The cannabis industry is seen by professionals as one of the most exciting fields to participate in, with many companies attracting some of the brightest industry experts to join them. Agraflora Organics International (CSE:AGRA) (OTC:PUFXF), National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTC:NACNF), CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTC:EDXC), FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTC:FSDDF) and Chemistree Technology Inc(OTC:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) have all been working hard to sign on cannabis experts in an effort to gain a competitive advantage over their competition.
As the relatively young cannabis industry continues to mature, one of the best predictors of whether a company will survive in the years to come is the strength of its management team. With becoming increasingly fierce, companies led by management teams with plenty of experience – drawn from both within and outside the cannabis industry – have historically had the best likelihood of success. While every company strives to enlist top cannabis industry veterans – the truth of the matter is, these individuals are a rare find. The addition of experts to any cannabis company not only is a big deal in terms of publicity, but also a strong indicator of future success.
The Importance of Experienced Management Teams
The sheer growth potential of the cannabis industry has attracted some of the best executive talents across the world. According to Grand View Research, marijuana is predicted to become a $146.4 billion market globally by 2025, representing a 34.6 percent increase every year. With such growth opportunities available, it’s not surprising why many executives from Fortune 500 companies chose to leave their safe and conventional career paths to take a risk in the cannabis sector.
Recent Expert Partnerships
Cannabis companies are bringing in experts from diverse backgrounds. Depending on the type of cannabis company, the list of experts includes professionals ranging from cannabis market veterans to retail and healthcare professionals, and even law enforcement. The board of Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCMKTS:PUFXF) boasts twolongtime Toronto Police officers on their management team. While, FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCMKTS:FSDDF) is headed by physician turned entrepreneur, Dr. Dr Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman & Interim CEO.
As such, it’s not surprising that cannabis companies go out of their way to partner with high profile figures. Last month, Aurora Cannabis Inc announced it was partnering with billionaire Nelson Peltz. The relationship would help the cannabis giant better position itself for potential retail partnerships.
A much smaller company, Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM), recently made news as well when it signed on legendary cannabis industry veteran Nicholas J. Zitelli – known within the industry by his pen name “Nico Escondido”. As one of the most knowledgeable experts in the cannabis space, Nico Escondido has written hundreds of articles about the cannabis industry and best practices. He also founded the Cannabis Genetics Institute (CGI) in Amsterdam, Holland, helping create custom cannabis strains to treat various medical conditions. Besides all of this, Nico Escondido is best known for being a principal at the High Times brand.
With a monthly magazine in publication since 1974, High Times is one of the best-known groups promoting and developing the cannabis culture. Publishing numerous books and documentaries, High Times also hosts the most prestigious marijuana-related competition in the world. The “Cannabis Cup” brings together industry experts, cannabis enthusiasts, and marijuana companies together across the world and holds contests in various product categories.
“I am very excited to join the Chemistree team” said Nico Zitelli in a press release. “Having known and worked with many of the team members in the past, I am confident we will be able build significant value in the Company and help define the future of the cannabis industry.”
For a company like Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), getting Zitelli on board is a big deal. As an early investor in the international cannabis sector that’s expanding their vertically integrated operations, the addition of Nico Zitelli to Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) will give the company the industry clout it needs to stand out in the market.
“As Chemistree continues its focus on building one of the world’s leading cannabis companies, it is critical to have an experienced board to put us in the best possible position to achieve success. These are exciting times for Chemistree and Nico represents another outstanding addition to our board of directors on our path of rapid growth,” added Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) President Karl Kottmeier. “The High Times Cannabis Cup is the most prestigious and extensive cannabis-related competition in the world and having his broad knowledge/specialized expertise, impressive network and reputation will be invaluable assets to the Company’s strategic direction.”
It’s common for massive, multi-billion-dollar cannabis companies to boast impressive hires within the industry. Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), on the other hand, is a company with less than $20 million in market capitalization. The fact that this small cannabis company has signed on one of the top industry experts in cannabis is a major accomplishment for the firm. In comparison, few other companies of a similar size can expect such a major name to come on board – something that will propel Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) to a class well above its peers.
