About us

Specialist IR

Merlin is New Zealand’s leading investor relations advisory firm.  Having provided advice to clients for more than 15 years we have the knowledge and experience that New Zealand listed companies can rely on to help them successfully deliver investor relations programmes. Our work is purely investor relations focussed.

Experience

Our team of consultants offer clients experience across a range of facets of capital markets – in-house investor relations, outsourced investor relations, equity investor relations, debt investor relations, media relations, research and IPOs.

Value Added

Merlin offers advisory services across all aspects of investor relations. Our years of experience tell us that our advice when combined with our market intelligence products is the key to building an effective IR programme. The  long term relationship we have with many of our clients suggests to us they appreciate and value the sensible and practical advice we offer.

Independent & Objective

Our advice is independent, objective and pragmatic. By focussing on providing investor relations, financial media and governance advice rather than other financial market activities or general PR our advice is unbiased, unconflicted and highly focussed.

The Merlin

Team Members

Annabel Cotton

027 473 7330
email Annabel

Since establishing Merlin IR in 1998 Annabel has advised many of New Zealand’s leading listed companies on a wide variety of matters relating to their equity and governance programmes. She is a director of the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA), Trust Investments Management, Waikato Regional Airport where she chairs the audit and risk committee and Hamilton & Waikato Tourism. Annabel is a trustee of several large charitable trusts. Her governance experience includes directorships and audit committee membership at Genesis Energy Limited, the Securities Commission, the External Reporting Board and several small NZX listed companies.

Annabel is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ, the Australasian Investor Relations Association, the Institute of Directors and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

Amanda West

021 043 9674
email Amanda

Amanda has extensive investor relations experience and has provided advice and support to a large number of New Zealand’s top listed companies with many of her client relationships stretching back well over a decade. Amanda is well known for her practical advice and made-to-measure solutions that assist clients, whatever their size. Her detailed understanding of share register analytics is also unique in the New Zealand market. Amanda’s experience in IR is wide ranging and includes hands-on involvement in initial public offerings, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions dating back to 2002. Moving into IR from senior roles with the Bank of New Zealand and corporate strategy consultancy Benchmark Communication provided a solid background in finance, strategy, organisational development and communications. Amanda is a member of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ.

Anna  Bonney

021 844 155
email Anna

Anna’s exceptionally broad investor relations experience includes leading Mercury Energy’s programme for more than four years. Anna was appointed  Head of Investor Relations ahead of the company’s $1.7 billion IPO, which resulted in the largest share register in New Zealand with over 100,000 retail shareholders and a strong global institutional investor base.

Anna started her career in funds management working for NZ Funds Management. After moving to the UK in 2001, Anna gained experience in investor relations working for the London Stock Exchange and International Power. Returning to New Zealand in 2010, Anna remained in the energy sector with the Investor Relations Manager role for Vector. Vector won the Infinz best Corporate Communicator in 2011.

Anna joined Mercury Energy as  Head of Investor Relations in March 2012 ahead of the IPO.

Anna has a Masters in Economics from Auckland University and is a director of the Australasian Investor Relations Association, Australasia’s investor relations industry body.

Sharon Williamson

021 850 515
email Sharon

Sharon has an extensive background in corporate communications and stakeholder engagement. Her experience spans IR strategy, planning and delivery as well as support for IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and divestments. Through her previous senior management roles, which included 18 years in the energy sector, to her more recent work in stakeholder engagement and issues management, Sharon is able to bring a range of research, strategy, programme development and writing skills to any IR programme.

Sharon holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Marketing.

Services

Advice & IR Counsel

Merlin provides its clients with investor relations advice that reflects the specific needs and situation the client faces. Our advice can address every facet of investor relations and financial media strategy and delivery.
An effective investor communications programme is important because research has shown that, conducted well, investor relations can add up to 20% to a company’s valuation and conducted badly can penalise valuation by up to 10%.
At the heart of the advice Merlin provides is a strategy to deliver the best solution for the client. That solution can be expected to minimise any discount between a listed company’s share price and the valuation independently attributed by analysts.
Our advice will be based on what our deep knowledge and experience of the New Zealand market tells us is the most effective programme and set of communications for delivering a fair market valuation.

