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Street Beat – Q&A

15 April 2020

Investor and Issuer Engagement in Uncertain Times

We recently sat down with Robin Auten, Executive Director of IHS Markit's Global Perception Research team, a group which sits at the intersection of institutional investors and corporate issuers. We wanted to learn more about how her team gathered real-time market feedback during this period of market uncertainty and the ways in which corporate issuers can leverage this tool to enhance their decision-making and better serve their investment community. During this discussion, Robin shared the group's newest product development, Street Beat.

Q. What is the value of feedback in today's market environment?
Our engagement with both sides of the capital markets, corporate issuers and institutional investors, has made it evident to us that unfiltered, in-depth feedback at a time of extreme uncertainty is paramount. Investors and analysts are eager to impart feedback and best practices in hopes of equipping management and IR teams with the insights they need to weather this storm. Companies are being handcuffed right now by tightening budgets and an inability to meet with investors in person, so it is more critical than ever to find new and unique ways to connect with their investment communities.

Q. What kind of feedback should companies be soliciting from the investment community?
Companies can leverage real-time feedback from the market to make immediate improvements to the messaging strategy and positioning of the investment story. The Street is eager for a platform to share their views on everything from strategy, to capital allocation, to IR outreach and messaging, and even valuation and investment drivers. Investors want to provide this feedback to the companies they invest in or are considering investing in, so there are very few topics that are off-limits during these discussions.

Q. What is a Street Beat Report?
Street Beat is a new product from our Perception Research team that enables our clients to gather candid, real-time feedback directly from the portfolio managers and analysts making the buying and selling decisions on their stock. These reports contain 5 to 15 verbatim transcriptions from interviews with buy-side investors and sell-side analysts, each covering 5 to 10 open- and closed-ended questions. The transcripts are a result of in-depth telephone interviews, ranging between 10-25 minutes, conducted by senior members of IHS Markit's dedicated Perception team.

Q. What sparked the development of this product?
We have always provided verbatim interview transcriptions as a part of the deliverable of our standard Perception Studies and our clients find a tremendous amount of value in the specific comments and feedback from investors and analysts. We have also provided perception calls as a part of our Global Markets Intelligence offering, and those clients find value in getting real-time qualitative feedback that complements GMI's quantitative reports and analysis. We have always known that the verbatim perception interviews have significant standalone value to our clients, so a few months ago we decided that the logical next step was to develop a product that extends the use case of this qualitative insight.

Q. What is the value proposition of this product compared to a standard Perception Study?
A Street Beat Report is the most cost- and time-efficient way to gather detailed, actionable and insightful intelligence from the market. Street Beat reports are significantly cheaper than a standard report and clients can receive immediate feedback in 1-3 weeks.

Q. You mentioned that this new product has been in the works for months, so is Street Beat intended to address client needs associated with COVID-19?
That is a great question. When we began the brainstorming on this product, something like the coronavirus pandemic was not a key consideration. However, now that we are beginning to understand the challenges posed from this virus, we believe this product can serve an important role as our clients navigate this new landscape.

We understand that budgets are under pressure and IR teams are inundated with incoming calls and inquiries, so this offering is the best way for clients to stay engaged with the investment community, understand investor and analyst sentiment through volatile market swings, and create a real-time feedback loop.

IHS Markit provides industry-leading data, software and technology platforms and managed services to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in financial markets. We help our customers better understand complicated markets, reduce risk, operate more efficiently and comply with financial regulation.

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