Archive for the ‘Capital Markets’ Category

IPO comms in focus: Employee Communications

Posted on: May 7th, 2024 by Morgan Arnold

Two days to go until the London Stock Exchange IPO Forum and in the latest in our IPO communications advice series, MHP’s Head of Change and Employee Engagement, Naomi Goodman, explains what companies considering an IPO should be thinking about when it comes to employee communications.

Watch the video here:

You can also read the full episode here:

Why are employee communications important to an IPO process?

An IPO is a hugely exciting experience for any company. It’s a great testament to the strength of your brand, your products or your service. It’s great recognition of your journey to date and your potential for growth. And it’s a great testament to the high calibre of people you have in your organisation who have been driven to help your company succeed.

So, don’t underestimate the importance of engaging your employees with your IPO. It’s their collective ability that’s helped to get you where you are today and it’s their ongoing commitment that is going to help you to sustain your success.

What should companies considering an IPO be thinking about when it comes to internal comms?

Once an IPO has been initiated there are lots of rules and regulations about what can and can’t be communicated and when. In order to mitigate any risk, as soon as you’re aware that your company may enter into an IPO, it is never too soon to get an integrated communication strategy and plan in place. Here are three areas to get started on straight away.

  1. Know your stakeholders. It sounds simple but this is more than simply segmenting your audiences. It’s about trust and influence. Map your internal and external stakeholders, determine who is in the circle of trust and how best to effectively equip them. And know who is in their sphere of influence for when you’re able to involve a wider pool of leaders before you engage employees.
  2. Manage the message. There will be limitations with what you can and can’t say during an IPO. Develop a flexible messaging framework, one set of key messages that can be tailored to the various stakeholder groups. Ensure you have a captivating, compelling set of messages ready that really captures your journey and vision. The why this, the why now, the what and the when and importantly the benefits to the business and your people. And don’t forget to thank your employees, the people that have helped the business get to this point.
  3. Actively listen. IPOs are an opportunity to celebrate, especially on listing day. Go big, have some fun. However, through the employee communications process, don’t forget to actively listen to your people. Yes, IPOs are exciting. Yes, there can be many financial and developmental benefits for an employee, which you should repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly communicate. However, do not underestimate the uncertainty that a significant change like this can cause among employees. Give them the channels and the space to share their thoughts and have these thoughts heard and answered.

Remember, evidence and experience shows us that colleagues join and stay companies that care. A thoughtful, considered approach to how you engage employees in an IPO reaffirms that. So remember, know your stakeholders, manage the message and actively listen.

MHP is delighted to be partnering with the London Stock Exchange on its flagship IPO Forum on Thursday 9 May 2024. With a full afternoon of insights, panels, and networking, an expert team of legal, financial and communications advisers will join a host of private companies considering an IPO, as well as members of the investor community and recently listed businesses to discuss the IPO process and the challenges and opportunities of becoming a public listed company. Find out more here

IPO comms in focus: ESG

Posted on: May 1st, 2024 by Morgan Arnold

As the build up to next week’s London Stock Exchange IPO Forum continues, today we ask MHP Corporate Advisory and Capital Markets’ ESG specialist Rachel Farrington what companies with IPO ambitions should be thinking about when it comes to #ESG communications

Watch the video here:

You can also read the full episode here:

How do ESG communications play a pivotal role in the Initial Public Offering  (IPO) process?

For any company looking to IPO, ESG communications are now a critical part of the process that influence investor perceptions, risk assessments and the overall success of the offering. Companies that effectively communicate their ESG strategies and achievements can enhance their appeal to a growing segment of the investor community that prioritises sustainability and responsible corporate behaviour. At the same time, by not having a credible ESG strategy, you risk cutting yourself off from pools of capital.

Regulation continues to be a driving force across the capital markets, with an increasing focus on ESG disclosures. A number of key regulations have phased adoption schedules and are impacting broader segments of the market over time and setting the direction for corporate disclosures. By putting in place robust ESG practices from the outset, a business can demonstrate to potential investors that it has strong governance in place and that it is proactively managing both the risks and opportunities related to ESG.

In practical terms, what should companies considering an IPO be thinking about/doing when it comes to ESG communication?

What this means in practice is that companies need to be proactive and strategic in presenting their ESG credentials as part of any IPO. We would recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Establish a clear and robust ESG framework that aligns with recognised standards and frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. Set measurable ESG goals and targets that are ambitious yet achievable.
  2. Engage with your stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees and communities, to understand their ESG expectations and concerns. Use the stakeholder feedback to inform your ESG strategy and communications.
  3. Commit to transparency in ESG matters by providing clear, accurate and comprehensive information about your corporate ESG performance. Even if you are just starting out on your sustainability journey, being transparent about your progress will help position your approach as credible and authentic. To find out more about our approach to ESG communications during an IPO, please get in touch.

