Thanks to everyone for a wonderful 10 years
It was ten years ago today that I went “full-time” with Wellington Financial, and I wanted to thank everyone who has been part of the exciting journey to date. I am grateful.
The first few years of our business (August 2000 – December 2003) are what I fondly refer to as the “hobby” window, when our original $7 million Fund I served as an unintended test case for what was to follow. Things truly kicked off with the $20 million first close of Wellington Financial Fund II in December 2003, when Skylon’s Sue Coleman, Steve Diamond, Geoff Horton, Gord McMillan, John Varghese and Jim Whitaker decided to back our first “externally-funded” initiative. What was targeted to be a $40 million Fund II eventually grew to an $83 million vehicle. When two of our new LPs suggested that this larger capital pool warranted that I turn the hobby into a full-time job, I agreed and resigned as an Managing Director from Orion Securities effective December 1, 2004.
Our Limited Partner investors, as well as my colleagues, both present and past (full-time and on the advisory side), have made it all worthwhile. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know hundreds of entrepreneurs and VCs along the way, and their passion and commitment is always inspiring. If you ever want to be humbled as a CEO, just spend some time with another entrepreneur who’s really, really good at what they do! That we get to participate in your own business success is a luxury of our role in the ecosystem.
The support and guidance that our entire team, and myself in particular, have received from our Chairman and lead investor, Ken Rotman, each and every day, as well as countless hours of mentoring from Jeff Chisholm, our external independent Credit Committee member, are a large part of why we’ve continued to thrive through some difficult economic and financial windows — both for the North American economy as well as the Canadian innovation ecosystem in particular.
That our firm is now the most active Canadian institutional investor, year in and year out, in the North American innovation ecosystem is a tribute to the hard work of each and every individual who has had a role to play in our firm’s evolution along the way.
Not to rush anything, but I’m excited about what the next 10 years will bring. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll continue to be part of the journey.