Life Lessons: Nolan Watson

Use a down market to develop discipline
Nolan Watson, president, CEO and chairman, Sandstorm Gold

Nolan Watson co-founded metals streaming company Sandstorm Gold in 2008 after a stint as chief financial officer at Silver Wheaton. With commodity prices continuing to slide in 2013, it was a difficult year for the company, as it was for many mining-related businesses.

But while bad times may be painful, it is also forcing him to whip the company – and himself – into shape.

"I'm working harder at getting in shape than I've ever worked in the past, just because it's really tough to be sharp mentally if blood's not flowing to your brain properly," he said.

He has the same goal for his company.

"I would rather do no deals than the wrong deal, so we're going to work very hard to do the right transactions in a very disciplined manner."

That contrasts with the more forgiving years between 2009 and 2011, when it seemed mining companies could do no wrong.

"It was really easy to make money because the commodity prices kept going up and up," said Watson. "Rising tides lift all boats, and everyone thought they were a little bit smarter than they were."

Watson feels he's made some of his best deals during tough times, when there was no room for error. He's now in the process of tightening up the company in order to take the lean, mean lessons of a bear market into a bullish one.

"I call it the springboard year," he said."If we execute well in 2014, we should be positioned well to take advantage of an upturning market."

"We're developing a whole set of processes that will govern us through all cycles. Everything from more official due diligence processes to tighter and more refined investment criteria to restructuring the business from a human capital perspective just in terms of who's in charge of what."

comments powered by Disqus

More from BIV

Victoria sails closer to goal of being cruise ship home port

Read Article

300 flights axed as Beijing shuts airport runway for repairs

Read Article

BIV on Global BC March 23, 2017: Vancouver rent reasonable?; Hootsuite expands ...

Hayley Woodin discusses a report that argues rent is reasonable in Vancouver as the city is a financial centre. Plus: Hootsuite expands offices to L.A.

Read Article

BIV on Roundhouse March 23: Trump is a 'game-changer' for federal budget, ...

Read Article

School districts trump home size, urban convenience for many B.C. families with ...

Read Article

Subscribe to our mailing lists

* indicates required

Newsletters

* You can modify your newsletter subscriptions at the bottom of any newsletter you receive.
×