Founded in February 2001, the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) was established to provide listed entities with a single voice in the public debate on corporate disclosure and to improve the skills and professionalism of members.
The association's mission is to advance the awareness of, and best practice in, investor relations (IR) in Australasia in order to achieve better outcomes for all capital market stakeholders through enhanced engagement. AIRA’s membership incorporates three categories:
- Corporate members (listed entities in Australia and New Zealand);
- Supporting members (service providers to the industry);
- Associate members (students and those who are not eligible for membership either as a corporate or supporting member but have an active interest in investor relations).
The need for a focused investor relations association is now greater than ever given the growing importance of the role in listed companies; regulators’ increased focus on capital markets and corporate disclosure; heightened institutional and retail shareholder activism; and the expanding involvement of IR in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. AIRA is a respected representative for investor relations, advocating on issues through the market cycle. These include:
- Managing discrepancies in the way earnings consensus is handled by different organisations in capital markets;
- Helping members navigate the introduction of global regulations to handle perceived conflicts of interest within sells-side firms;
- Assisting listed companies to handle sensitivities around capital raisings following the financial crisis of 2008.
The association has also published valuable guidance for listed companies on what constitutes best practice in the field in its Best Practice Investor Relations: Guidelines for Australasian Listed Entities and ESG Engagement Guidelines Recommended Practices for Australasian Listed Entities. These are considered to be the definitive guides for the practice of investor relations across Australasia.
Each year culminates with AIRA’s annual conference and awards and gala dinner, an opportunity for the IR community to come together to learn about upcoming industry trends and celebrate the top companies and practitioners within investor relations.
AIRA also provides a comprehensive professional development program which includes two qualification courses - those being a Diploma of Investor Relations (DipInvRel) and a Certificate of Investor Relations (CertInvRel). In 2021, it launched a Certified Investor Relations Officer (CIRO) professional designation awarded to those senior investor relations professionals at the pinnacle of the industry.