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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

How to Talk About Your Biotech, Pharma Rivals to Investors

Posted on August 19th, 2015. Posted by

Competitors

Often in meetings, investors will ask a CEO or CFO about a competitive product. Doesn’t the other drug work faster? Aren’t there fewer side effects? Isn’t it cheaper? I hear those questions all the time during road show presentations and meetings. Usually management’s first response is to take a defensive position. While they may not totally “bash” another product, they seem to quickly start listing all of the negative attributes.

That’s not the right approach. Instead, when asked to compare your drug, product, or service to the competition, you should do two things: First, know why the question is being asked. Then turn a negative question into a positive response. Let me walk you through my thinking and how the positioning can actually be shifted in your favor.

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Strategies to Target the Right Investors

Posted on August 12th, 2015. Posted by

Targeting Investors

Investor targeting is a critical function for all companies looking to add new buyers and generate a broad and stable shareholder base. But management’s time and regulatory constraints get in the way. That’s why it’s crucial that you have an efficient and effective investor targeting strategy.

Having spent the better part of my career as an investor, and being the one targeted, I have been fascinated to learn the tricks of the trade to successfully target investors. Below I discuss a few strategies that will help get your company in front of the right investors.

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Here’s Why Your Whole Company Needs Basic Communications Training

Posted on August 5th, 2015. Posted by

PR

Private firms face few regulations governing public statements, so communication missteps aren’t likely to violate laws and spur law enforcement actions.

For public companies, quite the opposite is true. There are legally binding rules in place, and a failure to comply with them can have serious consequences. As a result, it is vitally important that companies provide their employees with substantive training.

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Why Some Private Biotechs Are Hot With Investors

Posted on July 22nd, 2015. Posted by

crossover investors

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from executives running private life science companies is this: why are some firms in our industry generating a lot of buzz and interest among crossover investors while others are not? And a common follow-up is: What do I need to do to cultivate that kind of investor appetite for my company?

So it was no surprise that several executives raised these very questions during the Westwicke Partners’ Biotechnology Pre-IPO Crossover Investor Conference that we recently co-hosted in New York with William Blair, a leading and growth-oriented global investment banking firm.

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De-Stress Earnings Calls, Part 2: Earnings Call Etiquette

Posted on July 15th, 2015. Posted by

Earnings Calls pt2

Executives who are both passionate and informed can talk about their companies in great detail and at great length. There are certainly times when elaborate and extended presentations are appropriate. The earnings-day conference call, however, is not one of them.

Last week, we offered some tips on preparing for your earnings calls. Now here are three tips to help you execute an efficient and effective conference call while maintaining proper etiquette.

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De-Stress Earnings Calls, Part 1: Four Crucial Preparation Steps

Posted on July 8th, 2015. Posted by

Earnings Calls Part 1

The day you report earnings is obviously crucial, and even veteran IR professionals frequently botch them — sometimes due to poor preparation or just nerves. This week and next, we’ll offer tips to help you de-stress the event and execute it flawlessly — beginning today with four pre-call tips to help you get ready.

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Want More Analysts? Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted on June 17th, 2015. Posted by

Want More Analysts Be Careful What You Wish For

Few will deny that analyst research still plays a key role in any investor relations strategy. And every time one of us sees a stock getting a healthy bump in the markets following an analyst upgrade or initiation, we can easily be tempted to believe that analysts wield an enormous amount of influence over a company’s valuation and success.

Should you make expanding research coverage your top IR priority? Have you found yourself pre-occupied with making the cut with analysts and adding more research coverage to your ranks?

However, before you potentially find yourself off course with a misguided plan, let’s consider a few perspectives.

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Bringing Investor Relations and Public Relations Together

Posted on June 10th, 2015. Posted by

IR and PR

If your company is publicly traded or a private company preparing for an IPO, then you likely have two separate communications tasks, one focused on reaching investors and financial analysts, the other on reaching customers and the general public — Investor Relations and Public Relations.

The two obviously perform different functions, serve different constituencies, operate under different mandates, and typically report to different executives internally. Investor communications are strictly regulated. IR professionals are responsible for communicating a company’s business model, financials and future expectations to analysts, institutional investors, investment bankers, and the like. They usually work closely with general counsel, the finance organization, and under the Chief Financial Officer. Missteps, such as divulging information that isn’t publicly available or engaging in marketing-style hype, can breach securities law and lead to a number of serious problems — shareholder lawsuits at the top of the list.

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Ten Strategies for an Effective Earnings Call

Posted on June 3rd, 2015. Posted by

10 Tips for Earnings Calls

Hosting the quarterly financial call is a basic task of a public company. Not all investor calls are as effective as they could be, and some can be downright dull and unprofessional.

How, then, should you prepare for an effective earnings call?

Here is a list of 10 do’s and don’ts that will help you get the most out of your quarterly calls:

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Seven Signs Your Company Isn’t Ready for an IPO

Posted on May 27th, 2015. Posted by

7 Signs Your Company Isn't Ready for IPO

Is it time to take your company public? Many executives dream of the day when their business begins trading shares on Wall Street, but an IPO is an expensive and grueling process that necessarily distracts you from your core business. And a failed attempt at an offering can damage your credibility for many years.

That’s why it’s vital to be sure you’re ready to go public before you begin the formal process. Here are seven signs that you’re not quite there yet:

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