Ownership

Our ownership reports provide our clients with the information to understand fully who owns and makes decisions over their shares. Understanding who owns a company’s stock, and why, provides the platform on which an investor relations programme is built. Our reports provide invaluable information when wanting to know the identity and total holdings of the leading decision makers on the register, when monitoring the underlying holdings behind market trading activity or when considering any corporate action. Tracking shareholder movements at any of these times provides critical intelligence for management, the Board and corporate advisers.

Media Relations & Training

Merlin assists and supports clients to proactively engage with financial and business media, securing ‘in depth’ coverage by the business media who follow your company and industry. We assist in the development of story opportunities around corporate announcements and events; facilitate engagement with influential commentators; and assist in profiling leadership teams and corporate activities through the generation of feature articles. We can assist in the development of stronger relationships with the media and more effective communication of the investment case by training those executives who engage with the media and investors.

Perceptions

Perception studies are an important part of strategic planning for the board and for management. They provide an accurate, unbiased means of gauging the views of existing and potential investors, broker research analysts and other key influencers. Regular and systematic measurement of investor sentiment forms a critical part of any company’s strategic investor relations programme. Our perception study addresses a series of critical questions in order to assess the level of investor confidence that the board and management enjoy:
*How is your company perceived by key financial market participants?
*What are the key drivers of investor sentiment towards your company?
*What actions can be taken to positively influence investor perception and valuation?
*Are there any areas where your company is vulnerable or there are value destroying misperceptions?
We deliver detailed feedback and conclusions together with actionable recommendations that provide a 1 – 2 year IR roadmap.

Governance

Good governance is essential for increasing the prospect of market outperformance and for ensuring shareholder confidence in the Board and management. We offer a range of advisory services to help NZX and dual listed companies and their Boards determine and document governance standards and practices including governance policies, benchmarking governance practices and implementation of ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Principles and Recommendations. We will also assist with implementing continuous disclosure programmes including in-house training and advise on engagement with shareholders and proxy advisers.

Market Intelligence

Drawing on our financial markets experience, knowledge of the New Zealand market, and wide and varied range of work with clients we can assist management and the Board to decipher the signals the market is sending. A programme based around identifying share ownership, monitoring broker forecasts, regular perception studies to tap key investor sentiment, benchmarking of communications practices against peers and active engagement with investors will ensure the key elements of a strong IR programme are in place and deliver the market intelligence available to management and the Board. With these elements in place and a recognised and ongoing commitment to IR, a company will be well placed to capture the 20% that a strong IR programme can add to a company’s valuation and minimise the potential for the 10% discount that may be applied when IR is conducted badly.

AccessIR

AIRdevices-largeWhen you want access to critical information, you generally need it now, wherever you
are and whatever tools are to hand. AccessIR delivers beneficial ownership analysis and combines this information with the most technologically advanced relationship management tools in the industry. IR on the go is exactly what we offer.

AccessIR has been designed based on feedback from IR professionals who want fast, streamlined, and accurate data and reports that fully tease out important contextual information.
Merlin has met this challenge with AccessIR, a powerful, secure and mobile application that will act as an extension of your IR team and enable you, while genuinely ‘on the go’, to:

  • Know your shareholders – track and monitor the company’s true beneficial owners
  • Understand your shareholders – dynamic access to investor profiles and meeting notes
  • Target investors – global database of over 15,000 investors, 40,000 funds and 114,000 contacts, and counting
  • Manage relationships – organise meetings and log meeting notes
  • Gain time – trademark features that give you fast access to relevant information

Get in touch

Contact

P.O. Box 25 954, St Heliers, Auckland 1071