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Investor Relations and Communications: An Overview of Leading Practices in the OECD Area

This paper summarizes and discusses results from a survey conducted by the Department of Finance Canada and the Bank of Canada in July 2012 regarding an overview of investor relations (IR) and communications practices of members of the OECD Working Party on Debt Management (WPDM). The survey contained both quantitative and qualitative questions pertaining to IR, grouped into three themes: Definition and Development; Communications Strategy and Relationship Management; and Governance and Sustainability. Survey responses from 26 countries were collected and analyzed under these themes. While the extent of formalization and governance varies, all respondents with outstanding debt indicated that they perform IR activities; comments received suggest a general expansion of IR activities as the function evolves, both as a best practice and for directed, strategic purposes. Responses were collected regarding the most useful IR activities and communication methods conducted by countries, key stakeholder relationships relative to the IR function, and key challenges that include the difficulty in measuring the value of IR, particularly under changing circumstances. Despite the challenges, on-going IR is viewed as an important and effective component of the overall debt management function.