'I’m excited to meet impact investors and entrepreneurs from all around the world...'
Bachelor of Commerce in Finance
Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Finance
Director, Impact Ventures NZ
While many people struggle to decide what to study at tertiary level, Chris says he was fortunate to have a clear idea from an early age.
‘I started my first dummy share portfolio in intermediate school, and have always had an entrepreneurial streak,’ he says. ‘Economics was my favourite subject at school, so it was a natural progression to study Economics and Finance at University.’
Sure enough, Chris got a lot of enjoyment as well as knowledge from his studies. At undergraduate level, he liked the relevance of the course content.
‘You’d learn something new in a class or by reading, and it would be something you could see in action in one form or another in the financial markets. It inspired a number of my class mates and me to get involved in our own trading to try and gain some practical experience.
‘I also loved the full-year research project I did as part of my honours year. I looked at the factors that influence a country’s susceptibility to experiencing systemic banking crises. It is a piece of work I am really proud of.’
Even before finishing his honours year, Chris achieved one of his initial career goals by landing a job in the Investment Banking team at First NZ Capital in Auckland.
‘At First NZ Capital I was involved in teams working across a range of M&A, capital raising and strategic advisory roles, completing transactions for some of New Zealand’s leading companies, across a broad range of sectors. I was working with directors and other senior bankers right from day one.’
Alongside Investment Banking, Chris also did pro bono work with NEXT Foundation, which invests in environmental and educational projects in New Zealand. The experience was particularly inspirational, as it showed him the need for financial support to scale these enterprises.
As such, Chris founded his own business Impact Ventures, which was established to be the manager of a NZ focused impact investing fund and to provide corporate finance advisory services. Impact Ventures supports start-ups that are looking to deliver tangible environmental and/or societal returns from their business models by providing growth capital and venture partnership. Impact Ventures has partnered with New Ground Capital and the Ākina Foundation, and is preparing to launch New Zealand’s first domestically focused impact investment fund.
Chris was also recently inducted as a fellow for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship programme, which is bringing together impact entrepreneurs, investors, and start-up leaders from all around the world, who are working together in New Zealand to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.
‘I’m excited to meet impact investors and entrepreneurs from all around the world, learn from their success stories and build a network of like-minded people,’ he says.
With his own enterprise now in full swing, Chris recommends others excited by the prospect of a career in finance to go for it and get started on building knowledge early.
‘Learn as much as you can about the markets before you start. If online articles, books by people in the industry or the business sections of newspapers interest you, then Finance might be the right degree for you.’