The Investor Relations Society of South Africa is excited to bring you another profile! This experienced IRO and comms specialist, Ilja Graulich, is the Head of Investor Relations and Communications at Tharisa. In our discussion with him, he explains how IR makes a long-term difference for stakeholders.

Ilja Graulich

Head of Investor Relations and Communications

Tharisa PLC

Q: What is your title?

A: Head of Investor Relations and Communications, Tharisa PLC (is incorporated in Cyprus with a primary listing on the JSE and a secondary standard listing its depositary interests on the LSE).


Q: When did you join the company?

A: I joined the company as a consultant in October 2018 and joined full-time in October 2019.


Q: When did you become IR Professional?

A: My first IR job was in January 2003, when I joined what was then known as Durban Roodepoort Deep.


Q: Who you report to within the organization, and how big is the IR team?

A: I report directly to the CEO. This is because I am the only member of the team. However, we use specialist external skills for social media.


Q: What is your educational background?

A: I studied journalism and economics at Rhodes University in Makhanda and went to the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) for a postgraduate degree to further my studies.


Q: What do you see as the most challenging part of your role?

A: I find that one of the most challenging parts of my role within the company is not being so emotionally involved with share price movements.


Q: What you find the most rewarding part of your role?

A: The most rewarding part is that the role can make a difference to the company's cost of capital. If I can reduce this cost, it allows Tharisa to invest in projects and make long-term differences to stakeholders. This really makes getting up in the morning worthwhile. Also, the role does mean I get exposure to all parts of the company. That is something I have always enjoyed as it requires a complete understanding of the businesses and how the parts function individually and collectively.


Q: Fun facts about you outside of IR?

A: It use to be that running and gym outweighs my love for wine and food, but the balance is shifting.