Conference overview

The IR Society Annual conference, IR 2020: The Future is Now, will take place on Tuesday 23rd June 2020.

As we celebrate 40 years of the IR Society we recap on the recent major themes and topics that have shaped IR into an increasingly strategic role and delve into the current and emerging issues that continue to challenge and evolve our profession. Alongside our keynote address, topics will include ESG and stewardship, AI and other new technology, the changing shape of capital markets, and IR in a post-MiFID II world. There will be plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day.

“Overall a great day with good topics and speakers. The venue works well and the organisation was excellent!”

Conference Delegate
Venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

Travelling to Kings Place by public transport is quick and easy; it is within walking distance of Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations. The nearest car park is NCP London St Pancras on Pancras Road, open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Videos

Highlights from the 2019 and 2018 conferences plus the Diploma in IR

Highlights from the 2019 conference: IR: Leading Change; Driving Value

Introduction to the Diploma in IR

Highlights from the 2018 conference: IR: Future-proofing Business

Programme

Full 2020 conference programme to follow - please check back regularly

08.00

Registration

08.30

CEO’s opening remarks

  • Laura Hayter, CEO, IR Society

    Laura Hayter Laura is CEO at the IR Society. Formerly Head of Policy and Communications, Laura has been with the Society for more than eight years. Laura has over 17 years’ experience in the Investor Relations industry. She joined The IR Society in 2011, and among other roles, was formerly a director at the IR consultancy, Taylor Rafferty, providing IR advisory services to blue chip clients, both in London and New York. She graduated from the University of Leeds, with an honours degree in German and management studies.

09.00

Keynote address/interview: IR 2020: The future is now

This session will provide a big picture view of the UK market and the challenges and opportunities within the current global economy. What do companies and IROs need to be considering in 2020 and beyond?

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

09.30

Plenary Session: : Key themes and ‘mega trends’

A discussion of the major themes of the past five years and expectations for the current year plus a look at those ‘mega trends’ such as economic, governance and technology that are influencing financial markets.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Jessica Alsford, Head of Sustainability Research, Morgan Stanley

    Bio and photo to follow

  • Chris Faint, Head of Division, Bank of England

    Chris Faint Chris has responsibility for developing and implementing the Bank's strategic approach to climate change. He has been particularly focused on the PRA’s supervisory approach to addressing the financial risks arising from climate change and the development of the Bank's climate stress test. Beyond climate, Chris has responsibility for the authorisation, supervision and analysis of foreign firms operating in the UK. Prior to working at the Bank, Chris held roles at HM Treasury and Ernst and Young, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

  • Andrew Griffith MP

    Andrew's bio to follow

10.20

Morning break

10:45

Plenary Session: ESG and stewardship

This panel will discuss the growing importance of ESG and stewardship amid the changing regulatory landscape. What does this mean for companies going forward and what will responsible corporations look like in the future?

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Julie Hudson, Head of ESG Equity Research, UBS

    Julie's bio to follow

  • Joanna Kennedy, Director of Investor Relations, Coca Cola

    Photo and bio to follow

  • Rupert Krefting, Head of Corporate Finance and Stewardship, M&G

    Rupert Krefting Rupert Krefting joined M&G in 2016 as Head of Corporate Finance and Stewardship. M&G manages £350bn with c. £60bn in equities – half is in UK and half is Global. Rupert qualified as a chartered accountant then worked in investment banking for more than two decades. Most recently, he was at Numis for 8 years. At M&G, Rupert chairs M&G’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee which pulls together all M&G’s responsible investment initiatives internally and externally and sits on the following external committees: Investment Association’s Stewardship Committee, European Fund and Asset management Association Stewardship and ESG committee, Institutional Investors for Global Climate change (IIGCC), UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA), International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), All Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group

  • Ben Yeoh, Senior Portfolio Manager, RBC Global Equity

    Ben Yeoh Ben is a Senior Portfolio Manager and the Global Equity team’s Healthcare sector specialist. In addition he is the team’s ESG expert and sits in a non-executive advisory capacity for Responsible Investment and ESG for a leading UK investment trust. Prior to joining RBC Global Asset Management in early 2014 Ben worked in the same capacity for three years at First State Investments. Previous experience includes roles at Atlantic Equities where Ben was responsible for global healthcare research with a special focus on the US and at ABN AMRO where he was recognised with a #1 Thomson Extel rating across all sectors for integrated ESG research. In 2012, Ben won the Starmine award for best stock picker in Healthcare. Ben holds an MA (Natural Science) from Cambridge University gaining the top first in his year. He won a scholarship to Harvard University and studied there at post graduate level specialising in behavioural neuroscience. Ben is a CFA charterholder and a member of the UK’s Financial Reporting Council’s Investor Advisory Group.

11:45

Plenary Session: Dealing with different types of investor

This session looks at how the different types of investor operate and interact with companies, including passive versus active funds, long-only and ESG specialists. It addresses the importance of understanding the needs of your shareholders and developing a board level plan of action to deal with events such as an approach by an activist investor.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Harlan Zimmermann, Senior Partner, Cevian Capital

    Harlan Zimmermann Harlan Zimmerman is a Senior Partner of Cevian Capital, with responsibilities across investment, engagement and business matters of the firm. He has lived in London since 1992 and has worked with Cevian since 2003. Cevian is Europe’s largest constructive activist manager, and one of the largest in the world, with c. $14 billion dedicated to long-term investing in listed European companies. Cevian is long-only and has an average holding period of 5+ years. In many cases it plays the role of “anchor investor,” and team members frequently join company boards. Mr. Zimmerman is a graduate of the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an MBA in Finance from Wharton and an MA in International Relations. Previously he earned a BA (International Relations/Russian) from the University of California, Davis.

