Meet our direct investing &
investment banking team.
The FirePower Capital team understands what keeps you up at night and what gets you up in the morning.
We’re entrepreneurs, like you, and we feel the same fire inside each and every day.
We have the creativity, experience, and commitment to help you conclude deals that simply change the course of your business.
Ilan Jacobson is responsible for leading FirePower Capital in all its endeavours, setting its strategic direction and providing top-level guidance on key transactions undertaken by the Investment Banking division. Ilan also assesses new direct investments for FirePower’s Private Capital funds. He is sought after for his expertise on topics related to entrepreneurship and M&A, and has appeared at numerous events as a speaker, moderator, and workshop leader. Previously, Ilan was a Portfolio Manager at a leading venture capital firm in Toronto, where he sat on numerous boards. He received his MBA from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and has an Honours Degree in Science with a specialization in genetics from the University of Western Ontario.
Sebastien Douville drives the implementation of all FirePower Capital’s strategic initiatives while managing the company’s day-to-day operations. He is the driving force behind the firm’s developing its proprietary deal platforms and advancing its technology partnerships. Most recently, Sebastien headed corporate development and finance at Real Time Medical. Prior to that, he consulted for manufacturing, transport and energy companies at Oliver Wyman, where, among other assignments, he facilitated the $15 billion merger of two utilities. Sebastien received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and the Schulich School of Business, and holds a BSE in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.
Jared Kalish leads FirePower Capital’s Private Capital division, which manages the firm’s direct lending and investment activities. Jared brings strong banking expertise with deep experience in implementing structured lending and derivative solutions. Previously, he was responsible for Structured Finance and Strategic Equity for Investec in Canada. Jared achieved significant success early in his career and was appointed as a division head for Investec in South Africa at the age of 27, where he led the Equity Structuring team to realize substantial growth in profitability. He holds a BSc in Actuarial Science and an MSc in Risk and Stochastics from the London School of Economics.
Anthony Lipschitz leads FirePower Capital’s Private Equity division. Anthony is a passionate business builder and leader. Most recently he was the Chief Strategy Officer at Thinking Capital, a PE-backed fintech lender. Previously, he was Canada Country Manager at StubHub, eBay's ticketing marketplace, more than doubling the business in two years. While CEO at iStopOver, a short-term vacation rental marketplace he co-founded, Anthony led the company’s VC fundraising, growth and eventual acquisition. Prior to that, he was a VP at Brightspark Ventures, a venture capital firm widely regarded as Canada's startup experts. He holds a BA in Media Arts from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York.
Alan Chettiar leads FirePower’s Investment Banking team in all its engagements and sets its strategic direction. As a former Principal at a boutique investment management firm, Alan brings over a decade of experience in venture capital (debt and equity) and private equity. Alan has worked directly with dozens of entrepreneurs in its portfolio companies, providing guidance on growth initiatives and strategic direction, and he leverages this deep hands-on experience to maximize results for our clients. Alan holds an MBA from the Ted Rogers School of Management, a JD from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Commerce from St. Mary’s University. He is registered as a CIM by the Canadian Securities Institute.
Kenan Dizdarevic leads the execution of FirePower's M&A and corporate finance advisory transactions. Kenan brings more than 11 years of experience in investment banking with fast growing international banking platforms both in the United States and in challenging emerging markets. Embarking on his career in Central Europe, he worked with Deloitte Corporate Finance and KBC Securities with a primary focus on cross-border M&A. Kenan subsequently moved to the US, joining Macquarie Capital in New York, where he advised financial sponsors and investment banking clients in the industrials space. After Macquarie, Kenan joined Mizuho Bank, focusing on strategic corporate finance advisory and capital raising, primarily for large US corporates and financial sponsors. Kenan holds an MBA from Duke University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Jonathan Lehun supports FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking capital raises and M&A transaction mandates. Prior to joining FirePower, Jonathan facilitated the transition of IA portfolios in the range of $50 to $150 million at RBC Dominion Securities. Before embarking on his career in investment banking, Jonathan was a professional hockey player from 2004 to 2008, having been selected in the 2003 NHL entry draft by the St. Louis Blues. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.
Somant Maraj supports FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking mandates, with a specific focus on M&A. Before joining FirePower, Somant worked in wealth management in the Private Client Group at BMO Nesbitt Burns. Somant holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Ryerson University. He is a sports enthusiast and has represented Trinidad & Tobago in cricket at a regional and international youth level.
