Mike Thiessen

Partner and chief sustainability officer, Genus Capital, Age 37


Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?

A deep desire to make a large-scale positive impact on the world


What is your guilty pleasure?

Late night peanut butter straight out of the jar.


What is the best book you would recommend?

Principles — Ray Dalio.


Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself?

Move more of the world’s assets from destructive activities to ones that are improving the world, helping those in need and building a better future. 


What was your childhood career dream?

Professional soccer player. 


Name your happiest place.

Snowboarding down a mountain with family/friends.


What was your toughest business or professional decision?

One of the most difficult, but best moves, was leaving consulting in London, U.K., to do sustainable and impact investing in Vancouver with Genus Capital. 


What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Focus on your strengths and find partners or experts to do the rest. You will better serve yourself and the world if you double down on your natural abilities rather than trying to figure everything out.


What is your best habit?

Hugging my kids and wife every morning. It sets the day off right and reminds me of my top priorities.


Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.

Survived hitting several trees in a hot air balloon.

Best piece of advice ever received?

You can be exceptional at anything if you work extremely hard. 


Biggest learning (about life or business) during the pandemic?

I learned to be more grateful for my family, health and work.


What career highlight are you most proud of?

Being a part of the massive growth in impact investing at Genus Capital. Our impact assets have grown rapidly in the last four years and have helped clients make positive impact in many key areas, such as climate action and healthcare.