IR Magazine

IR Magazine Think Tank
West Coast

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto, CA

About the think tank

The IR Think Tank – West Coast  is an invitation-only event exclusively for senior IROs. It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect topical issues affecting today’s IROs.

IMG_0899 (1)What makes our format so unique?
It is far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select IR issues. These interactive sessions are broken up by short, snappy best practice briefings from top-rated IROs. All discussions are confidential and none of the participants’ comments are attributed. This allows attendees to talk freely and have frank, open discussions.

How do our roundtable discussions work?
 Senior people – industry experts, top-rated IROs and those from the financial community  – set the agenda on a panel discussion by sharing their thoughts on session topics.
 Small roundtable groups of IROs discuss these issues face to face.
 Each table gives feedback from its own discussion and shares ideas with the group as a whole.

Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs. More information is available at

Speakers and facilitators


Click on the session title for more information. View agenda as PDF>

  • 08:00 AM
    Breakfast and registration

  • 09:00 AM
    Welcome to the IR Magazine Think Tank

  • 09:15 AM
    The state of capital markets – and impact on IR

    Hear about the big changes in the markets, and the latest trends that will impact IR and investor sentiment
    • Understand about trends in interest rates and profit margins and what it means for the economy
    • Is the bull market coming to an end? – Discuss what this would mean for IR
    • Ask an expert economist about views on the macro outlook for the US economy

    Mike Lehmann, Professor of economics, University of San Francisco

  • 09:45 AM
    Refreshment break

  • 10:00 AM
    The big governance debate: The ‘push and pull’ between increased activism and the rise in passive investments

    The investor landscape is becoming more polarized; with growth in both short-horizon and long-horizon investors causing different challenges for governance and engagement. This session will feature panelists from opposite ends of the governance spectrum, where you can understand the motivations of activist hedge fund managers and learn how to increase engagement with passive investors.

    Moderator: Chris Evenden, Vice president of investor relations, Electronic Arts
    Rene Casis, ETF portfolio manager, American Century Investments
    Joanne Medero, Managing director, Blackrock Investment Management
    Robbie Miles, Assistant vice president and investment analyst, Allianz Global Investors

  • 11:00 AM
    Mifid II – What about US?

    Hear panelists from a diverse range of company sizes share their experiences and expectations on Mifid II impacts. Then join peers of similar market caps to talk specifics about challenges, changes and strategies that IROs from similar sized companies are experiencing

    Victoria Hyde-Dunn, Senior director of investor relations, 8×8
    Gabrielle Rabinovitch, Head of investor relations and business intelligence, Paypal

    Roundtable discussions: choose your group

    Large caps Small & mid-caps
  • – The SEC has granted a 30-month no-action relief period – what will you be observing during this period, and how are you preparing yourself?
  • – With a reduced sell-side research market, how will consensus be compiled by aggregates and should companies be making their own consensus more widely available?
  • – How can you manage a higher volume of direct requests from the buy side?
  • – Marketing in Europe: Share approaches that you are taking to corporate access changes and exchange views on how to choose the best broker for your roadshows
  • – Debate the risk of conflicts of interest and the ongoing importance of the sell side as the broker-investor relationship changes
  • – Understand the strategies your peers are taking to maximize coverage
  • 11:45 AM
    IR in the C-suite: How IROs can become more strategic

    Hear from IROs that have made their way to the C-Suite. Learn about their journey, and the strategic role that IROs can play in business
    • The path to the c-suite: The steps and skills needed for IROs to become a business leader
    • IR and corporate development: These merged roles are becoming more frequent – debate what this means about how the role of IR is changing
    • Moving with the times: As technology, capital markets and business practices evolve, share thoughts on the skills, attributes and knowledge base that the IRO of tomorrow needs to remain competitive

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, Digital editor, IR Magazine
    Carol DiRaimo, Chief investor relations and corporate communications officer, Jack in the Box
    Smooch Repovich Reynolds, Managing director, ZRG Partners

  • 12:15 PM
    Working lunch

  • 13:00 PM
    Are you making the most of your engagement and targeting efforts?

    Feel like there isn’t enough time, budget or resources to deal with the demands of an IRO? Those pressures are likely to increase – running the risk of not meeting the obligations of your investors, or potential investors not hearing your equity story

    • Learn simple and effective ways to meet your increasing workload
    • As cases of activism rise, how are you surveilling the risk of activism and engaging early
    • Learn how to increase engagement throughout your register
    • Debate how targeting must change to reflect shifts in corporate access
    • How can you change to ensure a smooth proxy season

    Anne Chapman, Managing director, Joele Frank
    Marilyn Mora, Head of investor relations, Cisco

  • 13:30 PM
    Riding Wall Street’s wave of change: Where is IR heading?

