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Treasury & Risk: IR Apps Catch On

BY MARIA KOROLOV

Companies send timely info via shareholders' mobile devices.

Companies interested in this approach can use apps from vendors such as KCSA Strategic Communications in New York. Its IR App offers companies a full content management system into which investor relations managers can upload investor presentations, corporate videos, marketing materials, and more. The next release, due out in May, will give companies the ability to send users alerts about announcements.

"An investor.. doesn't need to type in anything," Corbin says. "The IR App allows a company to own a piece of real estate on an investor's mobile device. It is a shareholder relationship-building tool."

And those relationships will soon be more than one-way. KCSA's next release will allow users to share content with others and to opt in to the company's investor database.

Slightly less than 50 companies have their own investment apps, Corbin says, including Nestle, SAP, Unilever and British Petroleum. KCSA has 10 more corporate customers that will be coming online in the next few weeks, he adds.

KCSA's main competitor is Toronto-based Q4 Web Systems. Both vendors charge companies a one-time setup fee-from $2,500 to $7,000â€"and a monthly subscription fee of several hundred dollars. They both also pull information automatically from corporate Websites and require little to no manual intervention by the company after the initial configuration.

Both vendors currently provide apps for the iPhone and iPad platform only, but Android alternatives are expected soon.

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