The strategy of targeting investors does not change

Judging by how well attended our webinar on targeting was, it seems a review of this essential function is appropriate. It is so core to the investor relation craft, it’s never a redundant discussion.

To start tactically, targeting investors is a fairly big topic, with many different methods depending on the level of specificity an investor relations department wants (or can) to apply in context to the specificity of their stock’s attributes.


In the most common definition of Targeting (with a capital T), an IRO will match their equity’s attributes against an institutional investor’s approach or investment style. This information lives within the quarterly 13F data institutional investors must file with the SEC.

Although an institution’s 13F filings are public information, databases like leading tool (and our partner) Ipreo allow investor relations to easy parse all 13F information to expedite the analysis of historical stock positions and holdings styles across industries, sectors and peers. Once the institution is identified, IR needs to keep clicking deeper to get the exact name and contact information of the portfolio manager.

How powerful is this? Imagine if Pepsi could get the name and email of every person who bought a bottle of Coke. In Ohio. In Cleveland. On Trevor St. IR really needs to think like a marketer. Ask your CMO what they would do with such a tool.

Targeting goals:

  • Build a balanced shareholder base: geography, style, percent held, dollars held, etc.
  • Place management in front of “qualified buyers”
  • Reduce volatility and gain fair value

Getting started points:

  • Learn who owns your stock. Does their historical approach match your perception of your attributes?
  • Understand your holders’ style. Does their style cut across all their holdings? GARP, growth, value, income, momentum?
  • Who owns your peers? Do they have a position in your stock?
  • What is the sell-side doing with your (and peer) stocks quarter over quarter?

At first, chances are you’ll be casting a wide net via email. Slowly, by tracking the response, you hone your targeting parameters… or even change your “sales pitch.” It is also important to understand that the 13F information is dated by at least 45 days by the time you receive it. Targeting a long-term, careful process.

It’s the quintessential “relations” part of investor relations.

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