    Fundamental shifts in the investment banking business have reverberated throughout the corporate and investor community and there is a more vibrant mix of professional backgrounds among IROs than ever before.
    • What changes are taking place in the capital markets, and what does this mean for the future role of IR?
    • As passive and quant-based instruments continue to rise in popularity, does this change the role of an IR department?
    • Studies show that financial disclosures have improved with an influx of analysts into the IR profession, what can we learn from ex-wall street analysts, and what can IROs from more ‘traditional’ career-paths do to help transitioning analysts adapt to the all-encompassing IR role

    Sarah Furber, Head of listings, IEX

  • 14:00 PM
    Refreshment break

  • 14:15 PM
    Diving deep into IR best practice: Q&A with the buy side and sell side

    • Hear examples on how companies can make best use of technology
    • Listen to case studies about innovative ways that companies have communicated their equity story
    • Go beyond the numbers: Hear examples of best-in-class financial reporting
    • Understand the process portfolio managers go through when a crisis occurs in one of their portfolio companies…. and how they want you to react
    • Hear about the critical factors investors look for when making buy, sell or hold decisions

    Kenneth Bruce, Managing director of US equity research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Jared Goodman, Global equity analyst, Colorado PERA
    Lori Keith, portfolio manager, Parnassus Investments

  • 15:15 PM
    Blockchain – Flash in the pan, or game changer for IR?

    The technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is the trending topic for business in 2018, but can this technology be as disruptive to business as the internet, smartphones and social media?

    • Blockchain 101: What is the blockchain, how does it impact data management and what is all the fuss about?
    • Transformation of IR with blockchain: How could this secure and transparent way of storing and managing data change Investor Relations?
    • Can blockchain revolutionize the proxy voting process?

    Lyell Dampeer, President of investor communication solutions for the US, Broadridge Financial Solutions

  • 15:45 PM
    Final thoughts and wrap-up

NIRI IRC® credential

Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs.

More information is available at

Past attendees say

"The IR Magazine Think Tank is always an event with excellent content and a great venue to interact with peers."

Jackie Cossmon, executive director of investor relations & corporate communications, Xenoport

"This was my first time attending and I found it very insightful. The format of topic areas by "speaker/facilitators" followed by table top discussions was very valuable. I left the event with a handful of key takeaways that I could start implementing immediately."

Christine Zedelmayer, head of IR and corporate communications, Alphatec Spine

"The IR Magazine Think Tank is packed with useful content from quality speakers from the corporate and investment community. The event is structured to provide ample time for discussion among attendees on hot topics for IR professionals."

Dawn Goetter, director of marketing communications, MicroVision

"The Think Tank combines thought-provoking presentation content with the ability to exchange ideas with fellow IROs."

"I've always found the IR Magazine Think Tanks to be a source of ideas for immediate implementation."

John Nunziati, senior director of investor relations, Avaya

Who Attends

Attendees are leading IR practitioners, many of whom have been highlighted in our IR Magazine Awards research over the years. Each participant is someone with an established track record and a strategic IR role within his or her company. 2018 attendees included:

Job Title Company Name Job Title Company Name
Assistant VP, Investment Analyst Allianz Global Investors Managing Director of IR Clorox
Board Director NATUS Medical; Personalis Portfolio Manager Parnassus Investments
Chief IR & Corporate Communications Officer Jack in the Box Professor University of San Francisco
Director Juniper Networks Senior Director, IR Avaya
Director of IR Finjan Holdings Senior Director, IR 8X8
Director of IR Senior Director, IR eBay
Director, Head of Global Investor Relations Cisco Systems Senior Finance Manager, IR Clorox
Director, Investor Relations BioTime Senior IR Manager Micron
Director, Investor Relations Maxar Technologies Senior IR Manager NETGEAR
Director, Investor Relations Weyerhaeuser Senior IR Manager Pandora
Director, IR & Corporate Development Veeva Systems Senior Manager Investor Relations Intuit
ETF Portfolio Manager American Century Investments Senior Manager Investor Relations Seagate Technology
Global Equity Analyst Colorado PERA SVP, Investor Relations Live Nation Entertainment
Head of IR & Business Intelligence Paypal Vice President of Investor Relations Anaplan
Head of IR Infinera Vice President, Investor Relations Edison International
Head of IR Redfin Vice President, IR Hortonworks
Investor Relations First Republic Bank VP Investor Relations Flex
Investor Relations NIRI SV VP Investor Relations Zendesk
Investor Relations Analyst Nutanix VP IR Electronic Arts
Investor relations Director Red Gopher Corporation VP IR Opentext Corp
Investor Relations Manager Plantronics VP of Investor Relations Equinix
IR Analyst Flex VP of IR Quotient
IR Manager Electronic Arts VP, Communication & Investor Relations Nutanix
IR Manager The Clorox Company VP, CorpComm & PR Brain Corporation
IR Program Manager Seagate Technology VP, Investor Relations eBay
IRO FormFactor Inc VP, Investor Relations FireEye
Manager, Corporate Affairs Aduro Biotech VP, IR and Corporate Communications CoreSite
Manager, Investor Relations Advanced Micro Devices VP, IR Box
Managing Director Blackrock Investment

Venue and accommodation

The IR Magazine Think Tank – West Coast 2018 was held at:

Garden Court Hotel
520 Cowper St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Grove Ballroom, 2nd floor