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My job explained: Investor relations manager

investor relations manager phoneMarcia Jones works in finance as an investor relations manager. She explains why the finance industry likes to employ science graduates.

What is an Investor relations manager?

Investor relations managers communicate the company’s results, strategy and plans to everyone with an interest in its development – not only the company’s shareholders, but also its employees and management, as well as external market analysts.

We are responsible for making sure that the information shared with people outside the company is relevant, correct, timely and understandable. We also have a duty to ensure that our stocks are marketed in the right way to the right investors and potential investors, and that our internal management know what effects their actions are having on the business.

Can you describe a typical working day?

No day is the same – cheesy but true. I am responsible for (amongst other things):

  • being the market watchperson – keeping an eye on our share price, the competition and the market; finding out the reasons behind any big movements
  • tracking competitor behaviour in the market place – any product launches that we may need to be aware of, or statements from competitors that may have an impact on our company
  • developing the style of our communication, both internal and external.

I get to travel a bit as well. I often visit investment banks in London for meetings. We also have a ‘road show’ programme, which has an international element; in the past couple of years, our team has been to South Africa, the US, France, Germany, Holland and Italy.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I work in a very close team, who are all great to work with and willing to teach. I have whole areas of responsibility, which I am expected to develop in the way I think is best with minimal guidance from my boss.

What skills are important for your role?

Communication skills are essential and so is the ability to think beyond what has gone before. You need to be able to work independently but also stick to standard procedures. Plenty of patience is a must as well!

Have you got any advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

It isn’t easy, the hours can be really draining at times and you will get frustrated. However, it is ultimately very satisfying. If you want to get into this area, you will have to start at the bottom, but career paths vary between companies; some people start off in communications or PR, some people come via a business role as I did, and some start in investment banking. This is not a job you can just walk into.

Why is it useful to study a science subject at university?

It’s not essential to have a science degree but half my team does! The way you are taught to think when learning chemistry is very helpful. The problem-solving skills I developed in the laboratory (working out why an experiment had gone wrong and how to correct the mistake) have really helped.

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