The National Investor Relations Institute Turns 50!

The largest professional investor relations association in the world is turning 50. The 50th Anniversary Committee, led by past board chair Mark Donohue, has worked hard to develop engaging and memorable events throughout 2019. The festivities included numerous celebrations at the 2019 Annual Conference and events at the Senior Roundtable Annual Meeting.

Though 1969 is the official founding year, the story really began in 1953, when “the Chairman of General Electric (GE) made the first systemic effort to formalize a corporation’s relationship with shareholders,” as reported in “The Origins of NIRI." The American Management Association (AMA) organized the first conference on investor relations in 1958, which attracted 100 people. The AMA continued to focus on IR for the next decade. By 1965, a group of IR practitioners in New York had started monthly luncheons which eventually became organized as the Investor Relations Association.

Finally, in late 1968 the group decided to organize a new, stand-alone association known as NIRI, which was formally founded in 1969. The Investor Relations Association, which spawned NIRI, continues to meet monthly in New York.

The late Lou Thompson, former NIRI President and CEO, at a NIRI event in 1987.

As part of the 50th anniversary, NIRI's Think Tank on the Future of Investor Relations released a white paper that explores how the profession may evolve over the next decade. The anniversary will be featured in NIRI publications and social media platforms. IR Update magazine has published several articles that recount NIRI’s first half-century, including a special keepsake edition that honors the IR professionals who shaped the profession while looking ahead at the future of investor relations. In addition, each edition of the IR Update Weekly newsletter in 2019 will include a “Test Your IRQ” quiz question to test members’ knowledge of NIRI and investor relations history.

It is good to reflect on NIRI’s origins, but we must also put equal focus on the future. Like any field or discipline, investor relations is constantly changing. The process of continuous reinvention is driven by new technology, changing investor demands or new regulation. The cycle of reinvention then requires practitioners to renew and update knowledge and skills. It is the dynamic of reinvention and renewal that has kept generations of IR professionals engaged in NIRI.



Read the 50th Anniversary Edition of IR Update 

NIRI has published a special commemorative edition of IR Update to celebrate the institute's first 50 years. This expanded 68-page issue will be a member keepsake for years to come. This edition includes historical highlights from the most recent 10 years, as well as the following articles: 

Additional Historical Resources

The Spring 2019 edition of IR Update included a feature article on NIRI's first 20 years. The Summer 2019 edition included a feature article by former Board Chair Doug Wilburne on NIRI in the 1990s and 2000s. 

To see photos of the anniversary celebrations at the 2019 Annual Conference, please visit NIRI's Facebook page and read this IR Update article.   

Here is a link to an audio recording, "The Wit and Wisdom of NIRI Veterans," that was created for NIRI's 30th anniversary. 

For more insights on NIRI's rich history, please read this special IR Update edition that was published to celebrate NIRI's 25th anniversary