Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Investor Relations - Emerging Discipline in Emerging Africa

Per the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), Investor relations is a strategic management responsibility that integrates finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance to enable the most effective two-way communication between a company, the financial community, and other constituencies, which ultimately contributes to a company's securities achieving fair valuation.

Investor Relations is a little known but rapidly growing discipline in Africa, though we are still behind the developed economies of Asia, Europe and North America. However the increasing globalization of African economies has resulted in local markets opening to global investors.

African companies are increasingly transferring their primary listings abroad or have dual listings, consequently local and international shareholders and stakeholders are demanding greater transparency and disclosure. The increasing complex regulatory environment, together with a global focus on governance, reporting and accountability is also accelerating the growth of the investor relations discipline. Investor Relations requires a robust understanding of the complexities of the financial markets and ample media savvy.

There will be a continued scarcity of experienced Investor Relations professionals for the foreseeable future, consequently many organizations are already training in-house staff to prepare them for this important role. Furthermore, we believe there will be more demand for Investor Relations professionals, as African capital markets become more mature, and investors and other stakeholders demand for more accountability, transparency and full disclosure increase significantly

For those interested in learning more about this discipline, you may want to swing by NIRI’s site, and the popular IR blog - Investor relations musings - devoted entirely to the practice of Investor Relations. Enjoy.

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