In regards to global sectors covered by Cannacord, what role does mining and metals play in your overall portfolio?

Mining and metals play a very important role in our global footprint; Cannacord, accordingly, is a publicly traded Canadian company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company has offices worldwide in Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the Bahamas, just to mention a few, which cater to emerging markets in the South and Latin American markets.

Mining and metals play a very important and strategic role mainly in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as emerging markets. Cannacord has a wonderful experience and capable group of professionals in each of those jurisdictions who cater to the mining and metals market globally.

In regards to statistics, for instance, in the dates from September 1 2019 up to October 31 2022 which is very recent we raised USD $9.3 billion in the mining industry; that sets the company ahead of all its competitors which include Macquarie, Beamo, RBC City, Goldman, JPMorgan, Scotia, Credit Suisse, just to mention a few; this only includes transactions led or co-led by Cannacord, instead of percentages gained by other side transactions. However, Cannacord doesn’t only do small financing; the company manages everything from small cap to small-mid cap, to mid cap, to large-mid cap and some large cap.

In respect to the number of finances Cannacord has conducted, again the company ranks number one. Cannacord conducted 432 financings over that same period, which put the company ahead of the aforementioned competitors.

As an independent investment bank, what emerging trends have you identified in the dynamic Argentina lithium market?

In my previous years in Argentina I was the lead banker for Lithium Americas, currently focused on advancing the Cauchari-Olaroz and Pastos Grandes projects in Argentina. I was also involved with Neil Lithium and Oracle Cobra, some of the early names in the Argentine lithium market.

This being said, there are trends that still haven’t changed; for example, Argentina continues to be the second largest lithium deposit worldwide. Nevertheless, some of the emerging trends include a much more educated market on how lithium works, how lithium should be mined, the mineral’s multiple uses (EVs, batteries, etc.), as well as where new deposits are located.

Mostly, I would say, trends are focused around where lithium fits in the 21st century, including making it a green sector. Even companies like BYD are supplying e-buses in Mendoza, and companies like YPF are entering the market through multiple companies such as Y-TEC and YPF Lithium; this was previously unheard of as the main market players were all international.

What has been the evolution of your investor relations services in Argentina? Specifically focused on publicity traded mining companies?

Canaccord doesn’t do investor relations per se. However the company assists publicly traded lithium companies to get their stories out, and certainly by buying and selling their stocks. The company is also being actively involved in the market making of their stocks, and more importantly on providing research services so that we can properly educate the buying side, both, institutionally and from a retail perspective. We have excellent people based in Argentina and Canada who assist companies in these countries but also in some other parts of the world, including Brazil, the United States, etc.

So basically the role that we play is we help educate the market and we make people aware of where we see opportunities. So when we put out a research report, for instance, we’ll have a trading price and a target price, and we’ll give context as to where it is in relation to other deposits, the current political regime, and other relevant points.

We do however work closely with publicly traded company’s internal investor relations departments.

From your side, do you expect any new transactions in Argentina’s mining and metal sector in the short to medium term? If so, could you please share some information?

There are multiple transactions coming up, but unfortunately I’m not in the liberty to share information at this time.

What is the extent of Cannacord’s advisory program for women entrepreneurs in Argentina?

This is such a great question and I’m very happy to answer it as it is important for the company globally, as well as for me personally as I am the father of 5 women and want to see them flourish and succeed in life. Basically, there are 3 initiatives that we’ve flagshipped; the first is one-on-one mentorships with successful female entrepreneurs, where they share their experience. The second one is to resource strategic advice (advancing in business, strategic alternatives, IPOs, M&A transactions, etc.) to participating women through our highly accomplished network of sectoral professionals and Cannacord experts. The third is providing networking opportunities amongst women to put them in contact with different industries and practices such as engineering, law, accounting, etc.

What are Canaccord’s main objectives in the Argentine lithium industry in the short to medium term?

We want to continue to play an important role as investment bankers, advising companies on strategic alternatives. Furthermore, we would like to continue forging strong relationships throughout the country in order to be able to offer more of our services to the market; this is why we are more than happy to participate and sponsor key events such as the Argentina Lithium Summit 2022, and educate participants on the ongoing process of the lithium industry and where we expect it to go in the years to come. Argentines are amazing in many ways, the market is maturing rapidly, so I am very happy to be here.

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen