Leading cannabis communications agency grabs Aurora Cannabis’ former IR director

Rob Kelly

Marcus Oleniuk

The cannabis industry has developed significantly since the legalization movement began almost a decade ago, and an increasing number of companies from all sectors are offering more professional services that allow them to stand out not only in the consumer market but also in the capital markets. These market requirements are not lost MATTIO communication, one of the fastest growing cannabis and lifestyle agencies representing over 40 of the leading multi-state operators (MSOs), consumer brands, science companies and technology platforms in the industry.

In early April of this year, New York City-based agency won Rob Kelly, former Director of Investor Relations at Aurora Cannabis, to head their internal IR team. This strategic hiring decision signals both the maturity of the legal cannabis industry and the increasing cutthroat competition for capital between companies looking to expand their market share during this period of economic downturn. Cannabis startups that entered the industry five years ago are now fully in the growth phase of their business and eager to showcase their attractive balance sheets and market dominance to new investors.

Rosie Mattio

Rosie Mattio

Photo courtesy Mattio Communications

Rosie Mattio, Founder and CEO of MATTIO Communications, is confident that Mr. Kelly’s highly technical expertise in cannabis and financial services will provide their customers with the resources and guidance they need to maintain their competitive advantage. “Cannabis is a completely different animal from other areas as it is an emerging industry that is still not legal nationwide. This means that a legal brand or company can have all the stamp of approval in the world but may still struggle to bring institutional investors to justice due to the legal risk involved. We have a long track record in public relations for our clients, but PR can only go so far in an area where capital is an integral part of growth. Rob has extensive experience in both investor relations and cannabis operators. This will be a coveted skill as the legal industry becomes established and accepted by mainstream audiences, ”stated Mattio.

Mr. Kelly joined Aurora in 2018 during the stagnant pre-legalization period, arguably one of the toughest periods in the Canadian market. Within two years, he turned the company’s IR program into a division specifically dedicated to the specific interests of retail and institutional investors, and launched educational initiatives including large-scale tours of business facilities that added transparency and a wide range of potential Addressed investors.

Prior to entering the cannabis space, Mr. Kelly honed his skills in broader public markets by providing capital markets communications and IR services for LodeRock Advisors Inc., TMX Equicom and Goldman Sachs. Over the next year, Mr. Kelly will partner with MATTIO IR Associate Alyssa Marchassalla to scale the existing program and provide more personalized, touch-sensitive, and higher quality services to the agency’s client portfolio.

“In the cannabis space, every company has highly specific and differentiated growth goals. We strive to provide bespoke and integrated IR services as our clients navigate these highly competitive capital markets. MATTIO has grown to almost 50 customers and signed several MSOs last year. The IR team is constantly striving to provide them with strategic advisory services and to help them develop their own IR programs. The agency recently signed a handful of psychedelics clients, and my team is excited to join another breakthrough industry with avid investors, ”said Kelly.

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