The story so far

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always admired founders. People who have brilliant, crazy, creative ideas and the courage to put them into action. And by doing so, they’re simultaneously creating jobs, wealth for others and meaningful changes to the way we live or work.

‍Early in my career I took a well-trodden path to what I thought would be a ‘great’ career. I was one of those people at Morgan Stanley in NYC, taking a black car home at 1:30am only to get back into the office the next morning and do it all over again. It was a constant grind of late nights alongside the rest of my cohort of high-achieving university graduates, with many of those hours spent building PowerPoint presentations and filling in spreadsheets. While this role provided the thrill of the ‘hunt’ when it comes to working to be part of the next headline-making deal and the opportunity to work alongside many amazing people, I decided that I wanted to engage more deeply with a company than the span of a transaction could offer.

‍What really excited me was the idea of building something. I made a shift into an M&A role with a big corporate and although I was in a role that was focused on helping to make one company better over time, eventually I also began to realize that the work I was doing - albeit important - was really just smoothing rough edges around a giant corporation that had been around for more than a century, and would probably continue to be around for centuries to come, regardless of what I had to do with it.

I wanted to do something that both offered the opportunity to be part of building something as well as the feeling that my work could have real impact on a growth path. The led me into a role in venture capital, where I was able to witness the sheer determination and drive of startup founders, working minute-by-minute to drive their businesses forward. I was hooked.

During my first stint in venture capital, I had the opportunity to work alongside many amazing founders as they created incredible businesses. While these experiences, and my experience pre-venture capital allowed me to offer advice and help to the founders I worked with, I felt that I was missing the first-hand, in-the-trenches perspective of being in an operating role at a startup. So I took the opportunity to join an early-stage SaaS company for a period of time and enjoyed it immensely, scaling a steep learning curve. Ultimately, I returned to venture capital, drawn back by the same things that drew me in the first time, the opportunity to work with courageous founders, to feel part of building something special, and just enough thrill of the ‘hunt’ when it comes to transactions.

I have landed in a place today that marries my passion for building with my love of venture. A founder gets to see one story (their own) unfold in great detail. An investing Partner gets to see multiple stories unfold as they stay close to their portfolio. As an Operating Partner I get to see close to 100 stories unfolding over time. Although I don’t get into the operational complexity of every company in the OMERS Ventures portfolio, I can spot patterns, share insight and help the founders I work most closely with. I also love the work I do to help shape the future of our firm and play a hands-on ‘building’ role here at OMERS Ventures.

What should founders know about you?

I am in their corner. I know being a founder is incredibly challenging, and at times overwhelming, exhausting and lonely. I’m here to be a supportive partner and help with synthesizing information in a different way than they may be thinking. I am a student of business models and value creation - and when I am pushing founders it is because I am big picture focused. I won’t tell them what to do, but I will try to make sure if they are getting pulled down into a myopic view that they take time to put their head up and make sure they are still pointing broadly in the right direction.

Because of my operational role at OV now, I have access and insights that help me connect our founders more meaningfully than I was able to do before, with others facing similar challenges.

When you look back on your career what would you like to be known for?

I’d like to be known for playing a part in the story that has seen OV grow from one of Canada’s early tech VC firms to an established global tier 1 venture firm that’s backing some of the world’s most successful businesses. We know this is an incredibly hard business to excel in, but with the team and ingenuity we have, I have no doubt it is possible.

Portfolio companies