Lionsgate made the announcement Wednesday. Marsh has 25 years of experience covering the media and entertainment sector for investment banks Piper Jaffray, Prudential and Kidder Peabody.
He will be based at Lionsgate’s Santa Monica corporate headquarters and will report to chief financial officer Jimmy Barge. He will work alongside Peter Wilkes, Lionsgate’s senior VP of executive communications and investor relations, who will continue to focus on corporate media relations and executive communications.
Marsh will craft investor relations strategies, manage its profile at investor conferences, spearhead its investor marketing initiatives and direct its daily communications with shareholders and analysts.
Marsh was a managing director at Piper Jaffray for eight years, where he headed the equity research team covering media and entertainment stocks, including digital innovation and expansion into the China market. He previously served as a research analyst at SG Cowen, Prudential Securities, UBS Investment Bank and Kidder Peabody.
Marsh was also co-founder of Hanover Square Capital Management LLC, an equity fund focused on the consumer and media sectors.
“James is a superstar addition to our team who brings a deep understanding of our company and industry to his position, and he is highly respected by shareholders and analysts alike,” said Barge. “We believe that he will be an exceptionally effective and articulate spokesman for Lionsgate’s strategy, performance and unique value proposition as we continue to grow our business around the world.”
Marsh is joining Lionsgate five weeks after the studio disclosed that it was re-starting talks to acquire Starz a year after making an investment in the premium cable network. The studio is opening the “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” the third film in the Shailene Woodley’s franchise, on Friday.
Its shares have declined from the $30 range this year over disappointing earnings as the final “Hunger Games” movie fell short of projected box office performance. The stock has been trading in the $22 range recently.
“I’m thrilled to join the Lionsgate team who I’ve known for nearly 10 years,” said Marsh. “Lionsgate is distinguished by superb management, an entrepreneurial culture and a track record of innovation, and they are one of the top content companies in the world. They have a great history of disrupting the industry on many fronts, and I look forward to helping communicate the Lionsgate story to the Street and its numerous constituencies.”