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TNM Malawi has 22 impressive elements to its investor relations website that are worthy of note.
I review each of them below, with illustrative imagery and show how TNM entrenches a strong brand through the progressive corporate governance communications and online investor relations practices.

Why does this standout?

Few companies in Malawi, except possibly First Merchant Bank (also listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange) have invested in resources that provide world class online investor relations communications using modern technology tools. The same can be said actually for most listed companies in sub-Saharan Africa. Here are the top 3 reasons why ignorant executives think that investing in progressive communications is a waste of time:-

REASON 1 - CEOs say that they speak to the investors "that count" on the phone when those investors want information. If not private investor conference calls are held, the contents of which are not shared equally with the general body of shareholders.

REASON 2 -Neither capital markets legislation, stock exchange rules nor corporate governance codes actually require progressive online corporate governance communications, its easy to forget.

REASON 3 - The absence of liquidity in sub-Saharan markets is taken as a proxy justification of the absence of investor relations efforts. CEOs say " we are a tightly held company, our shares never trade, its a waste of time and money putting in online communications tools". The "do the right thing" principles of corporate governance is lost.
What these executives miss is that in the modern day, with social media and all that, ANY INTERACTION with a stakeholder is an opportunity to entrench corporate reputation and brand
So, back to what TNM does to set it apart from other African listed telecommunications companies in Africa.

Feature 1 - A separate investor-relations website to its commercial website


TNM has created its investor relations presence online outside of its commercial website, but with the same look and feel. This makes sense given that telecommunications companies generally have an incredible amount to communicate online and it's easy to lose investor relations data in all of this. The image below is TNM's commercial website and after that appears the investor relations website: they both link to each other.


You will note that both the commercial and investor relations websites use headline sliders effectively to get their SHORT AND BOLD messages across.


Feature 2 - Eye catching sliders on the INVESTOR website landing page


For investors landing on the TNM website, the rotating sliders provide an immediate snapshot of the company (see "Why Telecoms Networks Limited") and its performance:-


Another slider shows the most recent results and enables download of those results direct from the slider. This may seem like a small thing but its really convenient for investors.


Attention grabbing "investographics" (infographics but for investors!) also provide immediate context to the growth trend in key financial indicators. These messages are the core messages and news taken from the annual report.


Feature 3 - Who are we in a paragraph


Amazingly I have read annual reports and websites of listed companies and they don't actually say what the company does. "Volumes were up", "sales were down", "margins were sideways", but no description to say that the company sells the best red-freckled-widgets to widget sellers globally. So it's important to have a short section to describe exactly what the company does and who it is. This is exactly what TNM has done:-



Feature 4 - Prominent share price on website and social media


TNM's share price is the single most consumed piece of investor information and TNM ensures that it's displayed prominently, not only on its website, but also into social media. TNM also ensures that it's share price is published every time an email is sent (in the body of the email).


Feature 5 - Investors receive email alerts, typically after their first visit to the www.tnminvestor.com website


Web sites are, in the modern day, the first and the last places that investors go to. First: they should sign up to an email alert. In between they should receive most information  by way of social media channels, email alerts, RSS feeds: anything but a website visit ideally. Of course, if a website link is sent out via twitter that link will drive traffic to TNM's website: the last visit.


The email alert (see above) has key investor information readily visible in the email by investors for their convenience. No unwieldy downloads. Quick and immediate access to the information investors need. Note too, the links to social media at the footer of the email, again offering investors alternative channels to receive the company's information.

You will also note that downloads are readily accessible from the email itself and again information in the body of the email.


Feature 6 - Quick reference to the most recent investor-related documents and an easily visible website site-map


TNM has a footer to its website that scrolls the most recent investor relations documents released by the company. In a jiffey, investors can target interesting info and research further.


The bottom of the landing page illustrates the site map of of the whole TNM website in a single view. Simple. Effective. Appreciated.



Feature 7 - Investor info published to the TNM Twitter page





TNM enables the publication of its daily share price


Feature 8 - A comprehensive investor relations data section 


TNM's investor relations section has a comprehensive, easily understandable menu of investor data and functionality offering all the information that investors typically look for - the most important of this is the daily share price - that measure of wealth that changes daily.


Feature 9 - Comprehensive share chart (branded)


There are little things like branding share charts that just add to the professionalism of the TNM website. The strength of a brand like TNM's is just as applicable in corporate governance and investor relations, as it is if one were a premium mobile phone subscriber.


The social media links at the bottom of the chart are ever-present on every piece of information published, by email or otherwise. They may not be used much, but they are there to be used IF NEEDED, and that's an important attitude to have.


