BIV is proud to recognize Ben Samaroo, founder and director of WonderFi, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.
Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at biv.com in the days ahead.
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
Mentors and public figures I’ve seen work with incredible speed and agility – I try my best to emulate them.
What drives you?
The possibility of a making a difference in the world and standing up for people who don’t have a voice or a fair shot.
A favourite book you would recommend?
Ken Honda’s Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?
Surrounding myself with more people who are purpose-driven and aligned on values, and fewer people who are driven by fear and greed.
What was your childhood career dream?
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Leaving law was one of my toughest decisions. I knew it was the right move for me, but I was early in my career and many partners and co-workers told me I was throwing my career away, which made it more difficult.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Keep cultivating all of your creative interests and passions – never press pause on those.
What is your best habit?
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
Believe it or not, I’ve never watched Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
Best piece of advice ever received?
“Take chances, make mistakes and get messy” – Miss Frizzle.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Not everyone cares about the same things you care about. Listening is so important and often opens up opportunities that don’t arise if you’re too invested in your own agenda or a particular outcome.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
WonderFi’s acquisition of Bitbuy. Our team put so much effort into the deal and it served as a landmark acquisition for the industry and a starting gun for consolidation in the sector.
What’s left to accomplish?
My next chapter is dedicated to fighting modern slavery, which is a cause that is close to home. Today there are more than 50 million slaves – the largest number in history.