Meet Brian, Ourboro’s Investment Associate!
No homebuyer wants to overpay for their home. And no investor wants to overpay for an investment. That’s where Brian comes in. By ensuring homebuyers get into the homes they want at fair prices, while maintaining a balanced and diversified portfolio for investors, Brian serves as the link between both groups.
Brian is a born and raised Torontonian and a Spikeball pro. Keep an eye out next time you’re around Trinity Bellwoods and you may spot him on a patio or in the park with friends.
How long have you been with Ourboro?
I joined Ourboro almost a year ago. Things were still shut down because of COVID so my hiring process was all remote, but I could tell that I liked the vibe. After speaking with Nick and Eyal extensively throughout the hiring process, I could see that they were really passionate about Ourboro’s mission and it was something they, and the rest of the team, truly believed in and cared about.
As an Investment Associate, what does your day-to-day look like?
Within the Investment team there’s two main focuses for our work.
The first is the homebuyer side, ensuring that the homes we’re looking to co-buy fit within our investment portfolio. We want to be sufficiently diversified across build types and geographic locations, while also ensuring that our co-buyers, and our investors, are buying great homes at fair prices.
Then there’s the fundraising side. We raise capital for the fund from investors, so we can use those funds to co-invest in homes. Then, we have to keep our investors up to date on the portfolio’s activity and growth.
If I had to pick, I’d say I prefer the homebuyer side of things just a bit more. The last part of my career was on Bay Street at a large financial institution so I’m enjoying the change of pace, getting to work face-to-face with real people. Helping get people into the home of their dreams is very fulfilling and it’s that type of impactful work that drew me to Ourboro.
How did you get started working in Finance and Investments?
I was a pretty entrepreneurial teenager, so I guess you could say it started then. When I was getting ready for university I figured getting a background in business and finance would provide a good knowledge base, regardless of the direction my career took me.
I graduated from Queen’s University and started working in investment banking with one of the big Canadian banks. My first job was actually in Calgary covering the oil and gas sector. Being born and raised in the GTA, it was a great experience to live in another major Canadian city, especially one so different from Toronto. After a couple years in Calgary I did a full 180 from oil and gas when I moved back home to Toronto with the same firm to focus on the renewable energy space. I also spent a few years in the bank’s mergers and acquisitions group, working with clients all over Canada and across all industries. Overall, I’d say it provided me with a great foundation for a career as an investment professional.
What brought you to Ourboro?
I first heard about Ourboro from a post on LinkedIn. The second I read about the model it clicked for me right away – the numbers just made sense. The concept was completely new and I remember thinking “Why is no one else doing this?”. I have so many friends and family members that I knew Ourboro could be perfect for. They have a good income, but don’t necessarily have the down payment saved.
I think it’s such an elegant solution to the problem, introducing this partnership model. It’s a great opportunity for homebuyers to get into the market earlier and start building wealth, while also providing investors with diversified exposure to residential real estate, minus the traditional carrying costs. Both sides are perfectly aligned on the management of the asset, the home, and both sides win when the home appreciates in value.
Since I had spent a few years working in renewable energy, I knew there was a shift in the market as more capital was being put towards Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. When people think about ESG, their focus usually goes to the E, the environment, and the S, the social impact, often takes a bit of a back seat. Ourboro was one of the best social impact models I had seen. It’s rare to find a business that provides both an incredible social benefit as well as a compelling investment opportunity.
Where could we usually find you when you’re not working?
In the evenings I’m probably in the gym or in a west end bar or restaurant. On the weekends I like to bike around the city, hang out in a park or at the beach, maybe take in some live music.
What book is on your bedside table right now?
Last week I started The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. It discusses the past five mass extinctions the Earth has experienced and argues that we are actually in the midst of a sixth mass extinction right now, with humans largely to blame.
What’s something that people often find surprising about you?
On the surface, I think people see my long hair and moustache and don’t expect to hear that I work in finance. The look is a far cry from my clean-cut Bay Street days.
But on a more personal note, people are usually surprised to hear that, even though I’m a big rock and indie music guy, I actually played the tenor saxophone for nine or ten years. I played in some jazz bands and even did a bit of symphonic. I spend more time with a guitar in my hands these days but would love to get back into it some day.
What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Toronto or the GTA?
I love Toronto overall, but I would have to say that my favourite neighbourhood is the pocket around Trinity Bellwoods. I love Trinity Bellwoods Park, it’s one of the best green spaces in the city. I just love the vibe of that side of town. There’s great restaurants, bars, breweries, and music venues. No matter if it’s day, night, summer, winter, there’s always something fun going on.