Sebastian McCoskrie is responsible for CLIQ’s investor and financial press relations. He grew up in England and emigrated to Germany when he was 15. He passed his Abitur in Düsseldorf, trained as a banker at the Deutsche Bank and then went to university in Bavaria to study business economics (and, as he told us, learn quite a lot about the local beers). After graduating, he worked in different finance roles until he joined METRO Group’s award-winning investor relations team, which included working in Moscow for two years on an exciting IPO project. Following his 16 years at METRO, he headed a financial communications practice in Frankfurt, advising all sorts of different-sized corporates for four years. Since 2020, he has been back in Düsseldorf and working for CLIQ. Sebastian is married and has a thirteen-year-old daughter, which can, as he mentioned to us, at times be quite nerve-racking (to say the least).

In this interview, we spoke with Sebastian about his career, challenges in the business, personal strengths and weaknesses, and found out why working in financial communications is, in the end, even better than flying above the clouds.

Hi Sebastian! What did you want to become as a kid?

I always wanted to be a helicopter pilot, but at school in England they found out that I was colour-blind and that put an abrupt stop to that dream. By the way, they also said I couldn’t become an electrician either – what a relief. But eventually, I did find my dream job in investor relations, which I just love doing.

What is your biggest strength and what is your biggest weakness?

My analytical and organisational skill set is pretty strong, and I can manage to juggle quite a lot of balls in the air at the same time. Moreover, in my job, my language, communication and interpersonal skills need to be strong as we interact with our “customers” every day, explaining details, managing expectations, and building meaningful communications with investors, analysts and the financial press. In a nutshell, customer-centricity is key to my job, as is having good ideas for our communications. My biggest weakness is likely to be impatience – I like to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Furthermore, I also have a weakness for good food.

What trends are you currently seeing on the stock market and how do you think these trends will develop in the next couple of years?

One prevalent trend is definitely sustainability. And for us at IR, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is of particularly great interest. The idea is that investors should evaluate firms based not just on their commercial performance, but also on their environmental and social record and their governance. It is to make capitalism work better and deal with the grave threat posed by climate change. It has ballooned in recent years; the titans of investment management claim that more than a third of their assets, or USD 35trn in total, are monitored through one ESG lens or another. At CLIQ, we are currently in the process of creating our sustainability profile and setting up the framework to assess and report our impact from an environmental, social and governance viewpoint to attract ESG investors in the future.

What does a regular workday look like for you?

I’m an early bird, so my day starts quite early with checking and answering emails and messages. The IR life is ruled by the calendar, so we always have some upcoming investment conference or financial reporting event that requires my attention. I also have numerous investor meetings, both in person and by phone or video call – last year it was over 200. Also, internally we need to keep abreast of what’s going on, and catching up with colleagues is always time valuably spent. I am always on the lookout for newsworthy information to keep our capital markets’ community up to speed and well-informed about our business development and future prospects.

What character trait do you think is most helpful when working in Investor Relations?

Being communicative and authentic. We are competing every day for shareholders’ capital and we need to stay in touch with their needs and simplify the messaging of complex financial and strategic topics as best we can. Financial communications must be professional, but above all create value for its addressees.

What was the biggest challenge you have overcome so far?

Moving from England to Germany as a teenager without being able to properly speak let alone read or write the language.

How do you define success?

If an investor can make a well-informed investment decision.

What makes you truly happy?

Spending quality time with family and friends as well as travelling to new places.

What are your content favourites on at the moment?

I’m a film buff, so I really enjoy re-watching The King’s Speech, Mr & Mrs Smith and Fight Club.

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