Blockchain fintech firm tZERO names new head of IR

Jul 22, 2019
Michael Mougias talks key objectives, interest in blockchain and building IR from the ground up

Blockchain tech firm tZERO, which focuses on bringing blockchain technology to the capital markets, has named IMAX Corporation’s former head of IR as its own new head of investor relations.

Michael Mougias ‘brings a decade of experience across investor relations, capital markets and financial analysis,’ according to a company statement announcing his appointment. 

The former head of IR at IMAX – who ran investor relations for the firm’s NYSE and Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) listed entities – tells IR Magazine that he had long had an interest in blockchain technology before joining tZERO, which was set up in 2014 with a goal the company describes as ‘using blockchain technology to revolutionize Wall Street so that financial processes could become less beholden to traditional institutional market structures, and to bolster and enhance market integrity’.

Going into the role, which he took up on July 15, Mougias says his key objective is to ‘build awareness among the Wall Street community of the platform that tZERO is building and why this technology has the ability to revolutionize capital markets.

‘More and more companies – from Facebook to JPMorgan – are beginning to leverage blockchain technology, which is beginning to attract more interest from sell-side analysts and investors. Introducing tZERO to these analysts and investors will be a key priority.’ 

Investor education will be crucial to the role – at least to begin with, Mougias adds. ‘Blockchain technology is still a relatively nascent industry to most on Wall Street,’ he explains. ‘I anticipate a large portion of my role, at least initially, to be focused on educating the Street on the technology’s value proposition and, more importantly, how tZERO is leveraging this technology to create a unique end-to-end capital markets platform.’

Mougias spent the most recent years of his IR career at entertainment giant IMAX where, prior to being named head of IR at IMAX Corporation, he ran the IMAX China IR team. ‘In fact, I was based in Shanghai for more than a year while I worked on the team that took that business public [the firm’s Chinese subsidiary is listed on the SEHK]. Upon taking that business public, I ran IR for the company where I built the IR strategy from the ground up – bringing on new sell-side coverage and investors.’

He adds, however, that blockchain had been of interest for some time. ‘I have been closely following the blockchain industry for a while and was familiar with its many applications coming into my role at tZERO,’ he says.

Prior to his time at IMAX, the economics and finance graduate of Sacred Heart University was a senior analyst at capital markets advisory firm Ipreo.

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