Q1. You are a 2019 Honouree of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40;
Congratulations! Tell us what this means to you?
I’ve never been driven by the hope of seeing my name in lights or
being recognized but it was pretty special to win such a prestigious award. The historical list of recipients of this award is very
impressive so to be recognized alongside the CEO’s of some of
Canada’s largest companies was both validating and humbling.
Q2. This Top 40 Under 40 designation is based on your
unique business acumen and leadership abilities. How do
you define leadership and what do you think set you apart
from the rest?
To win this award you have to be well rounded. Acumen
and leadership are hugely important but they also
consider how much you give back to your industry and
community. I’m recognized by industry as a leader but to
be recognized as a well rounded person was great.
Most leaders have an element of fearlessness about
them and most people who know me would agree that’s
a characteristic I have in spades. I’m not the most
eloquent one in the room usually but I’m not shy to say
the things others won’t and put myself in a vulnerable
position if it’s for something I believe in. I think that’s rare.
Q3. Exempt Edge and Olympia Trust have been a
consistent sponsor of the PCMA. With your role as
PCMA Vice Chair, how would you like to see this relationship
The PCMA provides valuable target market positioning for us
which can’t be found elsewhere but that’s not the main reason
we support. If the Private Capital Markets grow, our businesses
will too. A rising tide raises all ships. The best way to ensure the
preservation and growth of the industry is through advocacy and
outreach, which is where the PCMA comes in.
Q4. Do you have any specific aims for the PCMA over the
next 12 months?
I think things need to be shaken up a bit and the association needs
to reinvent itself to an extent. There are a lot of stakeholders and
even members that don’t fully appreciate what we do. We need to
toot our own horn a bit more as that will educate existing members
on the value and hopefully bring more members on board.
Q5. How did your career in private capital markets start and
what led you to this path?
Olympia was started by my father as a private company, with funds
raised under the Offering Memorandum exemption. Prior to that he
founded 30 some oil and gas companies the same way. So private
capital has been the family business longer than financial services. I
seized the opportunity to learn from my father straight out of
University as I wanted to be a businessman like him when I grew up.
Q6. What do you love the most about your current organization? What makes it different from other firms in the same
I love our size. We’re large enough to undertake
some projects that are fairly capital intensive, like
developing our app and online transactions but at
the same time, but unlike our competitors we’re
small enough to not get bogged down in excessive
bureaucracy of a large multi-national company.
Our tech is great but our people are what makes us
different. We have 300+ years of RSP admin experience in the private capital markets under our roof
which no one else in Canada comes remotely close to.
Q7. Please tell us briefly about your role in your
I’m the President of both Olympia Trust Company and Exempt
Edge Inc. I’m fortunate to have incredible Vice Presidents of our
various businesses so my days are spent focusing on strategic
planning more than on day-to-day operations. I’m largely focused
on the technological evolution of both our companies and the
industry itself these days which is a challenge given that we deal
with many older clients due to the nature of our business.
Q8. What role does the private capital market have to play in
the modern investment landscape?
The luster and prestige of running a public company, at least a
smaller public company, have started to wear off for members of
the business community. Investors have started to look at the
tradeoffs between private and public companies as well.
As we move closer to the sweet spot of the right amount of disclosure for investors without totally hamstringing small business, I
can’t see it doing anything but growing.
20 THE PRIVATE INVESTOR | FALL + WIN TER 2019
2019 HONOUREE OF CANADA'S TOP 40 UNDER 40
Gunslingers, Craig Skauge
age 4, with his Dad, 1985,
Skauge Family Archive.