Philippe Theroux Ha executes on FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking mandates and leads the firm’s business development activities in Quebec. Philippe started his career at FirePower as an Origination Analyst and returned after a 2-year stint in the Corporate Finance division of Enerkem Inc., a VC-backed renewable fuels company based in Montreal. While at Enerkem, Philippe helped conclude approx. $200m in private equity and debt financings, as well as analyze over $1b in infrastructure projects. Philippe holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from HEC Montreal.
Drew Dawson is a key member of FirePower’s Origination team, focusing on developing new advisory and direct investment opportunities. Drew comes to FirePower Capital from OANDA Corporation, where he managed a 6-person financial sales team covering the Americas. He passed his Series 3 National Commodity Futures Examination, and the Series 34 Retail Off-Exchange Forex Examination. Drew graduated from York University, specializing in finance and marketing. In his spare time, Drew works with three Toronto-based charities, assisting with fundraising and sponsorship.
Ryan Balsam works in FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking group, after a short stint in our Private Capital division. Prior to joining FirePower, Ryan was an analyst at a boutique private equity firm focused on the lower middle-market. In doing so, he received comprehensive experience researching and evaluating target companies through financial modeling while structuring and executing transactions. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Political Science from McMaster University. He is currently pursuing his CFA designation.
Josh Phillips works in FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking group. Prior to joining FirePower, Josh was an Investment Analyst at a boutique commercial real estate firm, where he provided analysis and support for land acquisition and development projects. Josh holds a Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Reading in Reading, England. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he was a member of the NCAA Division 1 Ice Hockey team. Josh is a CFA level 3 Candidate.
Andrew Doucet-McDonald works in FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking group. Prior to joining FirePower, Andrew held internships in the private equity team at Caisse de Dépot et Placement du Québec (CDPQ), where he focused on valuation of private businesses and gained relevant experience through several transactions. Andrew holds a Master of Science in Finance from HEC Montreal, graduating in June 2018. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Sherbrooke University, Canada.
Evan Gravenor works in FirePower Capital’s Investment Banking group. Prior to joining FirePower, Evan was a Senior Auditor at the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, where he focused on financial reporting and operational efficiency audits of Crown Corporations and government agencies. He received a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Accounting from York University, and played on the York Lions Varsity Men’s Hockey team. Evan is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Brendan Cunneen is a special advisor to FirePower’s Investment Banking team. Previously, he oversaw all credit underwriting activities within FirePower’s Private Capital’s Gap Debt fund. Brendan has over 30 years of lending, management consulting and human resources development experience in the lower-mid market segment. Having held various position of increasing responsibility throughout Canada with BDC since 1970, he was part of the group that started BDC’s subordinated financing program and led BDC’s consulting practice. In 2011, Brendan sold his tax credit underwriting practice to Ernst & Young and thereafter joined E&Y’s national practice. Brendan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University College Cork, Ireland.
Trevor Simpson leads FirePower Capital’s Private Capital division in client engagement and credit underwriting. Trevor brings extensive experience in structuring cash flow transactions and providing patient capital to clients utilizing senior term, subordinated debt and mezzanine financing. Previously, Trevor worked at Roynat Capital where he managed and grew a portfolio of clients, tailoring long-term capital solutions for mid-sized companies. Trevor received a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from McMaster University, an MBA from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Bryan Lehman is an Associate in FirePower’s Private Capital division, supporting the evaluation and underwriting of direct lending opportunities. Prior to joining FirePower, Bryan worked with KPMG’s Deal Advisory group, providing financial due diligence services for private equity and corporate clients across diversified industries. Previously, Bryan worked in KPMG’s Assurance practice, with a focus on the financial services sector. Bryan is a Chartered Professional Accountant, with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.
Filippo Iuliani works with FirePower Capital’s Private Capital team, supporting the evaluation and underwriting of direct lending opportunities. Prior to joining Firepower, Filippo worked as an Associate at Scotia Wealth Management and as a Research Analyst at the Ben Graham Centre for Value Investing, where he specialized in valuation of small-cap Canadian businesses. Filippo is an Ivey Business School MBA’18 Grad and HBA’15 Grad. He is a CFA Level III Candidate.
Tunde Agboola works with FirePower Capital’s Private Capital team, supporting the evaluation and underwriting of direct lending opportunities. Prior to joining Firepower, Tunde worked for Aon Canada’s Global Risk Consulting practice, providing risk and capital management advisory services to Canadian companies. Tunde holds a B.Math from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, where he specialized in investment banking and corporate finance.
