Finance

See the top bankers raising money, cutting deals, and raking in millions in the booming cannabis industry

Cowen & Co. — $53.3 million

Cowen

From left: Townsend Ziebold, Gavin O’Reilly, Michael Cella.
Cowen & Co.

Location: New York City

Bankers: Gavin O’Reilly, the managing director of consumer investment banking and head of cannabis practice; Townsend Ziebold, a managing director; Michael Cella, a managing director

Representative deals: Tilray’s merger with Aphria, Cronos Group’s investment into PharmaCann, Greenlane Holdings’ merger with KushCo, advised Clever Leaves on its merger with Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition Corp., among others

Cowen is one of the few US banks that turned its attention to cannabis relatively early on. So far, taking that risk has been rewarded. The company’s bankers have pulled in over $53 million in fees since 2017, Dealogic found.

A spokesperson for Cowen said the bank has earned about $100 million in fees on cannabis deals since 2017. The spokesperson declined to provide a breakdown of the fees by deal.

On the equity-research side, Cowen’s cannabis analyst Vivien Azer is widely cited in the media and considered a leader in the field, covering major US and Canadian cannabis stocks.

“The global industry is still early in its life cycle with tremendous growth ahead. The industry continues to benefit from a powerful combination of regulatory progress and consumer and patient adoption. Cowen’s had the unique benefit of working in the dynamic industry for five years, which has allowed us to identify trends ahead of more recent participants,” O’Reilly said in an emailed statement.

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