Further Cannabis Developments
Back in late March, Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCPK:PUFXF) announced they had fully invested a $40 million equity participation agreement with Delta Organic Cannabis Corp. The agreement would see Agra own a 50 percent stake in the second largest cannabis greenhouse in Canada.
In a recent press release, National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTCPK:NACNF) announced their financial figures for their operations since federal legalization. The company achieved over $20 million in retail sales since October 17, 2018. National Access Cannabis has 23 stores across Alberta and Manitoba and is the largest private cannabis retailer in the country. The company is headed by a team with years of experience in retail and healthcare.
Todd A. Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTCPK:EDXC), formerly known as Endexx Corporation, brings to the team years of experience in investment banking and entrepreneurship. The company has recently employed a private sales group to help expand the company’s product reach both in Canada as well as internationally. Initially launching as a 25-person sales team, CBD Unlimited is expected to grow this salesforce to up to 500 in the next two years.
Another cannabis company that made a major management team announcement was FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCQB:FSDDF). In a recent press release, the company announced that Dr. Charles Pollack would be joining FSD as the Chairman of their Scientific Board. He brings a long history of clinical research in the areas of pain treatment, thrombosis, and reversing anticoagulation.
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JUSTIN ROSE NAMED WINNER OF THE NICKLAUS-JACKLIN AWARD PRESENTED BY AON AT 44TH RYDER CUP
Prestigious Award celebrates player who embodies the true spirit of the Ryder Cup, proving that decisions made here make history
ROME, Oct. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Justin Rose of Team Europe was announced as the recipient of the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon following the conclusion of the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome, Italy.
Throughout the competition, Rose displayed exemplary character and poise in the face of one of sports’ most compelling atmospheres, all while maintaining sound decision making and representing the true spirit of the event. He has been a stalwart in the Team Europe dressing room, sharing his experience with a young team and leading by example by contributing key momentum building points when it mattered. On day one, Rose holed the decisive putt on the 18th to secure a tie, and his immediate reaction was to turn and acknowledge his teammates who stood beside the green – showcasing his belief that the team should always come first.
Rose was paired with Ryder Cup rookie Robert MacIntyre on day one and used his vast Ryder Cup experience to help guide the young Scotsman during his first Ryder Cup match, in what proved to be a tough battle against Max Homa and Wyndham Clark. On day two, Rose continued his partnership with MacIntyre and they secured a decisive 3&2 victory against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, with Rose’s red-hot putter proving crucial. MacIntyre would go on to have an exceptional debut, collecting 2 ½ points.
Just as the efforts of Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin did in 1969, Rose exemplified the true values of this great game, cementing his place in Ryder Cup history at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. Rose has become the third player to receive this honor, following Dustin Johnson from the U.S. Team and Sergio Garcia from the European Team, who won the Award at Whistling Straits two years ago.
Inspired by the historic 1969 Concession when Jack Nicklaus conceded a 2-foot putt to Tony Jacklin for a halved match resulting in the first tie in Ryder Cup history, the Award honors two icons in the game and is given to the player who best embodies the true spirit of the Ryder Cup – the individual who sees the bigger picture and makes better decisions on and off the course.
Speaking about winning the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon, Rose said: “Winning this Award is a huge compliment. This event really pushes you to the limit because it has so much passion. You have to find that line and get close to it, but always stay on the right side and be respectful towards your opponent. The Americans played their heart out today and deserve a lot of respect. Novak Djokovic gave the team some advice earlier this week and really emphasized how you need to embrace a pressurized situation and use it as inspiration. The putt on the 18th on day one was a good example of where I tried to embrace the moment – I didn’t want to blemish such a great start by the team, and my immediate reaction was to embrace my teammates who had all performed so well as a group.
