Alexa Blain

Co-founder and chief operating officer, Deetken Asset Management Inc., Age 37 

As co-founder and chief operating officer of Vancouver-based asset management firm Deetken Asset Management Inc. (DAMI), Alexa Blain’s expertise lies in impact investing – the funding of companies or organizations that have a beneficial social or environmental effect – as well as in emerging and frontier markets.

A chartered financial analyst and a chartered business valuator, the asset management professional’s portfolio management experience includes company analysis and valuation and risk management, as well as her background as an investor.

Passionate about creating “great investment products,” Blain believes people should feel confident and empowered when investing.

“We should feel that our money matters, that we understand where it is going and how it will be used,” she said.

Blain, who lives in Vancouver with her husband and young daughter, joined boutique management consulting firm the Deetken Group in 2012 with the daunting task of building a new asset management division from the ground up, while still aligning with the group’s investing philosophy of fostering beneficial social and environmental change while generating attractive financial returns.

Over the next five years, Blain led the firm towards a series of critical milestones including registration with cross-Canada securities commissions, distribution of impact-oriented investment products and the launch of the Deetken Impact Fund.

Blain, DAMI’s second-largest shareholder, is also a director and a member of the company’s investment committee.

She gained hands-on operations experience in the financial services sector at DAMI, and through her leadership of a startup insurance company in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mentored by her investment banker and CEO father, Larry Blain, she previously held positions as associate portfolio manager for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, insurance and investor relations manager for investment banking group African Alliance and investment banking associate at Macquarie North America.

Birthplace: Victoria

Where you live now: Vancouver

Highest level of education: Master of financial economics, University of Toronto

Currently reading: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

Currently listening to: Reply All, Gimlet Media podcast

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A sleuth like Encyclopedia Brown

Profession you would most like to try: I’d quite like Anthony Bourdain’s job

Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving Bay Street to work in frontier markets. It felt reckless, but right

Advice you would give the younger you: Mentorship is crucial, but ultimately the way you do business and your leadership style will look like no one else’s. Who you work with is as important as what you do. Choose to work with people who bring passion, tenacity and integrity to your business and the rest will work itself out

What’s left to do: We spent a few years in startup mode; it’s exciting now to be in a position to rapidly scale up. I want to keep contributing to our growing business, creating new products that allow people to feel confident and excited about how they are investing their savings

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40 

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