5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.

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5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, governance and continuous disclosure support. 5QIR is a full-service investor relations and communications firm.

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5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.

publicPublicGroup

5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, g......

people18 Members       (0)

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

!

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

!

Steve Cloutier posted an update Best Practices: Is Your Investor Relations Collateral Telling the Right Story? in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Best Practices: Is Your Investor Relations Collateral Telling the Right Story?


Introduction


At some juncture, your company developed a website and a corporate presentation, allocating human and financial resources to ensure that those two key pieces of investor relations material were telling the right story. Since then, subsequent iterations have more or less been variations on the same theme.


When is it time to embark on a wholesale review of your front-line collateral to ensure that it reflects the company’s best possible story? We’re not talking about regular updates (which should be often); but material changes to reflect what the narrative is and how it’s being told.


All C-Suite executives have had multiple iterations of their résumés: the one that got them the summer job as a lifeguard in high school is different from the one that got them the summer job as an intern for an up-and-coming tech company; and the one that got them the full-time job as a software engineer after graduation was different yet again. Twenty-five years on, and now at the pinnacle of the executive’s career, the résumé currently focuses on qualities like leadership, strategic planning and governance. Along the way, a number of independent eyes – trusted friends or colleagues – have likely provided advice on form and content.


Front-line corporate collateral is no different than a résumé: as marketing documents, they need to evolve to take into account important changes to a story in order to be effective.  


Here are some questions to ask to determine whether it’s time to consider a wholesale re-vamp.


Has the Corporation Grown Materially?


While growth is frequently mentioned in front-line collateral as a measure of success (a questionable thesis), its practical impact on how the company tells its story is often over-looked. The most common mistake we see in the collateral of small and medium-sized businesses is a reflected in an inability to focus on core services/assets/projects, while dismissing the rest as immaterial (to the investor relations story). Rather than cull non-core material from the narrative, the tendency is to keep it in and then simply add new content to reflect the growth piece. While legacy assets or clients that are smaller in scale will contribute to the bottom line, their materiality needs to be assessed carefully to determine worthiness of mention on the website or corporate presentation. Giving equal line space to a project that contributes 5% to revenue as one which contributes 20% risks the inference that the company is unfocused.


Has the Business Plan Changed Materially?


New products and services, geographic diversification and responses to financial or operating challenges are often catalysts to promote material changes to the company’s business plan. Rather than try and fit a new narrative into the old story, consideration should be given to re-writing the script.


Has the Target Audience Changed?


There are many factors that impact the make-up of a public company’s investor base (both current and prospective). These include items that are related both specifically to the company (revenue sources, market capitalization); as well as more general market factors (is the sector more/less out of favour). What might have been a retail-focused, Canadian story might now be one that attracts institutions outside the country. Understanding the primary constituency – and tailoring form and content accordingly – is critical to telling the best possible story.


Is the “User Experience” Optimized?


User experience is important and begins with the efficiency of what can be accessed on-line; and then moves to the quality of the content. To this extent, is the company’s website – and the corporate presentation loaded on the website – optimized? Investors have become accustomed to fast and mobile-compatible access to data that depicts accurate and graphically intensive information. A deficiency in any of these can led to a poor user experience. Broken links, unintuitive navigation, slow-loading pages and a bland slide show do not project a professional image.


Conclusion


Conducting the occasional audit of front line collateral is an important exercise. This should not be done in the context of regular updates coinciding with continuous disclosure events (such as issuing news releases or publishing interim/annual results); nor should it be undertaken by the individuals who are primarily responsible for their production and maintenance.  While it’s impossible to adopt a hard-and-fast rule about when that audit should occur, asking – and answering - the four questions posed above should provide the appropriate guidance.

!

