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The Shareholder Letter - NIRI Presentation by Rob Berick
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The Shareholder Letter - NIRI Presentation by Rob Berick


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From Dix & Eaton senior managing director Rob Berick

From Dix & Eaton senior managing director Rob Berick

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  • 1. National Investor Relations Institute Webinar
    • The Annual Shareholder Letter
    November 8, 2011
  • 2. Perspective on the Annual Report and Shareholder Letter
    • Annual report still widely read by current and prospective investors
      • Also by employees, customers, media, regulators, civic leaders
    • CEO letter is most-read section of the annual report
      • More investors will read the letter than will meet with the CEO during the year
        • Puts CEO “stamp” on go-forward investor messaging
  • 3. Basic Functions of Annual Shareholder Letter
    • Set tone, share perspective on previous year
      • Review year-over-year results
      • Highlight financial and operational milestones
      • Discuss major corporate events during past 12 months
      • Acknowledge of Board, employees, customers, investors
    • Assert enthusiasm for opportunities going forward
      • Provide update on strategic initiatives
      • Offer “guidance” on outlook, market, industry trends
  • 4. Other Content to Consider
    • CSR/sustainability
      • Don’t allow your company to “green blush”
    • New product launches and innovation pipeline
    • Significant new customer engagements and/or contracts
    • New strategic initiatives
      • From acquisitions to joint ventures to market expansion to geographic diversification
    • Update on governance-related matters
  • 5. Getting Started
    • Review disclosures and conference call transcripts from past year
    • Review recent non-deal road show and industry conference presentations, including any feedback from investors
    • Review most recent investor perception study findings (if still relevant)
    • Discuss forward-looking “investor” message and metrics with CEO, CFO and other relevant senior leadership
    • Build upon “uniqueness” of CEO’s personal style/voice – he/she personifies the company’s brand and investor identity
      • Intangibles make a difference
    • Develop expanded content outline for input and approval by CEO before you start writing
  • 6. Do’s & Don’ts
    • Do
      • Give yourself enough time
        • No shortage of editors
      • Keep all constituents in mind – from long-time investors to prospective employees to customers to regulators
      • Focus on underlying question on every investor’s mind: “Why is now the right time to have a position in this company’s equity?”
      • Establish realistic expectations for the company
        • Credibility is a paramount objective
      • Consider alternative writing approaches – from Q&A to a more narrative style – to further differentiate the message from other annual reports
        • Regardless, it needs to clearly tie back to the theme of the annual report
      • Allow time for any CEO photos to be reviewed by the CEO’s CEO (read: spouse)
  • 7. Do’s & Don’ts (continued)
    • Don’t
      • Presume readers have been following your company closely or for long
      • Use industry jargon
      • Avoid addressing the “elephant(s) in the room”
      • Forget to get consensus on the date shown on the letter
      • Overlook the Web component (e.g., CEO video) or alternative uses for content
  • 8. Resources
    • Report Watch
    • League of American Communications Professionals (LACP)
    • NIRI
    • IR Magazine
    • Dix & Eaton
      • “ Report on Annuals” @