SUI IIAC Top Under 40 proves hard work brings rewards

November 30, 2015 I Barb Amsden I SUI


SUI IIAC Top Under 40 proves hard work brings rewards.

The Smarten Up Institute’s (SUI’s) driving goal is to help talented people – whatever their role – move  forward, and to offer further support as they rise in their career.  We know that, all too often, the overwhelmingly good people in the Canadian investment industry are forgotten in the interests of a headline.  Also, the contributions of those that labour in the background such as IT, compliance, risk, finance, and governance –now recognized as critical to the wellbeing of a financial firm– has traditionally been overlooked.

We’ve changed that.

In 2013, the Smarten Up Institute founded what has become the Top Under 40 award.  Later, with the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) and Investment Executive, we integrated the award into the IIAC’s annual Hall of Fame Gala, linking the industry’s past to its future.  The Hall of Fame acknowledges lifetime achievements of eight industry leaders: four living and four posthumous. The Top Under 40, in contrast, recognizes an individual in the first half of his or her career. 

This year’s Top Under 40 event – celebrated on October 29, 2015 – was bigger and better than ever. 

In the afternoon, the Smarten Up Institute hosted, with sponsors FundSERV, Recognia and Investment Executive, the “Judges Reception” allowing the three respected industry and academic judges to meet the nominees who they had, until then, only known on paper.  Laurie Clark, the Smarten Up Institute’s founder and President, charged the 23 nominees to:

1.   Keep their community spirit – in and outside their firms – alive and engaged. 

2.   Educate the young people around them, and show respect for those with different experiences.

3.   Serve the investing public, no matter their role, acting ethically at all times.

IIAC Top Under 40 Nominees

2015 IAC Top Under 40 Award Nominees

In the evening, most of the 23 nominees for the Top Under 40 for 2015 attended the 2015 IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Dinner Gala held in Toronto, and came on stage to be recognized by over 400 high-profile industry, media and regulatory guests.

2015 IIAC  Investment Industry Hall of Fame

2015 IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Dinner Gala

The nominees came from across the country, and had followed widely varying career and personal paths.  Nominees had to show strength in not just one but four categories:  career achievement, investment in advancing the industry, giving back to the broader community and ongoing education.

While we at the Smarten Up Institute have an abiding interest in education, witness our widening course options, we believe that focusing on the “whole” person is important.  We think that constant learning and continuous mentoring will bring out the best for the individual, his or her company, the industry and Canadian society broadly.

Laurie M. Clark at the 2015 IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Dinner Gala

                                             Laurie Clark, President of the Smarten Up Institute. 

Then the moment the crowd was waiting for:  time to announce the winner.  Laurie Clark, President of the Smarten Up Institute, held up the Top Under 40 trophy, which was awarded in addition to a prize valued at $7,000.  Created by the designer of the Screen Actors Guild prize, the Top Under 40 award is titled Union.  It features two flowing symmetric curves joined at the bottom and top, symbolizing two parties collaborating successfully on one goal and embodying the union of the legacy and the up-and-coming.

Laurie Clark at 2015 IIAC Hall of Fame Dinner Gala

Lauri M. Clark at  the 2015 IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Dinner Gala

Ms. Clark read excerpts from a reference letter accompanying the candidate’s nomination:

“[She] stands for all that is good in our industry and all that is aspirational.  She inspires women and men with her successes at work, in the community and with her family of four children. While her accomplishments are notable and stand for themselves, when one considers the extraordinary demands on her time, her accomplishments are herculean… Seeing [her] balance all of her successes in life simply leaves me awestruck.”

The winner – Christina Anthony, Vice-President, Director, and Portfolio Manager at Odlum Brown – is the IIAC Top Under 40 award recipient for 2015.  Joining Ms. Clark at the podium, Christina thanked those who had helped her in an acceptance speech

Work on the search for the 2016 candidates for the SUI-IIAC Top Under 40 has already started…check back often for details on our website in the coming weeks! Think about who you know that inspires you and should be nominated for next year’s award!

Related Courses