Hello and Happy Spring...for some of us, it has been a long time coming with snow in April in certain places! Since our inaugural newsletter (Jan), the volatile equity markets reached a nadir in mid-February, staging the eight biggest reversal in history as Q1 came to a close. During the last three months, we have been a very busy chapter! Below is an update on the goings-on (both past and present) and we look forward to seeing you in San Diego in early June!
NIRI Virtual Gets Physical Is A Big Success
On April 12, we coordinated seven member/prospect events across the continental U.S. in our first-time ever "NIRI Virtual Gets Physical" initiative. Locations included Buffalo (NY), Birmingham, (AL) Grand Rapids (MI), Milwaukee (WI), Nashville (TN), Portland (OR) and Tulsa (OK)! Formats ranged from lunch roundtables to formal programs to social mixers. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive -- so much so that we are encouraged to do it again next year...who knows, we might be coming to a city near you! Thank you to all of volunteer hosts - Deb Pawlowski, Mark Warren, Raj Meehan, Mike Zimmerman, Tripp Sullivan, Ron Parham/Randall Hopkins and Andrew Ziola - for making this initiative a huge success!
See You in San Diego and Save The Date!
NIRI Annual Conference | June 5 - 8 in San Diego, CA
Save the Date
for our Annual Lounge Lizard Party --
Sunday, June 5 at 9 PM in the Beach Foyer.
The event which continues to grow in size (and reputation as an awesome party) is open to all
Virtual Chapter members and Chapter Partners
so feel free to spread the word! We hope to see you there!
We continue to develop industry-leading programs for our membership, which ranges from new to IR to seasoned IR professional
. In February, we tackled the evolving landscape of surveillance and in March covered the ever-important role that cyber security is playing in IR. Finally, we highlighted award-winning IR programs in April. Details to these well-attended webinars are below and you can also access the archives
We are 200+ strong and we remain committed to developing high-quality programming for our membership and Virtual Program Partners. Please feel free to send us ideas on topics you would like covered. Separately, let us know if you are interested in getting involved at the board level - we are always looking for volunteers!
Please contact our Chapter Administrator, Jackie Powell, if you have any program ideas or are interested in volunteering.
As always, thank you to our NIRI VC sponsors who are crucial in the success of our Chapter -- we appreciate your commitment!
Gold Level Financial Sponsors:
Broadridge, SNL IR Solutions and TalkPoint
Silver Level Financial Sponsors:
IPREO and Q4
Bronze Level Sponsors:
Business Wire, Corbin Perception, Craib Design & Communications and Pressley Johnson Design
Good luck with Q1 earnings and see you in San Diego!
Beth Carty, Washington REIT and Rebecca Corbin, Corbin Perception
about the benefits of membership in our
Finance & Investor Relations
Founder & Managing Partner
2015-2016 PROGRAM SERIES
NIRI Virtual Chapter is pleased to bring virtual learning opportunities to your desktop.
Each 60-minute webinar the NIRI Virtual Chapter offers focuses on a specific investor relations topic, gives you the opportunity to get your questions answered by industry experts, and is one of the most convenient ways to further professional development for you, your staff and your colleagues. All of our webinars are scheduled from 12 Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time to allow for maximum attendance. In addition, the Virtual Chapter is certified and CPE credits are offered for attendance.
Increase your understanding of investor relations career options by attending the remaining webinar in our 2015-2016 program year:
May 5: "IR Career Management" -Please click here for more details and to register.
Missed a recent program? Want to review the content from a past session? For your convenience, our webinars and our virtual café chats are recorded and available for replay.
Access to the NIRI archives is included in your membership, so check out programs that you missed. You can access past sessions
- September 24: "Fed Up? How Looming Rate Hikes May Impact Equity Markets"
- October 13: "2016 Proxy Season - Considerations and Tools to Prepare for Tighter Focus on Say on Pay"
- November 10: "History in the Making: Investor Relations Charter Certification Process"
- December 8: "Using Social Media as an Effective Tool of your IR Program"
- January 12: "Activism - Anticipating, Preparing and Responding"
- February 9: "Surveillance - the Evolving Landscape"
- March 9: "Cyber Security - Crisis Communication Response"
- April 12: "IR Awards - Attributes of Award-Winning IR Programs"
The Professional Development Committee of the Virtual Chapter, responsible for presenting these educational programs, will meet at the NIRI general session in San Diego this June. Express your interest in helping this Committee by contacting Beth Carty
or Rebecca Corbin
. Let us know relevant topics of interest or whether you are interested in serving on the Committee.
For your convenience, the programs all occur on Tuesdays at 12:00p.m. ET and can be found on our
where you can search by month and easily add them to your calendar. The Virtual Chapter is also certified and
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits are offered for attendance.
Getting to Know:
Bianca Fersini Mastelloni
Presidente and CEO
Polytems HIR SRL
What led you to IR and where has it taken you?
After studying communications at universities in the U.S., I worked in the communications department of KPMG for six years in Rome. Following that, I opened my own corporate communications and pu
blic relations firm, servicing Italian and international clients. In 1999, Polytems, a French financial communications and investor relations consultancy, was expanding into Italy and asked me to be its Director of Polytems Italia. This opened the door for me to enter investor relations and financial communications. That required a lot of study as it was a completely unknown field for me!