“The Ryder Cup is all about teamwork and I managed to put together a strong partnership with Bob. I made some putts at the right time on the first two days that made me look heroic, but he chipped away constantly and made a big contribution just when we needed to keep the momentum going. A big thank you to Aon – winning this Award will make today’s victory even sweeter for me.”
At this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, Team Europe took victory by 16 ½ -11 ½, after three days filled with iconic pairings, intense rivalry and selfless performances. Team Europe raced to a dominant 6 ½ to 1 ½ lead after day one and preserved their five-point advantage to lead 10 ½ to 5 ½ heading into the final day of singles. A close and hard-fought final day went down to the final few holes, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood delivering the clinching moment in style on the short par-4 16th hole.
“As the 44th Ryder Cup comes to an end, we are reminded that golf is a game shaped by respect, integrity and decision making under pressure,” said Andy Weitz, Chief Marketing Officer of Aon. “This event represents the best of golf, and this Award represents the best of the Ryder Cup. As its presenting partner, we are proud to honor Justin as the recipient of this year’s Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon. His display of character and skill throughout an intense match embodied the spirit of this event, and why we love this game.”
Learn more about the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon here.
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Our colleagues provide our clients in over 120 countries and sovereignties with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business.
About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of more than 29,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals who love the game, are expert coaches, operators and business leaders, and work daily to drive interest and participation in the sport. The PGA of America owns and operates numerous championships and events, including major championships for men, women, seniors and the Ryder Cup, one of the world’s foremost sporting events. For more information, visit PGA.com and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About Ryder Cup Europe
Ryder Cup Europe – which comprises representatives of The European Tour group (60%), of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland (20%) and the Confederation of Professional Golf through the vehicle of The Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT) (20%) – owns the rights of The Ryder Cup when the competition is held in Europe. The European Tour group is the Managing Partner and has prime responsibility for all matters concerning The European Team; the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland is the Founding Partner; and the Confederation of Professional Golf is responsible for the management of the Trust, which is the Development Partner. Our Official Worldwide Partners for the 2023 Ryder Cup are Aon, BMW, Capgemini, Citi, DP World, Hilton, and Rolex. For more information about The Ryder Cup visit rydercup.com.
Safra New York Corporation Completes The Acquisition Of Delta North Bankcorp.
NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Safra New York Corporation, the holding company of Safra National Bank of New York (“The Bank”), is pleased to announce the successful completion of its acquisition of Delta North Bankcorp, including its subsidiary Delta National Bank and Trust Company.
This strategic acquisition is a significant milestone for Safra National Bank and underscores the Bank’s continuous expansion in the private banking and wealth management business. The acquisition strengthens the Bank’s market position among high-net-worth clients in the United States and Latin America, where the Bank has been providing premier private banking and financial services and has a long and successful track record.
Jacob J. Safra, Chairman of Safra National Bank of New York: “We are proud to have completed this acquisition, which represents an excellent strategic fit to our existing business in these markets. Clients will benefit from an organization that is fully dedicated to wealth management, providing the service, products and expertise that best meet their specific needs. We are confident that the Bank has all the attributes required to continue growing and prospering in a sustainable manner.
Simoni Morato, Chief Executive Officer of Safra National Bank of New York: “We very much look forward to working closely with Delta’s clients and employees and developing long term relationships. Together we will build on the strengths of our organization, not only in the United States, but also throughout Latin America.”
Safra National Bank of New York
Headquartered in New York, with branches in Aventura, Miami and Palm Beach, and offices throughout Latin America, Safra National Bank is a leading private bank with approximately US$ 30 billion in clients’ assets. Safra National Bank of New York is part of the J. Safra Group.
J. Safra Group
The J. Safra Group (the “Group”), with total assets under management of over USD $300 billion, consists of privately-owned banks under the Safra name and investment holdings in asset-based business sectors such as real estate and agribusiness. The Group’s banking interests in 160 locations globally, are: Safra National Bank of New York, headquartered in New York City, USA; J. Safra Sarasin, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland; and Banco Safra, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil; all independent from one another from a consolidated supervision standpoint.