Part 2: “I’d like to speak with the Board Chair, please…”
Last week I introduced the scenario where the CEO gets a phone call from someone asking to be put in contact with the Board Chair. Never a pleasant feeling for an executive, it can evoke memories of being asked by a school teacher to have your parents come in for a visit. In this case, the timing appears to be calculated: the caller knew that the company’s information circular for the June AGM was being prepared; and items such as executive compensation and the proposed slate of directors are top-of-mind. All of this wrapped up in a corporate valuation that has weakened over the last couple of years. What should the CEO do? Although it would be nice to believe that some groundwork had already been laid earlier in the year to discover hot-button topics and proactively develop a narrative to address them, the reality is that such strategies are usually reactive and rarely proactive. So the CEO is now faced with having to deal with this from a cold start. Beginning with the proposition that shareholders are the ones who elect the board, it’s not necessarily the CEO’s job to run interference for the Chair. In fact, in all cases where governance-related issues are involved, a CEO should welcome a direct dialog between the two constituencies, while being left to focus on the business and operations, That being said, the CEO should try and provide the Chair with as much information as possible so that he or she is prepared. My recommendation is to ask the caller for (a) their name, email and phone number, which will be forwarded to the Chair (whose own co-ordinates should be safeguarded until approved for release); and (b) a brief summary of the issue, so that the Chair has the opportunity to consider it and become more informed ahead of the direct interaction with the caller. If the latter cannot be obtained, then there’s nothing the CEO can do. Once a name is secured, management can at least do some sleuthing to see what intelligence can be developed on the caller, including determining whether they are on the NOBO list, how many shares they own and what their background is. Not giving priority to something like this has the potential to create further issues beyond those already faced by the company. Although you can’t shut the barn doors after these horses have bolted, a more forward-thinking practice to consider would be to allocate some Board resources to interacting with the company’s owners on an ongoing basis, other than just the one hour at an AGM.

!

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

!
Thumb sgc photo 5q

Steve Cloutier replied to the topic Steve Cloutier  update in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

1 year

1 year

Steve Cloutier posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

!
Thumb peter kendall pic

PKen replied to the topic Steve Cloutier  update in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

1 year

1 year

PKen posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

!

Steve Cloutier posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

!

5QIR is very proud to join the 8020 Connect community. We look forward to participating in an exciting exchange of ideas.

!
Thumb 8020 monitor 200200 2

8020Admin

1 year

8020Admin posted a press release 8020 Connect and 5 Quarters Investor Relations Enter Marketing Agreement in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Calgary, Alberta (FSCwire) - 8020 Connect Inc. (“8020”) and 5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.  (“5Q”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Preferred Partner Marketing Agreement that will promote their respective industry-leading services.


8020 is a Calgary-based, digitally-compliant social platform connecting shareholders and industry participants to executive management. 8020’s clients host corporately-controlled investor/shareholder groups, allowing a company’s leadership and communications teams to engage interested parties in a corporate educational dialogue; and providing users (current and prospective shareholders) with a curated forum within which to exchange views.


5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, governance and continuous disclosure support.


8020 and 5Q will continue to provide their services independently.


“We believe that the 8020 Platform is uniquely positioned to offer many of our clients a powerful tool to engage with their shareholders, stakeholders and other interested parties. Our experience has always been that improved communication is a path to improving cost of capital and increasing trading liquidity”, noted 5Q’s Managing Director & CEO, Cindy Gray.


“For our part”, commented D’Arcy Funfer, 8020’s President, “we were extremely keen to align ourselves with an investor relations advisory firm like 5Q, which has the capabilities to assist 8020’s corporate clients in effectively communicating their stories and engaging on the 8020 Platform.”


To stay informed about 5 Quarters Investor Relations, please join our Corporate Group on 8020 Connect http://bit.ly/2H6a6wU


 


For More information please contact:










D’Arcy Funfer – President


8020 Connect Inc.


T: 403.214.0218


E: darcy@8020connect.com


W: 8020connect,com



Cindy Gray – Managing Director & CEO


5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.


T: 403.231-4372


E: info@5qir.com


W: 5qir.com


!

5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.

publicPublic Group

5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, governance and continuous disclosure support. 5QIR is a full-service investor relations and communications firm.

people18 Members       (0)

Corporate Profile
Group Admins:
  • Thumb 8020 monitor 200200 2
  • Thumb sgc photo 5q
Join Group


5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.

publicPublicGroup

5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, g......

people18 Members       (0)

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

!

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

!

Steve Cloutier posted an update Best Practices: Is Your Investor Relations Collateral Telling the Right Story? in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Best Practices: Is Your Investor Relations Collateral Telling the Right Story?


Introduction


At some juncture, your company developed a website and a corporate presentation, allocating human and financial resources to ensure that those two key pieces of investor relations material were telling the right story. Since then, subsequent iterations have more or less been variations on the same theme.


When is it time to embark on a wholesale review of your front-line collateral to ensure that it reflects the company’s best possible story? We’re not talking about regular updates (which should be often); but material changes to reflect what the narrative is and how it’s being told.


All C-Suite executives have had multiple iterations of their résumés: the one that got them the summer job as a lifeguard in high school is different from the one that got them the summer job as an intern for an up-and-coming tech company; and the one that got them the full-time job as a software engineer after graduation was different yet again. Twenty-five years on, and now at the pinnacle of the executive’s career, the résumé currently focuses on qualities like leadership, strategic planning and governance. Along the way, a number of independent eyes – trusted friends or colleagues – have likely provided advice on form and content.


