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Leading Cannabis Communications Agency Snags Former Aurora Cannabis IR Director – Forbes


The cannabis industry has considerably evolved since the legalization movement began nearly a decade ago, and a rising number of businesses spanning all sectors are enlisting more professional services that will allow them to stand out not only in the consumer market but also in capital markets. These market demands are not lost on MATTIO Communications, one of the fastest-growing cannabis and lifestyle agencies that represent over 40 of the industry’s leading multi-state operators (MSOs), consumer brands, science companies and tech platforms.

 Earlier this year in April, the New York City-based agency tapped Rob Kelly, the former director of investor relations at Aurora Cannabis to lead its internal IR team. This strategic hiring decision signals both the maturity of the legal cannabis industry and the increasingly cutthroat competition for capital amongst companies that are aiming to expand their market share in 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 are eager to showcase their attractive balance sheets and market dominance to new investors. 

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 Rosie Mattio, Founder and CEO of MATTIO Communications, is confident that Mr. Kelly’s highly technical expertise in both cannabis and financial services will provide her clients with the resources and guidance they need to maintain their competitive edge.  “Cannabis is an entirely different beast compared to other fields because it’s an emerging industry that is still not federally legal. This means that a legal brand or company can have all the cachet in the world, but may still struggle to court institutional investors because of the legal risk. We’ve had a long track record of public relations achievements for our clients, but PR can only go so far in a field where capital is integral to growth. Rob has comprehensive experience in both the investor relations and cannabis operator space, which will be a highly coveted skillset as the legal industry becomes more established and accepted by mainstream audiences,” explained Mattio. 

 Mr. Kelly joined Aurora in 2018 during the stagnant pre-legalization phase, arguably one of the most challenging periods in the Canadian market. In a span of two years, he transformed the company’s IR program into a division that uniquely addressed specific retail and institutional investor interests and launched educational initiatives, including large-scale tours of commercial facilities that bolstered transparency and appealed to a wide range of prospective 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 work with MATTIO IR Associate Alyssa Marchassalla to scale the existing program and offer more personalized, high-touch and high-quality services to the agency’s portfolio of clients.

 “In the cannabis space, each company has highly specific and nuanced growth goals, and we are committed to providing bespoke and integrated IR services as our clients navigate these competitive capital markets. MATTIO has grown to nearly 50 clients and signed several MSOs in the past year, and the IR team is continuously dedicated to providing them with strategic advisory services and helping them develop their own IR programs. The agency recently signed a handful of psychedelics clients, and my team is excited to connect yet another groundbreaking industry to eager investors,” said Kelly.

Written by homegrownreview

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