12:45

Lunch and Networking

14:00

Afternoon keynote

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

14:45

Movement Break

14:55

Break-out sessions

Session 1: How to shape your IR programme in a post-MiFID II world

This session will preview the preliminary findings from the Society’s joint research project with the London School of Economics on the impact of MiFID II on IROs and will discuss how best to resource your team, communicate your investment case and reach out to investors.

  • Moderator: David Walker, Head of Investor Relations, British Land

    Moderator: David Walker David Walker qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers within their Banking & Capital Markets division in London. Following this, he spent over seven years in the city at Deutsche Bank where he held a variety of roles within the Corporate Finance division, including Business Development and most recently as a Vice President in the UK Corporate Broking team. Since leaving Deutsche Bank David has worked at Hays PLC, the FTSE250 listed specialist recruitment group, where he headed up the Investor Relations & Corporate Development team, taking responsibility for all aspects of shareholder and other stakeholder communications. In October 2017 he joined British Land as Head of Investor Relations.

  • Kenneth Lee, London School of Economics

    Kenneth Lee Kenneth is an Associate Professorial Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he lectures on forensic financial analysis and equity valuation, as well as being the programme director for the MSc Accounting and Finance and MSc Accounting, Organisations and Institutions. In addition to this role he undertakes education related consulting assignments for a range of investment banks and asset managers. Before academia Kenneth was a Managing Director & Head of European Equity Research at Barclays Capital, where he worked for 8 years before leaving in August 2017 to take up a number of academic positions. Prior to this he was also a Managing Director and a ranked accounting and valuation analyst at Citi Investment Research in London. During this time Kenneth published extensively on accounting and valuation topics for investors and was ranked in the top 3 in the Institutional Investor Survey over more than a continuous 10-year period. In the lead up to his investment banking career, Ken was a professional trainer for many years both in professional practice and financial markets. This love of training and education was behind his decision to leave his banking career for roles in academia and professional training. Kenneth graduated from Trinity College Dublin/Dublin Institute of Technology with a degree in Management Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the Institute of Taxation, a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Securities Institute. He holds a doctorate from Aston Business School with a focus on how analysts make stock recommendation decisions. He is the co-author of Financial Statement Analysis under IFRS (2018, 6th Ed.) and Company Valuation under IFRS (forthcoming 2019, 3rd ed.).

  • Louise Turner-Smith, Director of IR, William Hill

    Bio and photo to follow

  • Nick Webb, COO, Exane

    Nick Webb Nick Webb is the Chief Operating Officer at Exane BNP Paribas, overseeing the unit’s operations, P&L, business strategy, growth initiatives, efficiency, culture and communication. Nick was Deputy Head of Research at Exane BNP Paribas between 2014 and 2018. He joined Exane in 2011 as a Research Analyst and co-head of the top-ranked Real Estate franchise. Nick previously worked as a Real Estate Equity Analyst at Goldman Sachs and before that as Economic Adviser to the Conservative Party and in audit at Deloitte. Nick has an Economics degree from the University of Birmingham and holds the ACA qualification.

Session 2: Tech trends in capital markets

This practical session will look at the big trends in technology that are shaping our industry and impacting the way investors make investment decisions. It will address ways in which IROs can respond to these changing dynamics.

15.45

Afternoon break

16.15

Plenary session: Looking ahead - The changing shape of the capital markets

This session will address the ongoing decline in the number of listed companies. We consider factors such as increasingly onerous regulation and the availability of alternative funding (e.g. private equity) as possible reasons why companies are choosing not to IPO or are in favour of being taken private. For IROs this may mean a greater likelihood of M&A activity. Looking to the future, there may be a smaller pool of listed companies but greater demands for role of IR within those organisations. Debt IR is also likely to become more mainstream.

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

  • Tamara Box, Senior Partner EMEIA, Reed Smith

    Tamara's bio to follow

  • Professor Colin Mayer, CBE, Professor of Management Studies, Said Business School, University of Oxford

    Colin's bio to follow

  • David Styles, Director of Corporate Governance & Stewardship, FRC

    Bio and photo to follow

17:00

Closing keynote

  • Moderator: Evan Davis

    Moderator: Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

17:30

Closing remarks

Our moderator will close the formal proceedings by summing up the day’s events and providing his perspective on the sessions.

  • Evan Davis, journalist and broadcaster

    Evan Davis Evan Davis is a presenter of the BBC2 current affairs programme Newsnight, a role he began in September 2014. From April 2008 up to then he was a presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 . He is also well-known as the presenter of The Bottom Line, a weekly business discussion programme on Radio 4. Prior to the Today programme he was the Economics Editor of the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation. He was promoted to that role after working as an economics correspondent for the BBC and as economics editor of the Newsnight programme on BBC2 in the 1990s. Before joining the BBC in 1993, he was an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at the London Business School. He has written numerous papers, articles and newspaper and magazine columns as well as the book, Public Spending, (published by Penguin in 1998). He is also a co-author of the Penguin Dictionary of Economics and the New Penguin Dictionary of Business. He studied at St John’s College Oxford (1981 to 1984) and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1986 to 1988).

17.35

Evening reception

The IR Society invites you to join us for refreshments and an opportunity to meet fellow delegates at our post-conference reception.

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