Before investing in or launching coverage on a company, investors and analysts will want to perform rigorous due diligence. The ability to leverage primary research can go a long way. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) and primary investigators (PIs) are key assets in this area and can play an important role in educating the overall investment community given their backgrounds. KOLs and PIs are experts in a particular field or area and can independently validate a company’s clinical hypothesis and/or provide context on publicly available data and information. They can add further value by comparing a company and its data with other publicly available information. That being said, KOLs and PIs are subject to non-disclosure and embargo agreements, which prevent them from discussing material non-public information. However, their independent validation of public information can help investors understand the unique value proposition a company presents. Let’s touch on the basics of how to plan and execute for a productive and well-attended KOL/PI diligence event.
KOLs and PIs are often practicing clinicians, and their time dedicated to a company for investor meetings can be limited. With this in mind, when hosting an event for investors/analysts, it is important to have a few subject matter experts present to maximize the efficiency of the experience for everyone involved. Having advocates that have worked on different data sets or business units is also ideal, so they can speak to specific areas of interest about the company.
The Investment Community Interaction
There are various forums where KOLs and PIs may interact with investors and analysts. This includes presentations, fireside chats, or 1×1 meetings at industry conferences, company analyst and investor days, formal due diligence calls, and ad hoc requests. It’s important to be mindful that KOLs and PIs may not have extensive experience interacting with the investment community. Sufficient prep calls to provide an overview of what to expect and answer any questions will help ensure a stress-free event.
Prep Calls to Prepare for Expectations
Once you have selected KOLs/PIs to participate, scheduling a brief overview is ideal to help them prepare for the event. It is helpful to communicate to the KOLs/PIs how familiar the investors are with the company and the purpose for the call. Generally, the diligence call should provide a chance for investors to ask about first-hand experience with the technology, data, or industry in which the company operates. Often, investors will be knowledgeable about the company, its markets, and any specific data that the interaction is featuring. Therefore, the event is less of an introductory and background experience and more a discussion about application that includes opinions and direct experience of the KOLs/PIs. It can be useful to send the KOLs/PIs the information that the investors have seen beforehand, so they have an understanding of the investors’ level of knowledge; typically, this would be an investor presentation or summary of publicly available data. Remind the KOLs/PIs that the answers they provide will not make or break an investment decision but can help investors become more informed about the company. This can make them more comfortable with participating in the event. Also, providing the KOLs/PIs with logistics, such as how many investors are expected to participate and the allotted time for the event, is helpful to communicate ahead of time.
Drive Attendance and Promote a Dynamic Conversation
Selecting a date for the entire target audience to attend can often be unattainable. However, you want to avoid having nobody attend after accommodating your KOL’s/PI’s schedule. Try to ensure you have generated sufficient interest for the event before coordinating with your KOL/PI. A 1×1 or 2×1 call can be helpful in certain cases, but it is best to aim for a group meeting to make the best use of time and resources. Encourage the investors to be prepared with questions for a productive conversation. Providing the biography and background of the speaker ahead of time helps investors to develop questions relevant to the speaker’s experience and relationship to the company.
How Gilmartin Can Help Facilitate KOL/PI Meetings for Clients
Like the first day at camp or a first date, the first few questions of a conversation can be the toughest. At Gilmartin, we work with clients to establish a framework for the expected KOL/PI interaction. Furthermore, while hosting, we will help facilitate dialogue with questions previously discussed with management. They can be general questions around the technology, data, and personal experience of the KOL/PI. A few sample questions are below.
- Can you talk about your overall experience with the technology?
- How do you see this technology being used among the scientific and medical community?
- Why do you think this technology could change the current standard of care?
- How enthusiastic are you about the potential for this technology?
After discussing a few introductory questions, the investors and KOLs/PIs will oftentimes fall into the traditional question and answer dialogue.
In conclusion, investors will seek to perform thorough due diligence before making investment decisions. With proper guidance and planning, KOL and PI diligence events can be valuable resources for potential investors and analysts. Gilmartin has guided many clients through the investor/analyst diligence process. For additional information, contact our team today.
Emma Poalillo, Vice President