News of the unintentional early release of JP Morgan’s earnings—nearly four hours before its scheduled distribution—is one of the more recent “fat finger” mistakes to occur in the investment world. Similar instances transpired with Google and Gap that put a spotlight on investor relations infrastructure, something that typically goes unnoticed by investors, but is as close as lips and teeth to an IR professional.
It is easy to see how human error can enter the equation: flawless execution is required at wire service providers, IR website providers, conference call and webcast vendors – and the need to publish company-curated content, in most cases, simultaneously with other communications.
As the number of communication channels grows, these gaffes, along with others at Disney and NetApp, highlight the need to regularly evaluate IR infrastructure and protocols, whether on the road to an IPO or as a seasoned issuer. Creating a strong set of internal policies, procedures and controls is a solid first step to assuring optimal technical performance.
– Matt Sheldon, firstname.lastname@example.org