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Daniel Popescu

Forty Under 40 winner 2014: President and CEO, Harbourfront Wealth Management

When Daniel Popescu moved to Vancouver in 2001, he knew he wanted to be part of an investment advisory business but didn’t know how to begin. Not knowing anyone in the city, Popescu stood on the street downtown and began talking to business people on their lunch breaks about tax and investments with a little survey he would give out. By 2011 he was one of the top national advisers at Wellington West Capital, and by 2013 he had started his own investment firm, Harbourfront Wealth Management.

“Every business nowadays is competitive, every business is difficult, yet people constantly thrive, so it’s just a matter of being unique in your own particular industry,” Popescu said. “It’s every little detail. I don’t really do anything different, but I do everything differently.”

Popescu started working as a bank teller at age 23 in Toronto, where he started to learn the ropes of the industry and began moving up. 

He moved to Vancouver, and after a year of meeting people via surveys on the street, he started building his own investment practice, until in 2008 he joined Wellington, where he cut one of the biggest deals of his career.

“In 2011 we sold that firm to a major bank, and that was a pretty good transaction,” Popescu said. “We got $333 million for it, and I was a partner in it. I got a reasonable chunk of it and all along the way I continued to build my client practice.”

That deal led to Popescu founding Harbourfront in 2013.

“We do have a goal of building a national firm with billions of dollars under management. We have a 10-year goal of reaching $5 billion in assets under management. I’ve already opened branches in multiple provinces,” he said.

Popescu said he doesn’t pat himself on the back and tries to give back as much as he can.

“I do attribute part of the success to the way I’m wired. My personality might have to do with genetics or whatever. I’m probably more fortunate than a lot of people that I’ve been given this talent to do a lot with my brain and my career, and it’s just nice to give back when you’ve got the means and the infrastructure.”