Karen Fisman leads and executes FirePower Capital’s communication and content initiatives. In her most recent role, she was the publications lead at a Toronto-based M&A advisory firm. Previously, she worked as an equities analyst at First Marathon Securities (acquired by National Bank), where she specialized in the media and entertainment sector. Karen began her career in corporate and commercial lending with Scotiabank and RBC. Throughout her career, she has been a sought-after speaker on various topics including production financing, and the Canadian media and entertainment sector. Karen is also the author of several children’s books, and is active in her community to improve high-school students’ business writing. She holds an LLB from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Rotman School of Business.
Steven Kraft originates new advisory and investment opportunities for FirePower Capital. Steven focuses on the technology and manufacturing sectors, and brings functional specializations in market research and corporate development to our firm. Before joining FirePower Capital, Steven was an Equity Research Analyst covering technology at M Partners, a Toronto-based investment bank. Prior to this, Steven worked for an Israeli-based internet software company, where he led early-stage business development in North America. Steven holds an MBA from Queen’s University and has completed an Honours Degree in History from the University of Toronto. He is an active member of the UJA Young Business Committee and volunteers with Camp Oochigeas.
Bhavin Parmar drives FirePower’s Origination team’s efforts in developing new relationships and sourcing new deals for our firm. Bhavin brings to FirePower Capital his experience as an Investment Analyst at a Toronto-based private equity fund, as well as a key account manager at a digital marketing strategy firm. Bhavin graduated from the Schulich School of Business with a specialization in Finance.
Mashfia Rahman develops and deepens new and existing relationships as part of FirePower Capital’s origination team. Before joining FirePower Capital, Mashfia was a personal banking advisor at TD Canada Trust, where she managed day-to-day transactions ranging from account maintenance to investments and various types of loans and mortgages. Mashfia holds an Economics and French Studies Degree from York University (Glendon).
As a member of FirePower’s Origination team, Matt identifies and cultivates relationships and opportunities for the firm’s Investment Banking and Private Capital groups. Before joining FirePower, Matt was a Sales Associate at NEI Investments, where he was responsible for developing relationships with a network of Investment Advisors. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
As a member of FirePower’s Origination team, Rhu identifies and cultivates relationships and opportunities for the firm’s Investment Banking and Private Capital groups. Prior to joining FirePower, he founded an e-commerce automotive marketplace and was active in the startup community. Rhu holds an Economics degree from Carleton University.
Severina Lutaj manages FirePower Capital’s finance, investor reporting, and operations functions. She is a recent iBBA graduate of the Schulich School of Business with a specialization in Finance, and also studied at HEC Paris in France. Before joining FirePower Capital, Severina accrued significant commercial real estate experience at MPI Group, assisting management in new and existing projects. She previously interned at Cushman and Wakefield, where she worked with clients like Burger King and Tim Hortons.
Shamez Walji supports FirePower’s fast, disciplined growth, and origination of new deals. He focuses on designing and implementing all corporate development activities, including the development and maintenance of the firm’s proprietary deal platform and database. Shamez is a graduate of nano and functional materials engineering at the University of Alberta and was an entrepreneur in the Next 36 program. He has built and sold his own technology company and was previously a Business Technology Analyst at Deloitte.
Evgeny Soloho leads all our Salesforce development efforts. He is a highly accomplished Salesforce Certified Developer (DEV 401), with a 12+ years track record of advanced full-lifecycle Salesforce implementations for financial, communications and manufacturing companies such as McCarthy Tétrault, Manulife, Mackenzie Investments and BMO. He is a graduate of Vitebsk State Technological University (VSTU) in Belarus. Evgeny heads his growing Salesforce consultancy, WebSolo.ca
Balkiren Dhillon supports FirePower’s Operations team, after working last summer with the firm’s Origination group. Balkiren is currently completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. Through the school year, Balkiren serves as President of DeGroote Women in Business, an organization that looks to fully engage, motivate and empower female business students through business education and experience.
Maxine Almanzor supports FirePower's Corporate Development team. She is a recent BBA graduate from the University of Toronto Scarborough with a specialization in Management and Finance. Before joining FirePower, Maxine worked at Johnson & Johnson Philippines where she was responsible for facilitating the gap analysis process of the Procurement Department and chairing the company's pioneer business case competition. Previously, she worked as an analyst for RBC where she implemented a more cohesive and streamlined benchmarking process.