Tuesday, January 16, 2007

滙控聘外援公關拆局

滙豐控股(005)近期真的是負面新聞多多兼四面楚歌,確實是世紀大挑戰,故要找專才幫手。前日英國傳媒話「大笨象」要向外求救,想聘用財經公關顧問,當然是為了改善形象,話雖使多一筆,但若果協助股價脫胎換骨亦未嘗不是好事。今次獲滙控考慮選擇的財經公關公司名為Maitland和Financial Dynamics,相信對香港的讀者較陌生。

但要了解公司來頭前,或許需先分析滙控請公關的目的,顯然是想搞好其與投資者關係,以免再被指指點點。在金融市場中,投資者關係這種服務的特性,若按照美國投資者關係協會(National Investor Relations Institute)的定義,就是一種集金融知識、溝通技巧、市場訊息和證券法規為一體的東西,為公司與金融界和其他各種機構提供最有效的雙向交流,從而最終為公司的證券取得公正估值。該會指成功的投資者關係會帶來很多好處,包括:1)較低的資金成本、2)股票具有較好的流動性及;3)公司證券的「公正」估價。公司透過有效溝通可建立和累積聲譽、改變人們的看法、在同業中脫穎而出及為其股票實現公平價值。其實,改善投資者關係工作包括為投資界創造一個投資「熱點」;建立穩定和優質投資者基礎,顯示管理層持續專注業務拓展,提高股東價值、確保分析員做出客觀評論,成為資本市場上的寵兒。

禤中怡記憶所及,Maitland的客戶基礎不俗,單是在英國FTSE100指數成份股中,便負責11間公司的公關工作,香港人較熟悉的必是著名超市Tesco plc、Unilever PLC等,而金融服務公司則以美林及其他基金公司為主,相信日後若能為滙控效勞,也不存在「照顧」兩間銀行客戶的矛盾情況,皆因若公關顧問公司同時為同一行業的另一競爭對手服務,始終有洩漏風聲的風險。

除了英國本土客,也少不免有一個國際客戶名單,當中較著名的包括德國證券交易所、日本煙草等。至於全球擁有450名專才的Financial Dynamics正「服侍」逾750名客戶,在香港也設有辦事處。並在歐美兩岸的併購交易中,扮演領導地位。最新數字中,單是去年5月一項統計顯示,Maitland Consultancy負責的上市公司客戶資本額高達2,429億英鎊(約3.65萬億港元),Financial Dynamics也有1,542億英鎊(約2.3萬億港元),分列第三、四位,且看哪間公司能為滙控展開翻身行動。

可能滙控今次真的找到了問題所在,滙控企業形象近年好像墮進谷底,禤中怡眼見滙控因節省成本而合併分行網絡,顧客在分行內大排長龍已見怪不怪,更重要的,是今時今日講求企業進入社會,參與社會生活脈搏的大趨勢之下,滙控好像頗不積極,極其量的只是記得滙控久不久會搞一些銀行大班向兒童說故事的活動,而宣傳效果可能只是為數不多的數百名未來主人翁罷了。

另一方面,滙控雖然每時每刻都有電視、報紙廣告提醒大家她的經營業務,不過廣告似硬銷服務沒甚新意,反而我只是記得那輯《工商金融廣告系列》,拍攝手法、鏡頭運用均如學生習作一般,我不是來自廣告界專業,故不想妄下判斷,但這個廣告沒有令我記起任何一個中、小企業的名字,腦海中浮現的只是……還是不提也罷!

反觀滙控在港的一大對手渣打(Standard Chartered),在企業形象上確實贏上滙豐幾條街,如將舉辦的渣打馬拉松,便好像已經成為香港人每年都會關注的盛事一樣(禤中怡公司內也有同事自動捐錢兼參加賽事),不能否認,活動所帶出的一股潮流,已經漸漸被市場接受,渣打這家老牌銀行也自自然然年輕起來。

另外,禤中怡去年底也有趁熱鬧到維園行了一行渣打書節,雖然規模不是太大,但文化味道濃厚,渣打把品牌結連上知識文化活動,予人好感是正常反應,這種soft selling,自然較為容易使知識型主導的市場接受。渣打希望透過這些活動來提高公眾形象,手法不俗。

不過,如今滙控這頭睡獅甦醒,要改其實不難,一場形象重整工程自是難免。

另外,滙控昨日一口氣請了120位IT部門員工臨年尾食肥美無情雞。銀行IT部除保留緊急救機同網絡設備的維修人員,以及少數負責高增值程式開發的高人外,其餘人等陸續被請食無情雞實屬正常。

除了HSBC,昨日中環亦有傳聞同系的恒生(011)將會展開請食肥雞餐行動。但一日未有正式公布,都只是傳聞。

禤中怡自然也不想傳聞成為事實,祝各位中環同業好運。

(1月16日刊於《am730》)

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