The Group’s real estate holdings consist of more than 200 premier commercial, residential, retail and farmland properties worldwide, such as New York City’s 660 Madison Avenue office complex and London’s iconic Gherkin Building. Its investments in other sectors include, among others, agribusiness holdings in Brazil and Chiquita Brands International Inc. With deep relationships in markets worldwide, the Group is able to greatly enhance the value of businesses which are part of it. There are more than 34,000 employees associated with the J. Safra Group.
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EMpact launches its venture studio in Central America, heralding a new approach to impact investing in frontier markets
Plans underway for subsequent launches in Africa and Central Asia
ANTIGUA, Guatemala , Oct. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today witnessed the launch of EMpact, a venture studio focused on nurturing talent and accelerating startups to serve critical value chains, focusing on frontier markets in Central America, West Africa, and Central Asia. The first studio is a collaboration between EMpact and Fundación Génesis Empresarial (Genesis), the largest development microfinance institution in Guatemala. The studio will promote entrepreneurship and capacity building across the Central America region through the “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub” of Genesis and Universidad Francisco Marroquín – (UFM) a leading academic institution in the country, which promotes free market principles and entrepreneurship.
“The issues facing humanity and our planet are interlinked, and a big part has to do with how we access, cultivate, and sustain natural resources, including agriculture and forestry”, said Sami Lahoud and Prateek Shrivastava, co-founders of EMpact. “Catalyzing innovations in agriculture value chains, through entrepreneurship, creates stability and opportunity in frontier markets while sustaining the global economy and restoring our planet through sustainable practices”, they added.
The studio addresses the most critical issue facing entrepreneurship in frontier markets, which is the upskilling of talent. Individuals are invited to apply to become “EMpact fellows” who will be coached in innovation and entrepreneurship. Then, the studio will help fellows design digitally enabled solutions that address the needs and pain-points of its corporate partners. And finally, incubated businesses will graduate into a startup accelerator that will help each team turn their solutions into investment-ready businesses through mentorship, access to essential shared services, and opening doors to additional corporate partners.
The EMpact model also allows for winning solutions, whether incubated by EMpact or operating independently, to be replicated by fellows in other markets or verticals. The first such portfolio company is Climatica, a solution that accelerates financial inclusion of small holder farmers through climate smart agriculture.
“Fighting poverty through empowerment and improving food security in the face of climate change are daunting and expensive undertakings”, said Lars Saquero Møller, Managing Director of Ingemann Data, that operates Climatica. He added “EMpact provides a framework to scale the outreach of innovative solutions, such as ours, to address these challenges. Their fresh approach and value proposition are needed to disrupt the traditional system.”
The design of the EMpact venture studio has been inspired by the pioneering work of CK Japheth, Founder of The Innovation Village in Uganda and a member of the EMpact Advisory Board, who said “We recognized that embracing models tailored to mature markets would not work for us, so we embarked on a journey of unbridled innovation, fueled by a relentless passion to make a difference. Every lesson we’ve gathered has led us to this vibrant collaboration with EMpact”.
The EMpact studio in Guatemala will ultimately serve the Latin American region. In parallel, the founders of EMpact are preparing for the launch of EMpact Africa from a studio in Côte d’Ivoire serving the Francophone West Africa region. At a later stage, the plan is to include additional frontier markets such as the ones in Central Asia, and to start interconnecting these markets, capitalizing on their organic similarities and complementarities.
Sami Lahoud, +1 914 393 5711, [email protected]
EMpact is a venture studio serving critical value chains in frontier markets by addressing chronic issues afflicting these markets and affecting our planet. EMpact drives change through the incubation of talent, then creating and incubating businesses that address the needs of key players in these value chains with focus on agriculture. The final step in this venture studio model is to extend pre-seed equity funding to the budding startups, handhold them through the initial phase of their growth journey, and then – over time – hand them over to later stage investors.
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