Few people in their 30s get a chance to spend a million dollars, let alone more than a quarter of a billion. But Erfan Kazemi, as CFO of Sandstorm Gold, has helped raise more than $250 million in financing since joining the company in the summer of 2011.
Like Sandstorm's CEO Nolan Watson, who was a 2007 recipient of BIV's Forty under 40 award, Kazemi has been involved in a number of significant deals in the mining sector. In the few years he has been with the company, he has been instrumental in closing more than 10 acquisitions and nearly doubling the company's cash flow so far. And this at a time when mining companies are in difficult financial straits, with investors losing interest in the sector.
His current success is only the latest in his career. Prior to joining Sandstorm, he rose through the ranks to become a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in just over five years, one of the fastest promotions to the position in PwC's recent history in Canada.
He has also dedicated time to volunteer in the community, serving for the past seven years as the youngest vice-chair and board member of the Vancouver Public Library, helping expand library hours and open new locations in Canada's third-largest library system.
"I've always had an affinity towards institutions that can invoke change," said Kazemi. "The library is very unique in our culture where it serves so many diverse communities."
His service to the community has continued since completing his math degree at UBC, where he served as president of the UBC Alma Mater Society, was elected to UBC's board of governors and sat on the board of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and the UBC Alumni Association.
And he has been recognized by his academic and professional peers for his work, winning leadership awards such as Outstanding Student of the Year at UBC, BC Volunteer of the Year at PwC, Trustee of the Year for the BC Library Trustee Association and the Community Service award from the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants.
For Kazemi, the recognition is a reflection of the mentors who have supported him. "Providing service to community was always a key component of how I grew up," he said. "I've had great mentors along the way and a great support system within my family to encourage me to try my best no matter what."