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Countdown to the IR Society's Best Practice Awards begins

21/11/2014

The IR Society’s flagship Best Practice Awards, now in their 14th year, have influenced many developments in investor relations practice over the years and are a much prized recognition of best in class performance. This year’s awards presentation ceremony, attracting over 450 guests, will take place on Tuesday 25 November 2014.

At EMR we’re delighted to be sponsoring the award for ‘Best Newcomer’ for the second year running at the much anticipated IR Society dinner. This category not only gives a great insight into the diverse range of backgrounds of new entrants to IR, but also clearly demonstrates how this array of talent can complement this evolving industry.  Nominations for the award have been sought from members of the IR Society and the investment community, with the investment community then being invited to vote for their preferred nominee in each category.

The 2014 shortlist for the Best newcomer to IR includes:

Vanisha Dhimer - Standard Life
Jens Lindberg - AstraZeneca
Neil Longair - Standard Life
Ingeborg Oie - Smith & Nephew
Rupert Taylor Rea - RSA

We caught up with some of the shortlist nominees, here’s what they had to say:

Ingeborg Oie - VP Investor Relations @Smith & Nephew

What was your background before moving into IR, and why did you make the transition?

Prior to joining Smith & Nephew to head up the IR function I was a sell-side analyst following the European Medical Device and Healthcare Services sector. When the opportunity to join Smith & Nephew presented itself, it was not a difficult choice. It’s a very dynamic company with strong management which is successfully rebalancing the business towards higher growth areas. There is a lot going on and in my former role as an analyst I thought the company had great potential. It’s exciting to be part of that from the inside.

What do you feel has been your greatest/most significant contribution to your IR role so far?

It is probably up to others - both colleagues, and more importantly investors and analysts - around me to judge this.

Neil Longair - Investor Relations Consultant @Standard Life

What was your background before moving into IR, and why did you make the transition?


I graduated from the Aberdeen Business School in 2003 with an honours degree in Business Studies. In 2007, I qualified as an accountant with EY and I'm a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. During my time with EY, I was responsible for delivering assurance services to a number of clients across a range of industries.

In 2008, I joined Standard Life as a Financial Performance Accountant in Group Finance, moving to my current role in Investor Relations in February 2013.

What do you feel has been your greatest/most significant contribution to your IR role so far?

There are many things that I have achieved since joining the Standard Life IR team that I am proud of. One example was being able to make an immediate contribution to the team by using the knowledge and experience I gained in my previous role as Group Performance Accountant at Standard Life. This was very important to me, as the contribution of each individual, particularly in a small team, is key to its success.

It has also been a very busy time for the team recently. In addition to my ongoing role, including results reporting and analyst & investor activity, I was heavily involved in communicating to the markets the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management and the proposed sale of our Canadian business. Although there were some late nights required to ensure delivery, being involved in these projects was an excellent opportunity to continue my development.

Vanisha Dhimer - Investor Relations Communications Consultant @Standard Life

What was your background before moving into IR, and why did you make the transition?

Before moving to Investor Relations I completed a BA Honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Looking for a communications based role I completed several marketing internships with publishers, before working as an assistant client services manager for Standard Life. I made the internal move into Investor Relations after meeting the newly appointed IR Director who suggested the role might suit my skills. What attracted me to Investor Relations as a career was that the role encompassed not only communications but also other areas that interested me, such as corporate strategy, finance and networking.

What do you feel has been your greatest/most significant contribution to your IR role so far?

My most significant contribution to my role so far has been the communications I have produced for our internal audience. I have been responsible for creating and producing a monthly communication summarising analyst research on both Standard Life and the sector. This is emailed out to staff to encourage engagement and to help contextualise the work that they do everyday and how it evolves our investment story. Over the year that this communication has been issued, we have seen increased levels of engagement and interest in our team's activity.

Rupert Taylor Rea - Head of Investor Relations @RSA

What was your background before moving into IR, and why did you make the transition?

I'm a chartered accountant by training with 9 years spent working on company audits and M&A deals.  Following this I spent 2 years working in Group Finance at RSA before moving into IR.  I made the transition because it felt like the right time to step out of my comfort zone, expand my skill set, and learn more about how a public company interacts with the financial markets.

What do you feel has been your greatest/most significant contribution to your IR role so far?

Hopefully my most significant contribution has been bringing a calm, credible and consistent approach during what has been a very difficult 24 months for RSA!  At a more tangible level, the work we have done to take our equity story to the US is something i'm particularly proud of - the feedback has been very positive and has helped to sustain a real shift in our investor base.

Each day this week we will be adding a new interview from one of the Best newcomer category shortlist.