Front-line corporate collateral is no different than a résumé: as marketing documents, they need to evolve to take into account important changes to a story in order to be effective.  


Here are some questions to ask to determine whether it’s time to consider a wholesale re-vamp.


Has the Corporation Grown Materially?


While growth is frequently mentioned in front-line collateral as a measure of success (a questionable thesis), its practical impact on how the company tells its story is often over-looked. The most common mistake we see in the collateral of small and medium-sized businesses is a reflected in an inability to focus on core services/assets/projects, while dismissing the rest as immaterial (to the investor relations story). Rather than cull non-core material from the narrative, the tendency is to keep it in and then simply add new content to reflect the growth piece. While legacy assets or clients that are smaller in scale will contribute to the bottom line, their materiality needs to be assessed carefully to determine worthiness of mention on the website or corporate presentation. Giving equal line space to a project that contributes 5% to revenue as one which contributes 20% risks the inference that the company is unfocused.


Has the Business Plan Changed Materially?


New products and services, geographic diversification and responses to financial or operating challenges are often catalysts to promote material changes to the company’s business plan. Rather than try and fit a new narrative into the old story, consideration should be given to re-writing the script.


Has the Target Audience Changed?


There are many factors that impact the make-up of a public company’s investor base (both current and prospective). These include items that are related both specifically to the company (revenue sources, market capitalization); as well as more general market factors (is the sector more/less out of favour). What might have been a retail-focused, Canadian story might now be one that attracts institutions outside the country. Understanding the primary constituency – and tailoring form and content accordingly – is critical to telling the best possible story.


Is the “User Experience” Optimized?


User experience is important and begins with the efficiency of what can be accessed on-line; and then moves to the quality of the content. To this extent, is the company’s website – and the corporate presentation loaded on the website – optimized? Investors have become accustomed to fast and mobile-compatible access to data that depicts accurate and graphically intensive information. A deficiency in any of these can led to a poor user experience. Broken links, unintuitive navigation, slow-loading pages and a bland slide show do not project a professional image.


Conclusion


Conducting the occasional audit of front line collateral is an important exercise. This should not be done in the context of regular updates coinciding with continuous disclosure events (such as issuing news releases or publishing interim/annual results); nor should it be undertaken by the individuals who are primarily responsible for their production and maintenance.  While it’s impossible to adopt a hard-and-fast rule about when that audit should occur, asking – and answering - the four questions posed above should provide the appropriate guidance.

!

Part 2: “I’d like to speak with the Board Chair, please…”
Last week I introduced the scenario where the CEO gets a phone call from someone asking to be put in contact with the Board Chair. Never a pleasant feeling for an executive, it can evoke memories of being asked by a school teacher to have your parents come in for a visit. In this case, the timing appears to be calculated: the caller knew that the company’s information circular for the June AGM was being prepared; and items such as executive compensation and the proposed slate of directors are top-of-mind. All of this wrapped up in a corporate valuation that has weakened over the last couple of years. What should the CEO do? Although it would be nice to believe that some groundwork had already been laid earlier in the year to discover hot-button topics and proactively develop a narrative to address them, the reality is that such strategies are usually reactive and rarely proactive. So the CEO is now faced with having to deal with this from a cold start. Beginning with the proposition that shareholders are the ones who elect the board, it’s not necessarily the CEO’s job to run interference for the Chair. In fact, in all cases where governance-related issues are involved, a CEO should welcome a direct dialog between the two constituencies, while being left to focus on the business and operations, That being said, the CEO should try and provide the Chair with as much information as possible so that he or she is prepared. My recommendation is to ask the caller for (a) their name, email and phone number, which will be forwarded to the Chair (whose own co-ordinates should be safeguarded until approved for release); and (b) a brief summary of the issue, so that the Chair has the opportunity to consider it and become more informed ahead of the direct interaction with the caller. If the latter cannot be obtained, then there’s nothing the CEO can do. Once a name is secured, management can at least do some sleuthing to see what intelligence can be developed on the caller, including determining whether they are on the NOBO list, how many shares they own and what their background is. Not giving priority to something like this has the potential to create further issues beyond those already faced by the company. Although you can’t shut the barn doors after these horses have bolted, a more forward-thinking practice to consider would be to allocate some Board resources to interacting with the company’s owners on an ongoing basis, other than just the one hour at an AGM.

!

It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s try a (potentially) scary scenario.

