Peter Hugr­ef­fe Ankersen

is CVP and Head of Novo Nordisk Investor Rela­tions since 2015. Pri­or, he worked as a health care ana­lyst (ABG Sun­dal Col­lier, SEB) and port­fo­lio man­ager (Tryg, Alfred Berg and Bank­In­vest). Peter holds a MBA and Bach­e­lor in Finance from CBS, Den­mark.

cap­i­tal mar­kets

We are pushovers
for feedback”

By Kristin Köh­ler / Illus­tra­tion: Anne Lück; Foto: zVg

The glob­al health­care com­pa­ny Novo Nordisk (DK) has been rec­og­nized mul­tiple times for its out­stand­ing investor rela­tions – “out­stand­ing” in the way that it meets the require­ments and needs of share­hold­ers, poten­tial investors and oth­er cap­i­tal mar­ket par­tic­i­pants. Peter Hugr­ef­fe Ankersen, CVP & Head of Investor Rela­tions, Novo Nordisk, pro­vides insights into his approach.

Can you please briefly describe your IR approach?

We want to com­mu­ni­cate open­ly and hon­est­ly to our key stake­hold­ers – investors and ana­lysts – about Novo Nordisk’s short- and long-term objec­tives. We aim to be as trans­par­ent and con­sis­tent in our com­mu­ni­ca­tion as pos­si­ble, and our ambi­tion is to con­tin­u­ous­ly ensure a fair pric­ing of the Novo Nordisk share.

You and your team are mod­els of best prac­tice – from your per­spec­tive what is the rea­son for your suc­cess?

We are a small but ded­i­cat­ed team com­pris­ing five investor rela­tions offi­cers striv­ing to be respon­sive and con­tin­u­al­ly deliv­er con­sis­tent com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Novo Nordisk’s exec­u­tive man­age­ment team pays the utmost atten­tion to insti­tu­tion­al investors and sell-side ana­lysts, and par­tic­i­pates in very intense road­show activ­i­ty around our quar­ter­ly report­ing. The investor rela­tions team is relent­less­ly inter­act­ing with key stake­hold­ers and has more than 200 days on the road vis­it­ing investors. In addi­tion, we put a lot of effort into our pre­sen­ta­tion mate­ri­al, which is updat­ed on a reg­u­lar basis keep­ing investors abreast of our key mar­kets and dis­ease areas.

What are your main tasks, respon­si­bil­i­ties and stake­hold­ers – exter­nal and inter­nal?

Our key exter­nal stake­hold­ers are insti­tu­tion­al investors and sell-side ana­lysts. We inter­act with our exter­nal stake­hold­ers on a reg­u­lar basis: with speci­fic sell-side ana­lysts vir­tu­al­ly on a dai­ly basis, and with insti­tu­tion­al investors fre­quent­ly via con­fer­ence calls and meet­ings. Our major task is to update stake­hold­ers on com­pa­ny-speci­fic mat­ters and provide com­pet­i­tive and indus­try per­spec­tives. Inter­nal­ly, we have a wide range of stake­hold­ers from all parts of the orga­ni­za­tion, and Investor Rela­tions’ great­est task is to coor­di­nate all activ­i­ties with those inter­nal stake­hold­ers.

Who do you report to?

Novo Nordisk Investor Rela­tions reports direct­ly to the CFO.

How many peo­ple are work­ing with­in your depart­ment?

Investor Rela­tions com­pris­es five Investor Rela­tions offi­cers, includ­ing one head of IR, and three sup­port staff. 

What are the roles of your team mem­bers?

A key aspect of our Investor Rela­tions is that all offi­cers have the same respon­si­bil­i­ty when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion with investors and sell-side ana­lysts, an indi­ca­tion that all Investor Rela­tions offi­cers can speak about all facets of Novo Nordisk. The tenure in Novo Nordisk Investor Rela­tions is typ­i­cal­ly 2–3 years and the major­i­ty of staff have a back­ground with­in Novo Nordisk. 

Where is your team locat­ed?

The major­i­ty of the team is locat­ed at our head­quar­ters in Bagsvaerd, Den­mark, but we have Investor Rela­tions offi­cers locat­ed at our US head­quar­ters in Prince­ton, New Jer­sey, ser­vic­ing the US insti­tu­tion­al investors and sell-side ana­lysts.

How do you “mea­sure” the suc­cess of your work?

Our over­all vision is to be the best Investor Rela­tions orga­ni­za­tion in the glob­al phar­ma indus­try. We mea­sure our per­for­mance again­st annu­al per­cep­tion stud­ies con­duct­ed by the insti­tu­tion­al investor, Extel, and IR Mag­a­zine, and we have set tar­gets for both local and Euro­pean per­for­mance.

Novo Nordisk is known for its inte­grat­ed report­ing (and think­ing) approach. What role does this play with­in Investor Rela­tions?

Our inte­grat­ed report­ing is an inte­gral part of our annu­al report and mul­ti­ple stake­hold­ers are involved in the report­ing process. Investor Rela­tions con­tributes, but the over­all process is run by our cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion depart­ment.

How have the require­ments from cap­i­tal mar­ket par­tic­i­pants changed with­in the last few years? How do you address the­se changes?

We have always set a very high stan­dard for enabling investors and sell-side ana­lysts’ to access to exec­u­tive man­age­ment, but the require­ments have inten­si­fied in recent years and we have tried to be as accom­mo­dat­ing as pos­si­ble. In recent years we have host­ed bi-annu­al cap­i­tal mar­kets days; meet-the-man­age­ment Q&A ses­sions at every half year; sci­en­tific pre­sen­ta­tions at the two annu­al dia­betes con­fer­ences in the US and Europe, and have held sev­er­al top­i­cal calls. All of this on top of our quar­ter­ly report­ing activ­i­ties and fre­quent investor con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. There is a del­i­cate bal­ance between pro­vid­ing rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion and deliv­er­ing infor­ma­tion over­load, we try to suc­cess­ful­ly walk this fine line on a con­tin­ued basis.

How do you stay ahead of the game and to meet investors’/analysts’ (chang­ing) require­ments?

We are pushovers for feed­back and con­sis­tent­ly request com­ments and advice in the activ­i­ties we host our­selves, in those activ­i­ties relat­ed to per­cep­tion stud­ies, and in our fre­quent inter­ac­tion with key stake­hold­ers. Based on this feed­back, we are able to gauge whether we are on the right track. 

What are the cur­rent chal­lenges for Novo Nordisk Investor Rela­tions?

For a very long time, Novo Nordisk has deliv­ered strong dou­bledig­it earn­ings growth. How­ev­er, as a result of intense com­pe­ti­tion and pric­ing pres­sure in the US, we will like­ly not deliv­er as we have pre­vi­ous­ly in 2016 and 2017. Com­mu­ni­cat­ing this to the investor com­mu­ni­ty has been and will remain a major task.