When it comes to raising money, 37-year-old Ali Pejman is a bit of a whiz kid. During the past 10 years he and his team at the company in Vancouver now called Canaccord Genuity have raised more than $2-billion in new financing for a host of companies, from start-ups to giants in the mining industry.
But that only tells part of the tale. There are also the millions he has raised for his three favourite charities: Big Brothers, the BC Children's Hospital and his alma mater, the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
"On the business side, in a good year the team will do maybe 50 deals, half of which will be over $20-million," says Mr. Pejman, Canaccord's head of public ventures financing and managing director of mining. "As for the charities, these are things I believe in. I have skills raising money and I really want to give back to the community. For me, this is probably the best way to do it."
The son of Iranian immigrants who fled their home country after the 1979 revolution, Mr. Pejman readily admits that making his family proud, especially his mother, has been one of his driving forces.
"I owe a lot to my family. Making them proud of me is very, very important."
As is creating a legacy of achievement for his wife Kirsten and two small daughters, Isabella, 4, and Zara 2.
Mr. Pejman came to Canaccord from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he was manager of corporate taxation. It was the daily excitement of raising capital and the satisfaction gained from helping companies big and small grow that drew him, he says.
"This is a job where no two days are the same," he says.
Somehow Mr. Pejman also manages to fit into an already hectic schedule time spent helping guide the future of his industry.
Mr. Pejman sits on the BC Securities Commission, the securities policy advisory committee of the BCSC and the TSX Venture Exchange's local advisory committee. He also squeezes in hours spent at the Sauder School mentoring MBA students.
"As I said, success in business is important but it is equally important in this family to give back to the community," he says.