You are the CEO of a TSX-V listed company with a $30 million market capitalization that has had a difficult go of it for the last few years. Your valuation has been hammered, a function both of factors occurring in your sector and a general malaise affecting Canadian equities. You, the rest of the leadership team and the board - who in aggregate own 20 per cent of the stock - have felt that pain personally. You’ve tried to keep a low profile and have not spent much time talking about your story: what is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves: you released your year-end 2017 results last month and, although marginally better than 2016, they weren’t very good. Your cost-cutting measures no doubt were helpful, but cash flow was still less than anticipated. Your CFO’s model shows that 2018 will likely see the company barely break-even - so that much-needed expansion program scheduled for Q3 will need to be funded with debt; a prospect that’s not particularly attractive, given that your lender has signaled that it will be reducing the amount of your credit facility as of May 1 and rates have gone up. But, you’re optimistic that if the company can just navigate this rough patch, things will improve by December and you’ll have some momentum going into 2019.

While you’re working on the most recent draft of the company’s information circular for the June AGM and reviewing the disclosure on executive compensation, the phone rings. It’s a shareholder asking politely to be put in touch with your board Chair.

What do you do? (a) ask the caller the nature of their inquiry; (b) take down the caller’s name and phone number and say that you will pass them along to the board Chair; (c) provide the board Chair’s coordinates; (d) state that any such inquiry should be made in writing to the company; or (e) listen to what the caller says, make a commitment to deal with the inquiry, but effectively bury it at the bottom of your to-do list?

You’d be surprised how many of these interactions result in the last scenario practically occurring. Though not intentional, there’s a tendency to deal with good news very quickly, while bad news develops inertia,
Although the caller may simply be a frustrated retail shareholder looking for some one-on-one interaction with the Chair in advance of the June AGM, it may also be a sophisticated activist investor who's been monitoring the situation and cobbling together a stock position, added to it after the weak annual results came out last month and is now looking to exploit the company’s vulnerability.

So what do you do?

I’ll discuss potential scenarios in the next installment.

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Steve Cloutier replied to the topic Steve Cloutier  update in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

1 year

1 year

Steve Cloutier posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

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PKen replied to the topic Steve Cloutier  update in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

1 year

1 year

PKen posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

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Steve Cloutier posted an update The Power of Knowledge: Public Companies Need to Communicate in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Many people have built on the English Philosopher Francis Bacon’s quote that “knowledge is power”. In the modern world of investing, its manifestation is so fundamental that obtaining accurate information quickly and efficiently is at the top of every serious investor’s to-do list. Public companies need to bear that in mind when mapping out their communications strategies. Increased investor interaction will (a) help to reinforce a current shareholder’s interest in the company and is more likely to result in them remaining invested (versus selling); and (b) present to prospective shareholders a leadership team that is open and communicative - key factors in deciding to invest.

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5QIR is very proud to join the 8020 Connect community. We look forward to participating in an exciting exchange of ideas.

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8020Admin

1 year

8020Admin posted a press release 8020 Connect and 5 Quarters Investor Relations Enter Marketing Agreement in 5 QUARTERS INVESTOR RELATIONS, INC.

Calgary, Alberta (FSCwire) - 8020 Connect Inc. (“8020”) and 5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.  (“5Q”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Preferred Partner Marketing Agreement that will promote their respective industry-leading services.


8020 is a Calgary-based, digitally-compliant social platform connecting shareholders and industry participants to executive management. 8020’s clients host corporately-controlled investor/shareholder groups, allowing a company’s leadership and communications teams to engage interested parties in a corporate educational dialogue; and providing users (current and prospective shareholders) with a curated forum within which to exchange views.


5Q is a Calgary-based advisory firm offering North American clients solutions related to communications strategies, governance and continuous disclosure support.


8020 and 5Q will continue to provide their services independently.


“We believe that the 8020 Platform is uniquely positioned to offer many of our clients a powerful tool to engage with their shareholders, stakeholders and other interested parties. Our experience has always been that improved communication is a path to improving cost of capital and increasing trading liquidity”, noted 5Q’s Managing Director & CEO, Cindy Gray.


“For our part”, commented D’Arcy Funfer, 8020’s President, “we were extremely keen to align ourselves with an investor relations advisory firm like 5Q, which has the capabilities to assist 8020’s corporate clients in effectively communicating their stories and engaging on the 8020 Platform.”


To stay informed about 5 Quarters Investor Relations, please join our Corporate Group on 8020 Connect http://bit.ly/2H6a6wU


 


For More information please contact:










D’Arcy Funfer – President


8020 Connect Inc.


T: 403.214.0218


E: darcy@8020connect.com


W: 8020connect,com



Cindy Gray – Managing Director & CEO


5 Quarters Investor Relations, Inc.


T: 403.231-4372


E: info@5qir.com


W: 5qir.com


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