Perhaps you survived Shark Tank and built a finance business, or you’re running an established fund or finance company. Either way, you need to manage relationships with your investors and communicate consistently.
Finance investor relations (IR) firms act as intermediaries between finance businesses and investors/analysts. Through an IR firm, you can keep current investors in the loop about company affairs and appeal to potential investors.
Outsourcing IR can offer greater expertise and save time and money. Benzinga reviews the best finance IR firms.
The Best Finance IR Firms
Also known as financial PR firms, the best finance IR firms keep investors informed about your company. Finding companies with appropriate experience in finance investor relations can be challenging, so here are a few firms to start with.
Padilla helps public and private companies communicate during the entire capital lifecycle, from investor to corporate communications. It was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Padilla leverages five brands to provide a seamless experience that includes a research arm, creative department, performance communications agencies and a brand consultancy.
The company’s main services include:
- Investor relations
- Brand strategy
- Connection strategy
- Corporate advisory
- Creative content
- Digital insights + strategy
Padilla provides investor relations services for one of the largest independent broker-dealers in the U.S, LPL Financial.
The company charges $100 to $149 per hour.
2. Red Fan Communications
Red Fan Communications is a woman-owned, full-service communications agency founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas.
The company has 20+ employees and offers investor communications and customer relations for B2B tech, real estate, fintech and consumer brands.
Red Fan offers services including:
- IPO, funding and M&A
- Crisis planning and response
- Strategic communications
- Brand positioning and messaging
- Executive consulting
3. JMR Connect
JMR Connect is a Baltimore, Maryland-based digital PR agency founded in 2013. It offers intelligent corporate and financial communications, providing strategic counsel and tactical execution.
The small company has nine employees, and its core services include:
- Public relations
- Integrated marketing
- Influencer communications
Lambert & Co is an integrated communications agency and PR firm founded in 1998 and headquartered in Michigan with offices in New York City and Salt Lake City. In 2018, Lambert acquired Blicksilver, which focuses on private equity public relations and transaction communications strategy. It won Best Investor Engagement Program of the Year from IR Magazine and were a recent finalist for the M&A Advisor Communications Firm of the Year.
The company has between 110 and 250 employees and offers the following core services:
- Investor relations
- Public relations
- Business consulting
- Digital marketing and social media
- Creative and multimedia
- Brand strategy
- Website development
- Market research
Lambert charges between $100 to $149 per hour.
Advantages of Working with Finance IR Firms
Maintaining investor relations helps support the value of your firm, but it may not be a natural area of expertise for your company. Outsourcing your investor relations helps to bridge gaps in communication if you don’t have a dedicated internal IR department.
Here are some of the advantages of working with a finance IR firm as a growing business:
The best finance IR firms will take the time to understand your business and goals. They can develop a comprehensive strategy that covers all aspects of investor relations, from identifying potential investors to communicating with existing shareholders. This strategic approach is especially important if you’re looking to go public or raise capital through an IPO.
Firms can also help you develop relationships with key analysts and journalists, which can be valuable in getting your story out there.
Access to Resources
Finance IR firms have the resources and networks that smaller businesses may not have access to. Firms with extensive experience in the finance industry may have access to quality research capabilities, market intelligence and best practices. Working with a firm gives you the ability to tap into this wealth of knowledge and experience.
Finance IR firms can help you manage your shareholders, both current and future. This process includes communicating with them on a regular basis, handling shareholder inquiries and managing shareholder meetings. Having a dedicated team to handle these duties frees up your time to focus on running the business.
Given strict regulations surrounding the finance industry, it’s important to ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. An IR firm may be able to help navigate the complex compliance landscape to make sure that you’re meeting all of your obligations.
Finance IR firms can also help you troubleshoot issues that may arise, such as shareholder activism or dealing with difficult investors. Having a team in place to handle these situations can help minimize the damage and protect your company’s reputation.
Working with a finance IR firm can be an easier way to maintain strong relationships with your shareholders. It’s a way to ensure that you have the best possible strategies in place and that you’re able to manage shareholders effectively. If you’re looking to grow your business, partnering with a finance IR firm is a smart move.
Drawbacks of Working with Finance IR Firms
Hiring another firm to perform an important function like investor relations can have its disadvantages. You may run into a few drawbacks, like:
Working with the wrong firm
If you work with a firm that doesn’t understand your business, it may recommend ineffective or even counterproductive strategies. Bad advice can damage your relationships with shareholders and make it difficult to achieve your goals. If you’re working with a firm that isn’t the right fit, you may not benefit from the advantages previously mentioned.
One of the main drawbacks of working with a finance IR firm is that it can be difficult to maintain control over the process. You may not have as much input into decision-making, and you may have to relinquish some control over how your company is presented to investors. This factor can be a challenge for companies that want to maintain a high degree of control over their operations.
Working with a finance IR firm also comes at a cost. These firms typically charge high fees, which can be a burden for small businesses or businesses that are tight on cash. In addition, you may be required to pay for other services, such as market research or compliance consulting. Before you sign on with a firm, make sure you understand all of the associated costs.
Lack of Flexibility
Another drawback of working with a finance IR firm is that they may not be able to offer the same degree of flexibility as an internal team. This factor can be an issue if your business needs change over time or if you want to try something new. You may also have less control over the timing and frequency of investor communications.
What to Look for in Finance IR Firms
Vetting a finance IR firm typically requires doing research, asking for recommendations and getting to know the company. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing an IR firm for your finance company.
Experience and expertise: Look for an IR firm with significant experience working with finance companies. It should have a deep understanding of the finance industry and be able to provide strategic counsel on all aspects of investor relations, from media relations to shareholder communications.
A strong track record: Check out the IR firm's past performance. Has it been successful in helping other finance companies achieve their goals? Does it have a good reputation in the industry? A strong IR firm will have testimonials from past clients.
The right fit: Make sure the IR firm is a good fit for your company. It should understand your business and be able to provide tailored advice and solutions that meet your specific needs.
A comprehensive approach: Investor relations is not just about issuing press releases. A good IR firm will take a comprehensive approach, providing strategic counsel on all aspects of shareholder communications, from media relations to investor presentations.
Value for money: Last but not least, make sure you're getting value for money. Compare the fees charged by different IR firms and choose one that offers a fair price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of finance investor relations?
The role of finance investor relations is to provide a transparent and accurate account of company affairs and figures to analysts, investors and shareholders in a financial services company.
When should you have an in-house finance IR department?
Larger financial corporations with big IR budgets may require an in-house finance IR department. Smaller businesses may find it more affordable to contract a finance IR firm.
What is the difference between investor relations and public relations?
Public relations departments maintain the brand image, direct marketing and social media that has to do with the public’s perception of the company. Investor relations departments focus on building relationships with both current and potential investors and analysts.