Feature 10 - Core investor data shown such as EBITDA, PE Ratio and Price to Book Value Ratios


The TNM investor website publishes the latest share price trading data as soon as it is published and this is accompanied by historical trend indicators. For the more sophisticated investors, a selection of key valuation data is published daily such as EV/EBITA, EV/Revenues, PBR and the PER ratio.

The number of issued shares is also shown. This piece of information is, more often than not, excluded from corporate and stock exchanges websites as its deliberately withheld so people have to pay for it. For news and financial reporting companies and portals, the TNM website provides everything they need as a reference point for investor information. These news organisations such as Factset, Bloomberg, ThompsonReuters can sign up to the TNM website by RSS feed (see below) and be sure to receive information as soon as it is released. In turn, these organisations add their significant resources to the information presented for the ultimate benefit of investors globally.


Feature 11 - Link to stockbroker analysts covering the company

 


TNM publishes the contact details of Malawi registered stockbrokers so new investors (or old) can immediately act on the information that they read on the website. Many companies also publish stockbroker research on their investor relations website but in Malawi these reports are few and far between given stockbrokers' limited resources. This underlines the importance of having a comprehensive up to date website to which investors may refer.



Feature 12Link to comprehensive annual report archive 


Surprisingly (or not) comprehensive content-rich websites such as that of TNM receive a high degree of website traffic from students who are able to source most if not all of the information they need (historical and current) for their studies. TNM actively provides information where requested and the archive of annual reports is the go-to place for historical performance analysis.


This make-info-available-attitude is extended to all company documents including corporate governance information


Feature 13 - Board of directors and key management profiles are professionally presented as part of a comprehensive corporate governance section


TNM makes the effort to ensure that professional images and succinct profiles of the Board and management are published online in a corporate governance section. The reputation of a listed company is rooted in its people and leaders so this is a critical, but oft-overlooked feature of investor relations websites. Directors often assume that they are well known (or want to assume) but that's usually not the case.


TNMs corporate governance section overall is comprehensive and all shareholder proxy voting materials appear online. This is important from a governance perspective because all shareholders are equal and therefore have a right to access their voting material in an easy manner.



Here's TNMs shareholder proxy voting materials published online



Feature 14 - Quick reference 5-year financials


TNM's five-year financial summary is again a quick-reference-go-t0 place that enables investors to immediately get insights into the bigger picture of an investment story over time. Nice touches, such as the charts to the right of each line provide context to the financial indicators over the 5 year period.


Feature 15 - Beneficial shareholders' analysis


Interestingly many listed companies publish their top 10 shareholders in their annual reports investor information section but they do not publish who the ultimate controlling shareholders are. It's important to shareholders that they know who ultimate controlling shareholders are - good reputable controlling investors generally mean a well-managed company. In TNM's case there is transparent disclosure of this on their website:-


Again the presentation of the company's brand logo in the pie chart is that little touch of excellence.


Feature 16 - Helping investors and FAQ


TNM answers its website queries as soon as they are posted. Two areas are a point of reference for investors wanting assistance: the FAQ section and the Contact us section:-


Feature 17 - An RSS feed caters for professional news agencies and professional investors If you do not know what an RSS feed is then this is it:-



and TNM has one. What's the importance of these things on a corporate website. For a company like TNM its the fact that your large news agencies and professional investors can receive news automatically, and most times incorporate that news into databases automatically. It's kind of like and email but for more sophisticated data gatherers. Here's what TNM's looks like:-


If you still don't get it, just know that it's a good thing.


Feature 18 - An investor calendar


If you were to say to me that an investor calendar on a Malawi Stock Exchange listed website was an over-kill because not much happens from month-to-month, I would probably agree. But when a website is structured to be comprehensive and always up to date, it's something that has to be done properly and so TNM has done it.



Feature 19 - Cross-links from and to the commercial TNM website


TNM has millions of subscribers and potential investors at that. So the corporate website refers to the investor relations website and vice versa.


You will note that the investor relations website has the same look and feel as the commercial website for seamless viewing by mobile subscriber and investor alike. This is all part of keeping the brand image and message consistent and strong.


Feature 20 - A separate news section from regulatory announcements


TNM has separated its general operational news from its regulatory corporate announcements for the convenience of investors. This practice is largely a matter of preference and not too critical and is further underlined by a separate investor relations website.


Feature 21 - Ubiquitous use and promotion of social media links


Social media links are ever present on the TNM website and in emails. This is where conversations happen in the modern day and so its vitally important to enable conversations wherever they may arise.










Feature 22 - HERE IS WHY.......6 reasons behind TNMs efforts to reach out to investors through www.tnminvestor.com


I have put into context all of the efforts made by TNM in communicating online to investors: there are 6 main reasons, illustrated simply in a diagram which has been previously published on my Twitter handle:-



By Rob Stangroom | View his LinkedIn profile
 
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