Hedge Fund Investor Relations Specialists
Education and Training Requirements
Successful investor relations specialists need both great communication skills and financial ability. So it’s a good idea to take classes—such as English, speech, finance, marketing, business, economics, accounting, and mathematics—that will help you to develop these talents. Foreign language, computer science, psychology, and social studies courses will also be useful.
You’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree—ideally from an elite college—in finance, accounting, business, marketing, communications, or public relations to work as an investor relations specialist. Many IR professionals have master’s degrees. Fordham University offers the only master’s degree program in investor relations in the United States.
Seneca College (https://www.senecacollege.ca/ce/business/finance-insurance/public-relations-investor-relations.html) offers a certificate program in investor relations. Classes include:
- Introduction to Investor Relations
- Writing for Public Relations Practitioners
- Digital and Social Media
- Introduction to Investor Relations
- Strategic Communication Planning
- Media Relations
- Principles of Public Relations
- Capital Markets
- Investor Relations Crisis Management
- Investor Relations Tool Box
- Disclosure & Materiality
- Financial Literacy
- Developing the Investor Relations Program
- Ethics and Professionalism
- Going Public.
Other Education or Training
The National Investor Relations Institute and Canadian Investor Relations Institute provide educational seminars, self-paced courses, workshops, and webcasts on the basics of investor relations, effective public relations techniques, the art of presentations, and other topics.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Certification can help you keep your skills up to date, and those who are certified typically find it easier to land a job than those who aren’t certified. Applicants who meet educational and experience requirements, pass a rigorous examination, and satisfy other criteria can earn the investor relations charter designation from the National Investor Relations Institute. Visit https://www.niri.org/certification for more information. The Canadian Investor Relations Institute provides the certified professional in investor relations designation. Some IR specialists earn the chartered financial analyst designation, which is administered by the CFA Institute (https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa). Others are licensed as certified public accountants. The Uniform CPA Examination, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is used by all states.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Several years of experience with a finance-related employer (ideally in a public relations, marketing, or investor relations capacity) is necessary to qualify for entry-level investor relations positions. Investor relations managers need at least five years of experience in lower-level IR positions (or in corporate IR positions); IR directors need 10 years of hedge fund or corporate IR AND finance experience.
Investor relations specialists spend much of their time talking with current and potential investors and writing monthly and quarterly newsletters and other documents, so they must have excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills. Other important traits include attention to detail, good knowledge of the hedge fund industry and trading strategies (e.g., fixed income arbitrage, short selling, long/short equity, etc.), and excellent problem-solving ability. Strong Microsoft Office skills, especially in PowerPoint, are also required.