Co-Founder Chris Nicola Takes Home the Win
“This week, the WealthBar (now CI Direct Investing) Co-Founder and COO, at age 39 was recognized in Business in Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 awards in their Dec. 4 edition. WealthBar (now CI Direct Investing) is a robo-advisory delivering financial planning services and low-cost investment portfolios to investors, founded in 2014. It is a registered portfolio manager in all Canadian Territories and Provinces with over $275 million in assets under management (AUM).Today, Chris leverages his 25-plus years of experience, and his passion and dexterity for numbers and technology to drive the company forward.”
That’s from our press release. And here’s a nice little blurb from the actual BiV feature:
While working for various tech companies, Nicola noticed something that only someone who grew up around finance professionals might recognize. Most of his peers hadn’t started to consider their own financial planning strategies. Nicola struggled trying to advise his friends and colleagues on how to best invest their money, knowing that mutual fund fees were high and that they didn’t have enough money for the services of a wealth investment manager.
With no satisfactory alternatives for his peers, Nicola and his wife, Tea, decided they could develop a solution.”
Usually, when we get some good news, I ask my marketing writer to share it with the world. But this time, the news is more personal. I wanted to share some thoughts.
Christopher Nicola is my Co-Founder. And for those who have made the connection with our surname, then, you know we’re family, too. As you probably read above, we started WealthBar (now CI Direct Investing) together, in 2014 — and he was the perfect person to do this with.
You see, Christopher had already decided he was going to modernize how Canadians get financial advice at the age of 14. At an age when most kids are playing video games (OK, in fairness, Christopher played his share of video games too) he was learning to apply technology in the financial management industry back in the 1990s. With that early start, he could leverage over 25 years of experience, along with his passion and dexterity for numbers and technology.
Christopher saw early on how much opportunity there was to digitize a traditional paper-weighted industry. And his education path led him to where he needed to be to do that.
I was there when he was earning his Masters of Science in applied math from Queens University (In fact, that’s how we met, in university). That’s where he developed his expertise as a software engineer. Working at Nicola Wealth Management in different roles, we talked about the possibility of making quality, low-cost investments accessible to all Canadians.
This award is a great achievement. And the kicker is that now we have both won! When I won last year, we took it as a big sign for the company that we were doing something right. But for Christopher to win, back-to-back — well, maybe this means husband-and-wife teams are the way to go when building your fintech company?
In all seriousness, I’m so proud of Christopher for his achievement. We’ve grown together and WealthBar (now CI Direct Investing) would not exist or be as successful as it is without his ingenuity. Thanks for everything, Christopher. Looking forward to our next awards!