In 2003 Polytems HIR become an Italian company and I am now its principal owner and Chairman and CEO. We are a consulting firm primarily dedicated to small cap companies that are listed or at the IPO stage, operating in various industry sectors. The firm also offers communication services to companies in the world of finance such as investment funds, sovereign wealth funds and banks. In March 2015, we opened a branch office in London, which was a great personal and professional milestone.
What is the most exciting thi
ng you have been involved with in your IR career?
To date, definitely the most exciting thing was opening our London office, going to London on a regular basis to organize roadshows for our clients in a beautiful and vibrant city that is the greatest financial community in Europe, and globally second only to New York. Writing a book on investor relations, Investor Relations Ed Etica, Efficacia
e Vantaggi Competitivi
(Investor Relations and Ethics. Effectiveness and Competitive Advantages) was also very satisfying for me.
Tell me about your involvement with NIRI generally, and the Virtual Chapter specifically, and what you get out of it.
I have been a member of NIRI National for about seven years and have attended the NIRI Annual Conference for four years. It is a great forum that exposes me to issues in the IR field on an international level, as well as giving me the opportunity to meet friends from the NIRI Virtual Chapter (VC) in person. I am a four-year member of NIRI VC and have been on the VC Board of Directors for three. I am very involved in spreading the word about NIRI VC in Italy in support of a greater international investor relations presence and culture, especially in support of foreign small cap companies. Additionally, the VC web educational offerings are wonderful.
What do you especially like about the IR role? What do you find most challenging? Most rewarding?
I really enjoy the strong professional relationships that are created with clients and institutional investors. Several of my clients go back to our 1999 start in Italy. I love the privileged window through which we see inside companies. I also appreciate the relationship of trust and respect built with clients, analysts and fund managers. Organizing a roadshow is very gratifying to me, matc
hing the right investors with my clients. I especially love the ability to stimulate the interest of institutional investors with suggestions that grab their attention. All of this is a constant challenge but very exciting and rewarding.
What would you change about the profession?
I think the culture and view of small cap companies, particularly in global markets, needs to change. There needs to be a realization that small cap companies can benefit from the appropriate IR support with an ability to organize a roadshow that focuses on the best potential institutional investors for the company.
Tell me a fun fact about
yourself that not a lot of members know.
"Stealing" my husband's sports car and leaving Rome with a friend to go have an ice cream at the Argentario, at the Tuscan seaside. Plus, it gives me a chance to break away from my formal business persona and dress, and follow my informal and adventurous spirit that is always ready to do something a little bit mad!
Bianca Fersini Mastelloni
Presidente and CEO
Polytems HIR SRL
NIRI Virtual would like to welcome and congratulate both our new and renewed members.
A.O. Smith Corporation
McCormick & Co., Inc.
H&R Block, Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
LHC Group, Inc.
PNM Resources, Inc.
FINEO Investor Relations
D.R. Horton, Inc.
First Financial Northwest, Inc.
Westar Energy, Inc.
The Taubman Company
Hutchinson Technology Inc.
Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation
CMS Energy Corporation
Regal Entertainment Group
Dick's Sporting Goods
PPG Industries, Inc.
Barnes Group, Inc.
New Jersey Resources Corp.
C. Tait Ratcliffe
Investor Impact, Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
S-Ancial Global Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
NW Natural Gas Company
Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Erie Insurance Company
Kathleen Till Stange
FBL Financial Group
Alberta Securities Commission
Vollrath Associates, Inc.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
EMC Insurance Group, Inc.
Old National Bancorp
County Bancorp, Inc.
Saitama Gakuen University
ONE Gas, Inc.
Governance professionals are increasingly considering how to best improve shareholder engagement. One growing area is virtual shareholder meetings, which allows shareholders to participate in the annual meeting, vote their shares and ask ques
tions - all from a convenient location of their choice. There are a number of reasons why companies have found that a virtual solution is a good fit for their shareholders - from offering more convenience for participants, to reducing meeting costs to keeping up with thetimes and going digital.
"Some companies may be unsure if investors will be comfortable transitioning to a virtual meeting, however investors are demonstrating that they are ready for the move to digital. Increasingly, online resources are becoming standard for investors to research, buy shares of, and stay connected to companies. A virtual approach to the annual meeting allows companies to connect with shareholders in a way in which they are already accustomed to in today's digital environment."
Cathy Conlon, Vice President of Strategic Development, Broadridge Financial Solutions.
Beyond convenience for shareholders, virtual meetings are also often a great fit for the management and board - they can participate in the meeting from any location where they happen to be, saving time and expense while at the same time enabling full participation in the annual meeting.
The combination of convenience and savings for the company and for shareholders is one reason why we are seeing more companies adopting a virtual meeting for their next annual meeting. Over 500 meetings have been conducted on the Broadridge virtual meeting platform, with companies of all sizes from a wide range of industries, going virtual.
Broadridge offers a range of solutions, including a comprehensive transfer agent offering, data services, proxy processing, and annual meeting services. For more information, see
We'd like to thank our sponsors for their continued support.