We have created a myriad of investor presentations and slides, sat through countless investor meetings and attended numerous conference presentations. As we think about preparing for the annual J.P. Morgan conference in January – having a good investor deck is on the priority list.
We have captured some of the most frequently asked questions, and how to address them, with our take on best practices.
1 | Content – what should be included in a public company investor presentation?
We don’t believe that all investor decks need to follow the same template. In fact, effective decks communicate, not only the key messages of the company, but they also convey corporate culture and style. For example – there is quite a bit of variability between how transparent and granular the information is versus staying at a high level. Similarly, not all companies choose to start their presentation with the traditional “Investment Highlights” slide, in fact, many are opting to begin with a mission statement, patient story or comment on culture.
Despite the many choices and variability, a public company investor presentation does typically contain between 15 to 25 content-slides, which collectively present a simple and compelling message about your company to potential investors. Importantly, we believe the deck should both stand on its own and be a reference for more in-depth discussions. Similarly, we believe it should be tailored so that a generalist investor can understand your value proposition but also open the door for more granular conversations with sector specialists.
A strong investor presentation should …
- Identify the problem that needs to be addressed
- Outline the addressable market opportunity
- Explain what is differentiated about your technology
- Map out a commercial strategy
- Delineate upcoming milestones and opportunities for growth
- Summarize financial highlights
2 | Timing – how often/when should it be updated? How often/when should you overhaul?
Throughout the year, slides are often updated to reflect new product launches, reimbursement decisions, FDA approvals, quarterly financials, etc. At least once every 12-18 months, we find it helpful for companies to reflect on their comprehensive progress and strategic objectives moving forward and ensure those core messages are incorporated into their investor presentation.
Often, companies will want to create a new look and feel of their deck, update the strategic message and overhaul the presentation in preparation for a large analyst meeting. From a calendar perspective, one of the best times to review a corporate deck is in the later summer while things may be quiet, or in the fall when the calendar year is coming to a close. The fall can be particularly appropriate since much of the strategic planning for the following year is well underway and companies are preparing for a week of meetings at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference at the start of the new year. But don’t leave it until the last minute – it can take several iterations to create a good investor presentation, and as a non-critical path item, it’s usually not on the top of management team’s priority list. (Luckily, it’s on the top of ours!)
3 | Ownership – who should update it?
Investor presentations are most typically updated by a member of the investor relations team, working collaboratively with the management team. In addition to basic updates with new information, your IR team will suggest the introduction of new slides or formats to convey major milestones, shifts in strategy, etc. For major overhauls – we usually will have investor relations project manage, but rely on heavy input from the management team, bringing in folks from several divisions within the company to share ideas and content.
Once a deck is final, it is important to have it reviewed by members of the company’s senior leadership teams across R&D, Commercial, Marketing and Legal to confirm information is correct and up to date across the board.
4 | Appendix – should you have one, and if so, what should be included?
When thinking through the content on your investor presentation, as we mentioned earlier, we believe the deck should both stand on its own and be a reference for more in-depth discussions, while also serving as an effective tool for both generalist investors and sector specialists. While not necessary, an appendix can help guide discussions in 1×1 meetings, but generally will not be used as part of the podium presentation. Examples of slides in the appendix, which can provide helpful back-up information, could be further delineation of the market opportunity, disease state, clinical trial design and data, the reimbursement landscape, or any area where a familiar investor may want to delve further into the weeds. As a point of reference, about 40% of investor decks on which we work contain Appendix slides.
5 | Accessibility – should your investor deck be accessible on the IR website?
An investor deck needs a form 8-K filed if it discloses any new material information, but it does not need to appear on a company’s website. That said, posting presentations is a great way to make information accessible to interested investors and is a practice adopted by many large-cap companies. Similarly, it’s considered best practice to webcast conference participation. Our strong recommendation is to include both the audio and the slides as part of the webcast, as well as a PDF version of the slides so investors can download them. Finally, from a convenience standpoint, it’s simply easier to provide a download link to anyone who requests your investor deck.
In our experience, one of the first steps analysts and investors will take when learning about a new company is to review the investor deck. This means that we want it to be accessible with a clear message on your value proposition. We have worked with hundreds of healthcare companies as they work on iterating their investor deck, overhauling it with a new strategy or content, or just wanting a fresh new look and feel. With our Street backgrounds, coupled with our immersion in the sector, we are uniquely positioned to share what makes decks effective and why. We will roll up our sleeves to help both strategically and logistically to ensure the message is as clean as possible. Our ultimate goal is to maintain and build credibility to create shareholder value. For more ideas and help on your investor deck, contact us.
Carrie Mendivil, Principal