Well-known oilman, fintech pioneer and longtime investor inducted into Alberta Business Hall of Fame

Susan Anderson, Mike Broadfoot and Brett Wilson are this year’s three inductees

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Three southern Albertans will be inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame later this year, including a longtime high-profile oilman, an early adopter of financial technology and a former pro hockey player.

The co-founder and CEO of Symend, a Calgary-based tech firm that’s among Canada’s fastest-growing companies, will meanwhile receive the Southern Alberta Young Innovator Award, given each year to a business leader under 40.

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The annual awards, entering their 20th year running, will be handed out in early November at the Alberta Business Hall of Fame—Southern Alberta Annual Gala Dinner.

Susan Anderson, Mike Broadfoot and Brett Wilson are this year’s three inductees.

Anderson started her career by co-founding DirectCash Payments Inc., a publicly traded financial services company in 1997 when financial technology — commonly known as fintech — was still a fledgling industry. Over the next two decades it became the second-largest ATM company in the world, grossing more than $400 million in revenue. The company was bought in 2017 by Cardtronics Inc. in a deal valued at about $460 million.

Anderson later co-founded Digital Commerce Bank, a private Canadian chartered financial institution, and is currently the company’s board chair.

She’s also currently president and CEO of Cannonball Capital Inc., a Calgary-based institutional investor in venture companies, private and public equities and commercial real estate. Anderson also serves on several boards and is on the strategic advisory board of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Alberta. Her academic career started at the University of Calgary, where she obtained a commerce degree; she later completed her law degree at the University of Alberta.

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Broadfoot started his career in business after a hockey career that saw him play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears and later professionally in Switzerland, where he played for one year until moving back to Alberta.

Settling in Calgary, he spent five years with Gulf and Petro Can in the oil and gas sector. Over the remaining decades, he’s been a founder or early-stage principal investor and director in sectors including energy, B2B software, medical devices, fintech and property development. Broadfoot has been involved in a number of sales, including Morgan Stanley’s 2019 acquisition of Solium Capital. He’s currently involved with JEMM Properties, a developer focused on densifying Calgary’s urban core, and two tech companies in project management software and fintech.

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Wilson, meanwhile, comes with the highest public profile of the three, having spent three years as a “dragon” on CBC’s Dragons Den.

He got his career started in the early 1990s by co-founding FirstEnergy Capital Corp. with current Calgary Flames owner Murray Edwards, Rick Grafton and Jim Davidson. The company has gone on to become Canada’s leading energy investment bank. It was solid in 2016 to Toronto-based GMP Capital Inc.

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Outside of the private sector, Wilson has raised money for several causes including prostate cancer and has funded research at the Calgary Counselling Centre into studying the issue of domestic abuse.

Among his many public engagements, in February Wilson moderated a conversation between conservative media personality Tucker Carlson and well-known Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Finally, Hanif Joshaghani was announced as this year’s recipient of the Young Innovator Award for southern Alberta. He is the co-founder and CEO of Symend, which has quickly become one of the top telecommunication and financial services companies in the world by providing behaviour science, data science and technology to its clients.

Symend was mentioned in Startup Genome’s cleantech rankings which highlighted Calgary as one of the world’s up-and-coming leaders in clean technology. Symend recently completed a $151-million fundraising round, adding to the case that fintech is becoming one of the city’s sub-sector strengths.

Joshaghani is also a member of the Business Council of Alberta, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AI council and sits on the board at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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