of Corporate Access Asia Pacific at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, residing in Hong Kong. From 1998-2008 she was the Global Head of Roadshows for Lehman Brothers, responsible for building out teams in Japan, Hong Kong and India. She earned her BA degree in Communications from the University of South Florida and has her Series 7, 63 and 24.

  • Lauren Puffer, Senior Vice President, Corporate Access Origination, Jefferies

    Lauren Puffer is SVP, Corporate Access Origination, Jefferies. Lauren Puffer joined Jefferies in January 2014 and currently leads the corporate access origination efforts for US Financials and Global Energy, as well as for the equity division’s ESG initiatives. Lauren started at Jefferies spearheading the European corporate access product in the US, successfully building the business with a 30% CAGR. Prior to joining Jefferies, Lauren ran European and Latin American corporate access at Barclays. Before joining corporate access, Lauren spent ten years working in US and international investor relations consulting at BNY Mellon, FTI Consulting, and Grayling Global. Lauren has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

  • Jennifer Grayson, Chief Operating Officer of Equities and Head of Global Corporate Access, Baird

    Jennifer Grayson is Baird’s Chief Operating Officer of Equities and Head of Global Corporate Access. Jennifer was recently named COO of Equities for Baird, having joined the firm in 2011. She is responsible for managing the department’s resources, leading the global corporate access strategy and active in recruiting efforts across the firm. Prior to joining Baird, Jennifer spent 11 years in a variety of sales and leadership roles across multiple industries. Jennifer received a BS in Public Administration as a scholarship athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and holds a Series 7 & 63 license.

The panel provided an insightful discussion on how MiFID II has impacted the way US public companies engage with investors and the current trends in sell-and buy-side research, corporate access, trading and investor relations. Here are a few takeaways from the conversation:

  • The biggest change of MiFID II has been the way the buy-side consumes access. Some buy-side firms have created a corporate access role to help create efficiencies internally. 
  • The buy-side corporate access role has helped to create more transparency into funds, and buy-side panelists encouraged IROs to connect directly to help navigate appropriate decision-makers. 
  • Buy-side firms have different strategies for this role; some are actively reaching out to companies while others are more concerned with making their internal processes more efficient.
  • MiFID II has had a big impact on NDRs in Europe. Companies are seeing holes in schedules or being contacted directly by investors to set up meetings. This adds more to the IROs’ plate as they are now being tasked with filling out schedules and logistics for NDRs. Panelists recommended more up-front conversations with the broker about what is possible before embarking on European roadshows. 
  • The sell-side firms represented pointed out that the “on the ground” knowledge that they can provide helps target existing and new investors versus waiting for holding filings, which lag actual holdings. Companies also receive a multiplier effect from an NDR with an analyst as his or her note following a trip gets the company’s message out to more investors.

Our thanks to our panelists for their candid and insightful dialogue as well as the more than 90 attendees who joined us.


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