This entrepreneurial approach fits Patel perfectly. At CIBC, he proved adept at starting new businesses and Nicola quickly made him head of private capital. He has since been busy looking for partners to grow the division over time with the plan to internalize that ability.
A key element of the company’s expansion plans in Ontario is its position as a cash flow business. Aside from its new venture capital fund, which has positive cash flow but is more forward-looking, all other funds focus on cash flow companies in industries that are not cyclical or prone to government regulation.
Patel said, “We offer quite a wide range of what we are looking for in our customers. We have the lowest risk commercial mortgages where you are trying to get 4-5% and that goes up to risk capitalization which would be the highest risk return of around 12% to 15%. We have a portfolio that stretches across this spectrum through infrastructure, private debt and private equity. “
While the pandemic was undoubtedly a scary time for investors, Nicola Wealth noted that instead of taking back customers, they took the opportunity to be more opportunistic, especially when they were on the verge of cash. As the new CFO, Patel was initially concerned about liquidity, having seen people run for money in previous positions. However, he told WP that he would soon appreciate the strength of Nicolas Planning and Advisory Group in explaining the situation and keeping it invested.
He added, “Part of that is probably the markets and people looking for more equity exposure, but part of that is our company, our brand and the people who are learning about what we offer. The private asset side is something unique that we can offer our customers – and the unique selling point. “