Higgins Scholarship

Scott Higgins was a nationally recognized leader in the investor relations profession and served as the 1998-1999 president of the Boston Chapter of NIRI. He understood and embraced the high standards demanded by our profession and with his integrity, commitment, diligence and keen intellect. Scott was a powerful example to all of us. With his engaging smile, wit and hearty laugh, Scott was also our friend and mentor. In December 1999, Scott passed away after battling cancer.

Having come to IR after a successful career as a buy-side and sell-side analyst, Scott understood the need for continuing education specific to the profession. As a tribute to Scott and to further his ideals, the board of directors of the Boston Chapter of NIRI created the R. Scott Higgins Memorial Scholarship for Continuing Education in Investor Relations. The first scholarship was awarded in June 2001.

What are the terms of the scholarship?

Each year, the Chapter will offer six of its members scholarships consisting of a Body of Knowledge IRC Reference Book and full payment for an Investor Relations Charter (IRC™) exam.

Why Become Certified?

Investor relations professionals have a high degree of responsibility and can make a significant impact within their organizations. This demands competence across key disciplines including finance, strategy, and communications. Earning the IRC demonstrates necessary knowledge and skills in the IR Competency Framework, the ten subject areas essential to performing the investor relations function, namely:

  • IR Strategy Formulation
  • IR Planning, Implementation and Measurement
  • Messaging Development
  • Marketing and Outreach
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Business Insight
  • Strategic Counsel and Collaboration
  • Capital Markets and Capital Structure
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Governance

The 180-page Body of Knowledge book highlights the 10 essential practice areas that an IR professional is expected to be familiar with in order to pass NIRI’s certification examination. The book, which was written by more than 35 IR subject matter experts, provides information on key IR tasks and the variables that may impact how those tasks are performed. This book is a helpful resource for both certification applicants and IR professionals generally.

Who may apply for the scholarship?

Any NIRI Boston member can apply for the scholarship, although as the name implies, the intent is to award the scholarship to the six applicants who best demonstrate the desire and need to continue his or her study of investor relations. One of the strengths of investor relations and the source of one of its greatest challenges is the fact that people come into this profession with such diverse backgrounds. IR demands a working knowledge of communications, finance, the capital markets and even certain areas of the law.

The goal of this scholarship is to assist the recipients in “rounding out” his or her IR skill set. The successful applicant will share with the Scholarship Committee (in no more than two type-written pages – please!) information regarding:

  • career goals (short-term or long-term)
  • commitment to continuing education (other courses/seminars)
  • involvement in NIRI
  • expected benefit from the IRC
  • financial need (including whether or not you also have access to company financial support)
  • background in IR or related fields

The reality is that continuing education represents a major ongoing commitment of all investor relations professionals. Each one of us needs to keep abreast of the latest best practices, regulations and innovations in communications technology.

How do I apply?

Submissions for the March 2018 exam are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. Questions and submissions can be addressed to info@niriboston.org.

R. Scott Higgins Scholarship Committee

Elizabeth Hunter Lavallee, Investor Relations Counsel
Sam Levenson, Arbor Advisory Group
Jane McCahon, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.
Catie Tilton, UBS
Karen Warren
Maureen Wolff, Sharon Merrill

Past Recipients

2017: Carlo Tanzi, PhD, IRC
2016: Jamie Bernard, IRC
2013: Carlynn Finn & Aurora Krause
2007: Beth Kurth, Alexia Taxiarchos & Michelle Vidoli
2006: Dennis Walsh
2005: Jennifer Heizer & Michelle Faulkner
2004: Erin Reilly & Jerry Sisitsky
2003: Leela Damm & Aurora Krause
2002: Pauline O’Keefe
2001: Andrew Kramer