MHP is delighted to be partnering with the London Stock Exchange on its flagship IPO Forum on Thursday 9 May 2024. With a full afternoon of insights, panels, and networking, an expert team of legal, financial and communications advisers will join a host of private companies considering an IPO, as well as members of the investor community and recently listed businesses to discuss the IPO process and the challenges and opportunities of becoming a public listed company. Find out more here

IPO comms in focus: Media

Posted on: April 29th, 2024 by Alexandra Stamp

First up, former national business journalist Simon Evans explains why the power of the media should not be underestimated and how to maximise upside while managing potential risk.

Watch the video here:

You can also read the full episode here:

Why is Media important to the success of an IPO process?

As a former national business journalist, I’ve covered many IPOs. The power of the media or any process cannot be underestimated. The media can drive momentum during a listing, they can directly affect the price range, or they can kill processes dead in their tracks.

Working with the media starts with a story, and as with most things in life, the simpler the better. Journalists are increasingly time poor, having to write many stories in a day, and your IPO story will be one of these stories. Relationships are critical.

If you don’t know the journalists who are going to cover you during your process, you’re already at a big disadvantage. So be as transparent as you can be, be consistent, and as I say, keep it simple. No IPO process is ever perfect, but working closely with media, realising they have a job to do too, can yield really positive results in the end.

What should companies considering an IPO be thinking about in terms of media management and engagement?

The earlier that communication teams are brought into any process, the better. We work very closely with the company’s advisors, including bankers and lawyers, helping to craft communication strategies that really maximise the upside of any process, while also carefully managing any downside risks or threats too. News in an IPO very rarely breaks on the day you expect it to.

Leaked strategies are critical, but you have to be prepared for every kind of eventuality today. While we’re heavily focused on the media, leveraging our relationships with the press, we develop multi-stakeholder strategies, considering all different types of audiences that may have an interest in a process, whether they be policy makers, regulators, social media influencers, and beyond. In an era of increasing complexity, being simple carries more weight than ever. In an IPO process, this is even more important.

MHP is delighted to be partnering with the London Stock Exchange on its flagship IPO Forum on Thursday 9 May 2024. With a full afternoon of insights, panels, and networking, an expert team of legal, financial and communications advisers will join a host of private companies considering an IPO, as well as members of the investor community and recently listed businesses to discuss the IPO process and the challenges and opportunities of becoming a public listed company. Find out more here

Corporate Advisory & Capital Markets ESG Insights: April 2024

Posted on: April 17th, 2024 by Morgan Arnold

In this latest iteration of MHP’s Corporate Advisory & Capital Markets’ quarterly ESG Insights newsletter, we take a look at the diverging perspectives on ESG matters from both sides of the Atlantic, particularly with reference to the upcoming AGM season.

We consider the ESG ratings system and the implications of increased regulation of this sector, and, finally, we examine the new ISSB’s IFRS S1 and S2 reporting requirements, and what their implementation means for corporate sustainability reporting.

We also feature market-leading homewares business Dunelm as our Client in Focus.

Download the latest ESG Insights Newsletter


If you would like to discuss any of the themes in the newsletter, or talk to a member of the ESG team, email [email protected].

City Agency of the Year – MHP wins at PRCA City and Financial Awards 2024

Posted on: March 4th, 2024 by Alexandra Stamp

We are delighted to share the MHP Group was named City Agency of the Year at the 2024 PRCA City and Financial Awards 2024.

The PRCA City and Financial Awards recognise the talent and impact of individuals, teams and campaigns from the best of the City PR profession. They shine a light on fantastic work and are judged by some of the biggest names from the worlds of City leadership, communications and journalism.

City Agency of the Year

MHP’s Capital Markets team were named City Agency in the 2024 awards, a testament to our incredible team. Not only were our Capital Market’s team involved in many of the biggest deals of the year last year, but also of the team’s work to advance understanding of investor audiences through our ‘Investor Influence’ study [download the report here], the Financial Services’ team’s work with some of the biggest names in the Square Mile, and our best in class digital and strategic media work.

This wasn’t the only award of the night for MHP Group, for our work with British Business Bank, we won the award for Best Banking Communications Campaign. This work was a collaboration between our Studio and Brand & Reputation team.

Thanks to PRCA for hosting a great night, and congratulations to all the winners!

 

 

Capital Markets ESG Insights: January 2024

Posted on: January 25th, 2024 by Alexandra Stamp

In this latest iteration of MHP’s Capital Markets’ quarterly ESG Insights newsletter, we speak with Alex Janiaud, Senior Investment Correspondent at Sustainable Views, on his thoughts for the key sustainability themes to look out for in 2024.

We revisit last month’s COP, reflecting on the level of engagement from corporates and the fine balance they face dealing with multiple – and sometimes juxtaposed – stakeholders, as the topic of ESG becomes increasingly politicised. We also consider how 2024 is an important year when it comes to elections, and explore how corporates can maintain stakeholder trust against a volatile political backdrop. In addition, we delve into the implications of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM); how it will work in practice, and the impact on business.

Finally, we feature leading carbon data company Sylvera as our Client in Focus. Sylvera’s products and services enable organisations and governments to invest in real climate action and transition to Net Zero.

Download the latest ESG Insights Newsletter


If you would like to discuss any of the themes in the newsletter, or talk to a member of the ESG team, email [email protected].

