Director of Investor Relations

Danette R.M. Meyer, Ph.D.

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I am responsible for disseminating material information about a specialty pharmaceutical company located in Colorado. I communicate with financial analysts that may make recommendations for our stock, as well as potential institutional and retail investors. That requires a detailed knowledge of the products my company is developing as well as basic knowledge of the financial aspects of the business. I create presentations, write press releases, create an annual report, monitor the competition, and mainly answer questions from the public and 'Wall Street' . What skills are needed? Strong communications skills are a requirement. Also helpful is a basic understanding of the financial markets and accounting . While it is not a requirement, I find that my understanding of the pharmaceutical market and basic research greatly aids me in my communications with the public and 'Wall Street'. What was your major? Biochemistry How did you get started in your career? I have a strong background in biochemistry and research. I performed academic research for 10 years at major universities. Following that, I was a stockbroker for 2 years as well as a freelance science writer. Aspects from all of those jobs combined to help me evolve into an investor relations professional. What experience do you need in this job? Strong writing and communication skills, a mind for details, and a desire to learn all aspects of your business. Describe your "typical" workday: I spend a lot of time on the phone taking to various people and answering questions. I also spend a lot of time on a computer writing press releases or updating presentations. I usually interact with the CEO or CFO once a day to discuss upcoming issues. At least once a month, I organize trips to see analysts and institutional investors. What is the hardest aspect of your job? I have to be very careful about what I say. Often times, I know more information than has been distributed to the public. The SEC requires that any information that is material (i.e. that may cause a person to buy or sell a stock if they knew that information) must be disseminated by press release or by financial document filings. The laws surrounding fair disclosure have tightened and as an IR professional, I have to ensure that all information I am distributing is equally available to all interested parties. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Getting involved in most aspects of the business for a clear view of the "big picture." What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Strong communication skills are vital to almost any career you wish to pursue. Consider whether you are a 'big picture' person, whether you have a thick skin for criticism, and whether you have an inquiring mind for all aspects of your business.