Fleishman-Hillard Launches Global Capital Markets Services in Asia

Firm extends investor relations capabilities to world’s fastest-growing markets

Focuses on helping companies manage cross-border investor communications and close information gaps to avoid reputation damage and valuation discounts

HONG KONG, Nov. 17, 2011 — International communications consultancy Fleishman-Hillard has expanded its Global Capital Markets Services capability to meet the growing need for more active investor relations and financial communications programs for companies based in Asia and their investors around the world.

To strengthen the firm’s role as a resource for multinational companies based in the heart of the world’s fastest-growing markets, Fleishman-Hillard recently added a dedicated team of Asia-based investor relations veterans and research specialists to its existing financial communications and financial services public affairs capabilities.

These additional resources will help clients meet the challenge of the volatile capital markets and economic uncertainty that have led to increased scrutiny of Asian companies, especially those based in China. Listed companies, and those seeking initial public offerings, must prepare more intensively to respond to investors who are looking more closely than ever at capital structure, financial transparency and integrity, corporate governance, and sustainable business performance.

Ruby Yim leads Fleishman-Hillard’s Global Capital Markets team in Asia, as well as serves as co-chair of the firm’s worldwide Global Capital Markets team. With more than 25 years of capital markets experience, she brings in-depth strategic counsel to Asian companies as they pursue their cross-border capital market initiatives across all sectors. Yim works closely with companies based in Greater China, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, India, Indonesia and Australia, as well as in Europe and the Americas. She was most recently a managing partner at Taylor Rafferty, and prior to that was the general manager and head of Thomson Financial Investor Relations in Asia Pacific.

She is joined by three senior team leaders who are all investor relations and financial communications professionals with 10 to 20 years’ experience with some of Asia Pacific’s leading investor relations and financial communications consultancies and financial information providers.

This strong team offers specialized experience in institutional fund analysis, capital market intelligence research, investor relations and capital market positioning, strategic consulting and transactions. They have worked with publicly traded corporations from Asia and around the world, including U.S.-listed and Hong Kong-listed mainland China-based clients. Their experience also includes work with companies funded by venture capital, private equity and sovereign wealth funds. The team’s core industry capabilities are in technology, media, telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology. They also work with clients in the alternative energy, retail, entertainment software and games, and real estate sectors.

The Global Capital Markets group in Hong Kong plans to develop four specialized client service teams based on client situation and industry. The group will be supported by the firm’s regional research and analysis team and will coordinate closely with regional Fleishman-Hillard colleagues who provide corporate media relations, crisis communications, marketing communications and internal communications support.

The Global Capital Markets team in Asia Pacific works with its counterparts in Fleishman-Hillard offices around the world to advise clients on how to strengthen their case for full valuation and investor confidence in each major financial center. These Global Capital Markets teams coordinate to deliver a range of services to users of the capital markets, including international investor relations, financial media relations, financial services marketing communications, financial services regulatory relations, corporate reputation management, and crisis and transaction communications.

“We are committed to providing our clients with the essential communications and reputation management services they need to achieve their business objectives,” said Lynne Anne Davis, president for Fleishman-Hillard’s Asia Pacific region. “We’ve expanded our Global Capital Markets team in response to a growing challenge that faces our clients – the need to manage their reputations for financial success and integrity among investors, potential transaction partners, lenders and financial regulators. The arrival of Ruby and her team gives us strong momentum in investor relations and capital markets communications services for clients who seek to address the global financial markets.

“As the world’s financial infrastructure has grown more complex, and its impact on our clients more profound, we have an important advantage in the growing depth of talent we have attracted in this category, building upon the existing experience of our senior staff in the region,” Davis added. “No matter what borders our clients must cross to achieve their business objectives, Fleishman-Hillard professionals are there to support them.”

Information Gaps, Reputation Risk and Valuation

“I am excited by the opportunity to bring strategic capital market services to Fleishman-Hillard’s clients in Asia and around the world,” said Yim. “The heightened scrutiny of all listed companies and other investment vehicles is driven by pressure from global investors, lenders and foreign regulators for better risk management. This generates a higher demand for transparency in financial information and more open evaluation of corporate executives as leaders and creators of business strategies.

“This risk evaluation takes place in the context of increasingly volatile financial markets and against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, constrained capital availability, and cross-border concerns about corporate governance and financial integrity,” Yim added. “Listed companies, investment management organizations, and other market participants must actively address this potential information gap or run the risk of reputation damage and a discount on investment value. Our focus is to prevent that.”

In the case of company share prices, this reputation discount can result in higher borrowing costs and more difficulty in business partnerships and foreign government regulatory approvals for business expansion. At the same time, companies based in other regions face similar investor relations, financial communications and public affairs challenges. In addition, they must increasingly appeal to Asian capital sources and business partners for their operating funds and future expansion. This creates a need to communicate both eastward and westward in order to maintain business opportunities and generate the best shareholder value.

Global Capital Markets and the Greater China Practice

The launch of Fleishman-Hillard’s Global Capital Markets Services in Asia follows the September 2011 launch of the firm’s Global China Practice, a worldwide network of senior Fleishman-Hillard practitioners with deep experience supporting Asian multinationals’ successful forays into new markets. That practice was specifically created to help Chinese companies in a variety of ways, including building awareness and brands; supporting mergers, acquisitions and cross-border financial communications; managing stakeholder relationships; and driving corporate social responsibility initiatives.