Capital Markets ESG Insights: October 2023

Posted on: October 24th, 2023 by Alexandra Stamp

In this latest iteration of the MHP Capital Markets’ quarterly ESG Insights newsletter, we take a look at recent political developments impacting the UK’s green agenda, following Rishi Sunak’s move to slow down the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. We examine corporate and political reactions and potential implications from a communications perspective, drawing on insights
from MHP’s recently published Polarisation Tracker.

We also summarise the upcoming key developments in the ESG space, including what to expect from COP28, and the regulatory frameworks being introduced, including the Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR) and Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR), along with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

We also feature Stewart Investors as our Client in Focus.

Download the ESG Insights Report: October 2023.

For any questions or feedback please contact us at [email protected]

MHP launches new report – Investor Influence: Is the macro dead?

Posted on: October 4th, 2023 by Alexandra Stamp

MHP’s latest research has found that just 2% of investors cited macroeconomic outlook as the most important factor when making investment decisions, compared to 24% that think company specific outlook is the single most important factor

Are your investments really green? The FCA takes on greenwashing

Posted on: August 3rd, 2023 by Max Kretschmer

If you were born before 2000, you might remember Sainsbury’s introducing a “traffic light” system to communicate the nutritional content of its food. This simple red, amber, green graphic changed the shopping experience. Health-conscious consumers no longer had to decode an ingredients label to work out whether the 13.7g of saturated fat in a Cornish pasty was aligned to their dietary needs.  

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has embarked on a similar project to demystify green credentials in the Financial Services sector. The idea is simple: a reliable environmental labelling system across the UK’s financial sector. The initiative aims to support the UK’s attempt to become a centre of sustainable investment by combatting ‘greenwashing’ – the practice of marketing products as ‘green’ without actually reducing their environmental impact.  

Like food shopping in the 90s, investors today cannot always be clear whether the products they are purchasing are – from an environmental point of view – “healthy”. Accusations of greenwashing have risen in recent years and asset managers are facing increasing scrutiny for misleading investors with unsubstantiated ESG claims. 

As part of the FCA’s wider ESG strategy, Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) are designed to improve transparency, and require firms to clearly communicate the sustainability-related features of investment products. In turn, products will receive one of three labels, denoting the extent of their environmental impact. 

Truly green investment products will get a “sustainable impact label; middling products receive “sustainable focus” or “sustainable improvers; and those that do not meet the FCA’s criteria receive no label. Only labelled funds will be permitted to use words such as “sustainable”, “ESG”, “Impact”, “responsible”,green”, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) or “Paris-aligned”.  

Environmentally-conscious investors can look forward to traffic-light style clarity. A trusted FCA label would cut through opaque claims and confusing classifications, reassuring the growing numbers of investors who value products with sustainable attributes.  

However, the implementation of the FCA’s new system has faced challenges. On 20th March the regulatory body issued “Dear CEO” letters to benchmark administrators (those in charge of disclosing the ESG credentials of investment products), warning them that they had failed to meet the FCA’s methodological guidelines.  

For labels to have value, firms must adopt detail-rich, standardised methodologies. Implementing this across a varied sector, with different interpretations of what exactly constitutes ESG, is no easy feat. Despite broad support for the FCA’s proposals, many firms are simply not nimble enough to immediately meet the requirements.  

On 29th March the FCA announced it would fall short of plans to have the final rules ready by June, moving publication of the instructive policy statement into Q3. Q3 has arrived, and so has another deferral. On 17th July, the FCA issued a further update, this time pushing the policy statement into Q4.  The ‘range of comments’ from the January consultation period was given as the reason for delay. A hefty 240 responses came in, seemingly clogging up the FCA’s policy pipeline. Criticisms range from accusations that SDR’s “sustainable improvers” label isn’t stringent enough, to concerns that the regime is prohibitively rigorous, exempting the majority of UK funds.  

The FCA’s ESG Chief, Sacha Sanda, warned SDRs would flush out some two thirds of the products currently labelled as ESG friendly, if applied to the market in their current state. The disclosure and labelling system is ambitious, and its eventual implementation is not going to be smooth, but consequential policy reforms never are. After a lengthy consultation, and a protracted period of policy development, firms should not expect the FCA to pull any punches when implementation begins.  

The faster that firms can adapt, the better. A reliable ESG labelling regime would drive the UK’s Green Finance Strategy, enabling London to cement itself at the centre of sustainable investment. With sustainable funds worth $2.8 trillion and counting, it would pay for the UK to be like Sainsbury’s.  

*The FCA is a client of MHP Group

Capital Markets ESG Insights: July

Posted on: July 18th, 2023 by Morgan Arnold

In this latest iteration of the MHP Capital Markets’ quarterly ESG Insights newsletter, we look at how industries are working collaboratively to tackle the climate crisis, and whether this is an effective vehicle for change or a risk to industry.

We explore how ESG investors are looking to private capital for sustainable returns, and host a Q&A with the FAIRR Initiative, a collaborative investor network that raises awareness of ESG risks and opportunities in the global food sector, specifically focusing on the upcoming Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations.

We also feature Next 15 Group PLC as our Client in Focus.

For any questions or feedback please contact us at [email protected]