Brett Stevenson’s academic background has prepared the native Calgarian to build a successful merchant banking firm and fund that has financed several midstream and energy infrastructure projects and others.
As the managing partner of Calgary-based private equity firm, Brett began his academic journey at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. where he completed a finance degree with honours.
He completed his directors education and post-graduate studies at Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and was awarded the ICD.D Designation – which represents his lifelong commitment to excellence in the boardroom, a desire to stay current, and to be a more effective director.
“It was a great program,” he said. “There was a significant emphasis on best practices in corporate governance and leadership.”
After graduation from St. FX, the 2020 Rising Star spent the next 10 years working in investment banking and private equity focused investment firms in Calgary. Brett has also completed executive post-graduate studies at Harvard Business School.
Entering the private equity field was logical, said Brett.
“In 2017, by our numbers, there was approximately $1 trillion (U.S.) of private equity dollars on the sidelines and we targeted those funds, to invest in midstream and energy infrastructure assets,” he said.
They also focus on clean technologies.
“I was born and raised in Calgary, so it runs in my blood,” he said. “The energy industry is always evolving. I count my blessings that I’m a part of the industry.”
Brett said he will have a significant role in helping the industry continue to grow and evolve.
“We are seeing a once in a lifetime opportunity, with an ability to drive shareholder value,” he said.
The difficult times the industry has faced in the last several years have presented him with many opportunities, Brett said.
Winston Churchill said “never let a good crisis to go waste,” said Brett.
The arrival of the COVID pandemic has made things even worse, but he remains an optimist.
“You have to be able to adapt quickly,” he said. “Public (equity) markets aren’t very forgiving.”
Brett said he is mindful of his good fortune and tries to support worthy causes.
One of those is the Heart Beats Children’s Society of Calgary, which is close to his heart, since he and family members have had heart issues.
“Always give back as you become successful,” said the 31-year-old.
Brett said he believes the Canadian energy sector will thrive in the future.
“The world needs all forms of energy, including hydrocarbons, solar and wind,” he said. “Canadian barrels are the most sustainable in the world.”
He wanted to thank those who nominated him for the 2020 Rising Star Award. He is confident he will be focused on private equity investments far into the future, as it plays a growing role in helping the Canadian energy industry adapt and grow.