Wealth Management Investor Relations Specialists
Education and Training Requirements
High school classes that provide good preparation for a career in investor relations include English, speech, finance, marketing, business, economics, accounting, and mathematics. Other recommended courses include computer science, psychology, history, social studies, and foreign language.
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, finance, accounting, business, or a related field is required to work in investor relations. Many IR specialists have master’s degrees.
Other Education or Training
Throughout their careers, savvy IR specialists participate in educational seminars and workshops, self-paced courses, and webcasts to expand their knowledge of investor relations, develop their communication and interpersonal skills, and otherwise learn about the fields of IR, marketing, and public relations. Many associations at the national, state, and local levels provide these opportunities. For example, the National Investor Relations Institute offers webinars such as IR as a Career vs. Stepping Stone, Crisis Management at the Annual Meeting, Social Media Strategies for IR, and Communicating the Company's Strategy. The institute also offers professional development classes at its annual conference and self-paced, online courses. Visit https://www.niri.org/professional-development for more information. The American Marketing Association, Canadian Investor Relations Institute, and the Public Relations Society of America also provide continuing education opportunities.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Some investor relations specialists become certified in order to demonstrate their mastery of job skills and improve their chances of landing a job. In some instances, those who are certified earn higher salaries than those who are not certified. To become certified, you’ll typically need to satisfy education and experience requirements and pass an examination—but criteria vary by program. Here are a few popular certifications for IR professionals:
- Accreditation in public relations (Public Relations Society of America)
- Certified professional in investor relations (Canadian Investor Relations Institute)
- Certified public accountant (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
- Chartered financial analyst (CFA Institute)
- Investor relations charter (National Investor Relations Institute)
- Professional certified marketer (American Marketing Association)
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
According to the National Investor Relations Institute, entry-level IR relations specialists should have at least two years of experience in investor relations, marketing, planning and development, finance, or corporate communication at a public company or consulting firm. Mid-level professionals need more than five years of experience, and IR executives need more than 10 years of work experience in one or more of these aforementioned areas.
You’ll need excellent written and oral communication skills to be successful in this career because IR specialists frequently write copy for marketing materials, the firm’s Web site, and investor reports; present information about their firms, their investment portfolio managers, and their investment strategies to potential investors at road shows and at investor conferences; and regularly meet with colleagues to discuss the firm’s marketing strategies and a variety of other topics. Investor relations specialists must be knowledgeable about common investment strategies and financial concepts in order to effectively convey complex financial information to potential and current investors in an easy-to-understand manner. Other important traits include:
- excellent analytical and quantitative skills
- strong Microsoft Office skills, especially in PowerPoint
- confidence and a persuasive personality
- the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects
- a strong work ethic
- an organized and detail-oriented personality
- the ability to meet deadlines and work well under pressure