Beginning as an investment advisor 14 years ago, Justus Parmar rose quickly to the top by working at three brokerage firms before founding venture capital firm Fortuna Investments in 2015.
“Being a venture capitalist gives me the opportunity to have an effect on the world by investing in emerging technologies and industries that are shaping our future,” said Parmar, Fortuna’s managing director. “The greatest pleasure I get from being an entrepreneur is creating something from scratch and watching it grow to become something that has a significant social or economic impact.”
At Fortuna, the certified international wealth manager and licensed U.S. portfolio manager has helped more than 125 companies raise over $300 million and assisted two dozen companies in going public.
Today, the firm has 12 employees and offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles.
Previously, Parmar was the youngest adviser at Australian-based global investment banking and financial services company Macquarie Group, where he was one of the top 10 producers.
He later became an investment adviser and vice-president at independent boutique investment firm Jordan Capital Markets. One of four partners, Parmar helped expand the company to 65 advisers in 18 months.
In addition to his bachelor of commerce from the University of Victoria, Parmar completed private equity and venture capital studies at Harvard University. Through his support of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Finance Club, he helps mentor the next generation.
“I believe that most growth in an organization comes from young talent,” he said. “While young professionals may be lacking in experience, they often make up for it in enthusiasm, desire and work ethic.”
Through the Parmar Group Scholarship Foundation, he donated $250,000 to UBC, where 10 finance students have received $25,000 scholarships.
Parmar co-founded and invested in companies with a collective market capitalization value of more than $2 billion, including Millennial Lithium (TSX-V:ML).
Where you live now: Vancouver and Los Angeles
Highest level of education: Executive education in finance, Harvard Business School
Currently reading: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
Currently listening to: Kygo
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: No. 99 for the Los Angeles Kings
Profession you would most like to try: I have always had a passion for justice and the law. While in university, before I began my career in finance, I explored the option of going to law school. Being a lawyer and defending someone or something I believe in is something I find very interesting
Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving a lucrative career as a VP and very successful investment adviser to branch off and start my own firm
Advice you would give the younger you: You don’t get paid for good ideas; you get paid for making them happen. Help people, even when you know they can’t help you back. Always deliver more than expected
What’s left to do: Be the type of person that no matter where you are or where you go, you add value to the lives of those around you