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Online communication the new normal

My role at Investor Relations has coincided almost exactly with the Covid-19 pandemic. Having been working for Van Lanschot Kempen since 2013 when I started as a trainee, I took a sabbatical in 2019 to study for my MBA in Barcelona. I came back to the Netherlands in March 2020, just as the virus began spreading rapidly across Europe.

It was a pretty strange start to the job! Normally in Investor Relations, you’d be travelling to roadshows and meetings, touring the globe to get to know analysts and shareholders. But in my case it’s been completely different. At first, all meetings were just postponed. But as time went on and everyone realised that the virus was here to stay for longer, everything moved online. Our shareholder meetings, analyst calls – even the annual visits from the credit rating agencies – all went online. There are a few people who prefer old-fashioned conference calls, but most are comfortable with tools like Microsoft Teams or Webex – even if it means their kids or pets occasionally wander onscreen.

And we’ve had a lot to communicate: Covid-19’s impact in Q1, the postponement of 2019 dividend payments, our acquisition of Hof Hoorneman Bankiers, and now our new organisational structure… I think the latter is something our shareholders and investors will be happy about, as it’s part of a wider initiative that’ll lead to more shareholder value. Plus, it should deliver better service for our clients and better job satisfaction for our employees. 

Tosca Holtland – Investor Relations Manager