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Old 06-04-2015, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I was working in the IR department in one of the big listed blue chip Singapore company and I disagree that much financial knowledge is needed in this job. IR department is more about organizing functions like analyst briefing, site visits, agm, investor roadshows etc. They also do things like handling press releases, collating power point presentation slides and manning investor relations helpdesk.

In terms of handling investors, your main job is to answer standard queries like rights issue procedures, dividend payments, action deadlines etc. For more technical questions on business matters, the job is more about forwarding the queries to the right person in finance to do the answering. Most IR people are marketing and PR background and have little or no knowledge in finance or investment operations of the business.

If letís say an investor ask you about the the basis to determining the impairment of goodwill, IR is neither authorised or expected to answer straight. You just need to forward to Finance and then cut & paste the answer and reply the investor. Similarly if someone ask about potential competitive erosion from new innovations, you forward them to the marketing or corp planning side and ask them to give you template answer.

When dealing with institutional investors in a formal setting, there will always be representatives from Finace or Business heads on hand to answer the in depth questions. IR only needs to memorise a few basic things like profit / revenue and margin numbers and some key customers and comeptitors. Nothing too specific.
I agree. In fact, I'm not surprised that most of the IR people don't really know their Finance. However, in my company, we are expected to know our financials because we communicate a lot with the equity research analysts. Perhaps, that's why they like to consult us so much because few firms' IR know anything about financials. So the bank analysts can't be bothered with asking them the questions too.

Having said that, I think it's helpful to pick up finance because it's a very important skill and it helps you gel your operation knowledge to the financials. It will close the loop and makes things alot more easier to explain.
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