Des Carville, head of the Shareholding & Financial Advisory Division (SFAD) at the Department of Finance Ireland, emphasised the central role of communications in a presentation “Executing an IPO” to Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Ireland members on the topic of the 2017 AIB floatation
This was the largest European IPO in 2017 and Mr. Carville spoke of the diligent and highly disciplined approach used to ensure accurate and positive media understanding of the proposition. A proactive approach by the Department of Finance, its Press Office and the external PR advisers, involved two-way communications with key business journalists and business media outlets and keeping them informed and responding to queries.
Committing to responding real time and understanding journalist deadlines was key to that communication success. Mr. Carville noted the positive comment in the influential Financial Times Lex column as evidence.
Communication in government and political circles, as well as with a wide cohort of advisers and AIB, was equally important in this three year process. In addition, the Department constantly evaluated the performance of the selling syndicate of banks in conjunction with its independent financial adviser, Rothschild. A critical measure of success was to ensure a wide spread of high quality international institutional investors in order to help facilitate any further transactions.
Mr. Carville also emphasised that there was never a moment when the deal absolutely had to be done. The transaction was, at all times, driven by valuation considerations and the ultimate decision maker on all key decisions was the Minister for Finance.
CISI is a global, 45,000 strong membership professional body for those working or looking to establish a career in the wealth management, financial planning and capital markets professions. The CISI Ireland representative is Deidre Heffernan who can be contacted on Deirdre.Heffernan@cisi.org