Guidelines for Investor Presentations

It's getting time for corporate CEOs, CFOs, and shareholder relations officers to work up their investor presentations for 2009.  I've heard lots of BAD presentations.  Let me share with you how the GREAT investor presentations are put together:

The purpose of your presentation is to give potential
investors a reason to buy your stock. 
Stay focused on that through the entire preparation process.


1.  Identify your
investment thesis
.  This is a reason
for someone to put money into your company. 
An investment thesis is not a description of your company, nor a mission
statement, nor a laundry list of what you do, or even what you’re proud
of. It is a reason for an investor to buy your stock.  The investment thesis should be
identified before a single Power Point slide is created.  Example: 
We are taking our proven ability to achieve strong profitability
into higher growth markets.”


2.  Identify 3 to 5
statements that support the investment thesis.
  Again, do this before creating any Power
Point slides.  Do not list all
activities; only include on this list statements that support the investment
thesis.  Example:  “We have achieved strong profitability
through cross-selling to our existing customers.”


3.  Develop slides
that provide evidence for the statements
Analysts and portfolio managers are skeptical people.  Assertions are not valued, but evidence
is.  Example:  slide showing number of products sold per
customer at our company, versus industry average.


4. Identify other material that must be included.  This could include location of offices,
target markets, financial results not otherwise included.  Develop slides, and insert them where
appropriate. However, make sure that the overall presentation still emphasizes
the investment thesis.  Especially at the
beginning and the conclusion, the investment thesis must dominate the


5.  Express plans
as completed accomplishments,
without lying, of course.  Example: 
“We have developed criteria to screen potential acquisitions, so that
we can grow by buying under-performing institutions serving growing markets.”


6.  Address major
problems in the investment thesis
, minor problems in the supporting
statements.  Example of investment thesis
for institution with major problem: 
“We are a bank with a history of strong earnings growth, which has had
trouble with problem loans in the past year. 
We have taken specific steps to improve credit quality, so that we can
return to our historic rates of profitability and growth.”



I am available to help companies develop
and explain their corporate strategy.