Tennenbaum Capital Partners
Wendy Webb, Managing Director of Investor Relations at Tennenbaum Capital Partners
Ms. Webb, who previously spent two decades in investor relations at Disney, defined the world of IR and differentiated it from public relations, its sister industry. She underlined the importance of maintaining overall brand image and establishing personal relationships with shareholders, two initiatives accomplished through both direct communication (e.g., newsletters and press releases) and indirect communication, like well-positioned stories in the Wall Street Journal. While still at Disney, Ms. Webb headed The Walt Disney Foundation, the company’s goodwill organization, and she explored the overlapping objectives of IR and charity. Certain investors, for instance, might be attracted to a company’s stock if it maintains a socially-responsible and generally ethical profile; others look no further than the promise of financial gain and future stability.
As Ms. Webb explained, well-executed investor relations can yield visible economic rewards within an organization, and can fuel a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy: as potential shareholders are courted by IR pros by promises of growth, they collectively invest in a stock; then, as more of the stock is bought than sold, it naturally increases in value. IR is also good business within a corporation, as many major companies offer stock to employees as part of a benefits package — stock that the company wants held and appreciated, not sold and undervalued. Ms. Webb qualified the IR skill set as a combination of the left and right brain functions, as both a foundation of financial acumen and a working communication knowledge are essential tools in the field’s daily operations. Her presentation provided a first look into the IR profession, which has grown into an important position within any serious organization.
- Master’s in Human Behavior
- Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
- Seeley G. Mudd, Room 501
- University of Southern California
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
- Phone: (213) 746 - 9082
- Email: MHB@college.usc.edu