For most people, co-founding a private equity firm with more than US$2 billion in assets under management would be more than enough to rest their laurels on.
But Cheryl Brandon (BBA ’04) isn’t most people.
The co-founder of Waterton Global Resource Management has remained driven throughout her career, combining her passion for investing and building companies with her desire to give back to the community.
In recognition of her accomplishments, Brandon will be honoured as the 2021 Goodman School of Business Distinguished Graduate Award recipient at a virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Brandon’s commitment to giving back has led her to start two charities and serve on the boards of many others. After donating part of her liver to her niece in 2009, she co-founded Ashley’s Angels which has raised more than $2 million for SickKids Hospital, supporting research to improve the lives of organ transplant recipients. She also founded the Giving 2 Girls Initiative which partners with and provides funding to charitable organizations focused on improving the lives of girls in developing countries.
When asked how she balances a high-profile investment career with her heavy involvement in building businesses and charities, the answer was clear.
“The key to finding balance within your career and other interests is to prioritize things you enjoy and do them with like-minded people,” Brandon said. “I am passionate about everything I do, and I have been fortunate to find partners who are just as motivated to push boundaries every day.”
The common thread throughout her career, from working at hedge funds and private equity funds, to being a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and venture capital investor is figuring out how to effectively allocate capital.
“Capital allocation is at the forefront of everything I do today,” Brandon said. “It’s about evaluating returns against risk and assessing impact when deploying capital in both the for-profit and the non-profit sector. After many years of allocating funds and creating value, I fully appreciate the incredible things that can result from combining capital with highly motivated people and innovative ideas.”
For Brandon, having a lot on the go is nothing new. During her time at Brock, she was captain of the varsity volleyball team, got her introduction to the investment sector as a co-op student at ScotiaMcLeod, completed the Canadian Securities Course, and formulated a business plan that resulted in the acquisition of her first business — a Muskoka yacht club she invested in and developed with her sisters — all before crossing the Convocation stage.
In 2020, Brandon was recognized as a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award – a nod that celebrates the country’s top up-and-coming business leaders. To further expand her charitable impact, she’s also currently completing a Master of Science in Non-Profit Management at Columbia University in New York.
Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes invites the Brock and wider community to attend the virtual event and hear Brandon’s insights and experiences first-hand.
“We’re very proud to have Cheryl as a representative of our School,” Gaudes said. “Her success in business coupled with her philanthropic leadership is an inspirational example to recognize and share with our students on how business education is a force for doing good things in support of our community.”
Anyone wishing to attend the event can register here to receive the link to the livestream.