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Following further declines in global equity markets off the back of months of falling oil prices, political uncertainty and various other macro and industry based drivers, it’s getting harder to make money for yourself either as a private shareholder, or for your clients as an investment professional. Well, that’s to say – make money without exposing your investment to significant risk.

 

Last month, the perilous state of the financial markets was described rather well by Nevsky Capital, a successful hedge fund that has decided to shut-up shop. A hedge fund ceasing to operate is nothing new, but in Nevsky’s case they have done so while still in the black. Their last two years have seen rather modest returns (though still outperforming Hedge Fund indexes) but their track record over more than 20 years has been exceptional. So why are they returning investor capital with the coffers full?

 

The letter sent to Nevsky Capital investors, which you can read here, makes for a sobering overview of the global markets; one of reduced transparency and poor data quality for investment propositions. It is just one opinion of course, and as they say themselves, the dynamics that are currently in play will evolve and once again suit the investment models that they favour. Other hedge funds will of course be making money for their clients right now, and every day billions of dollars of investment are made in equities (stock) with strong returns. You just have to know how to pick them, right?

 

Therein lies the crux of this blog. With financial uncertainty across many sectors, and the ever increasing amount of information available from so many sources, it’s probably harder now than ever before for an IRO to control the message to existing and potential investors with a clear, coherent and compelling investment case. It happens every day - a company announces strong results but their stock drops 10% because influencers within the investment community perceive a weakness.

 

So where does digital communications fit into all of this? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. Its about ensuring your digital estate meets the needs of your audience.

 

We've done a significant amount of research on the use of the corporate website. One of our recent studies with our friends at Rivel Research showed that 84% of institutional investors use the investor website as part of their research process. We also know that our clients’ corporate and investor websites are frequently visited by investors of all types (private, institutional, activist etc...) as well as analysts, journalists, bloggers and other important stakeholders. We see it all with Audience Insight, which keeps track of visits to our clients' websites, letting them know what their visitors have looked at and when. What investors are looking for is a better class of information about the company -  more compelling investment story.

 

Our research suggests the following are the key areas people want more information on:

  • Strategy & business model
  • Business & market context
  • Performance
  • Sustainability

Put your best foot forward when it comes to the content on the websites. What do investors actually want when it comes to their research? Yes, financial data is of course required . But more further to that, how do you talk about your company ? What story do you tell?

 

Companies almost certainly have content available  on all of these points, but its often tucked away in an earnings presentations or annual reports when it needs to be front and centre of the investor section of the website.

 

If you are responsible for your investor or corporate website, take a moment – do you really tell your corporate story in the best way that you can? Does your website reflect those rich conversations that your CEO has with potential investors?

 

If the answer is no, you can act.  Start by catching up with our webinar designed to help you improve how you tell your corporate story. Then if you have further questions, please get in contact -  we'll be happy to advise you on how you can improve your digital estate.

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