The rules of the investor relations game have undergone some changes in recent years. First came the Internet, providing IR professionals with an opportunity to communicate directly with shareholders, but also providing a host of forums in which others could spread information and misinformation about the companies IR pros represent. Then came Regulation FD, forcing companies to be more democratic in their investor communications, including journalists and individual investor on conference calls previously reserved for institutions and analysts.
These changes have played to the strengths of Pondel/Wilkinson Group, the best pure IR firm on the west coast, which has the counseling experience necessary to guide clients through these trying times. Working primarily with a roster of small and mid-cap companies, Roger Pondel and Celia Wilkinson have helped firm handle both their day-to-day communications obligations and handle issues and crises as they emerge.
The biggest assignment of the last year was the firm’s work for MP3.com, but the agency also handled M&A communications for a major transaction involving Lucent Technologies and Ortel, guided the board and management of Herbalife following the death of CEO Mark Hughes and helped plan and execute the live webcast of a seven-hour investor day for Infonet. The firm also added new clients including JNI Corporation and senior media counseling experience with the appointment of Susan Neisloss, formerly a reporter and director of communications for CBS in Los Angeles.