The Young Achiever’s Award was created to honour Telfer School of Management alumni under 40 who have been able to achieve greatness in their careers and lives within an exceptional period of time. Tyson Rigg, a 2016 Telfer Bachelor of Commerce graduate, is a worthy winner, as he has accomplished impressive professional feats in high finance in just six years since earning his degree.
Specializing in finance at the Telfer School, Rigg received the Educator’s Honour Roll and the Dean’s Honour Roll recognitions for his academic successes. Rigg has already earned multiple important industry designations in his career: he is a Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFPTM), a Chartered Investment Manager (CIM©), and a Personal Financial Planner (PFP©), having gone through the learning and training necessary to receive these sought-after certifications. He is also currently a candidate for the Level 3 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. Rigg currently holds the role of Senior Investment Counsellor and Portfolio Manager at BMO Private Wealth. Working with high-net-worth individuals and ultra-net-worth families and institutions, Rigg provides wealth planning and investment management services, often with multi-generational planning. Thanks to his formal finance education and exposure to professionals in the high finance industry in Telfer, today Rigg builds lasting client relationships rooted in dedication and commitment to excellence. He was also one of the 20 candidates across Canada to be selected for an exclusive wealth management program, through which he gained even more experience in the high finance industry. He is also a registered Portfolio Manager, a recipient of the 2020 President’s Council Award, and a Telfer Capital Fund Investment Committee member. Rigg co-founded the Telfer Capital Fund in 2016 during his last year at Telfer, laying the necessary foundation for finance students to come after him.
Exposure to the High Finance Industry
Rigg began his profession in high finance by starting a chain reaction that led him to where he is today. It all started when he attended one of Telfer Career Centre’s networking events, where students can meet industry professionals and learn about potential employment opportunities.
Feeling more comfortable in his networking skills, Rigg then joined the Telfer Capital Markets Program and was exposed to experienced industry professionals in high finance who visited the students to share the tricks of the trade; “Being able to tap into the industry, seek mentorship and guidance, and access the resources and tools provided by this program led me to be where I am today,” says Rigg.
In 2016, Rigg co-founded the Telfer Capital Fund, the School’s student-run investment pool, and actively participated in activities organized by the Financial Research and Learning Lab. In the 2015-2016 Dean’s Annual Report, Rigg shared: “This linked process of engagement, exposure and opportunity made it possible for me to identify high finance as the place in which I wanted to spend my professional life.” Today, he is there — he has made it. And it is only up from here.
Championing Financial Literacy and Building Family Wealth
No one in Rigg’s family worked in high finance — his initial passion for the field started in the second year of his BCom program, after seeing an article in 2016 from the Wall Street Journal article which stated that it would take 228 years for Black families to accumulate the wealth of white families in the United States given systemic barriers in the workplace and society. Rigg came to discover that wealth accumulation comes down to financial literacy. Since then, he has been working hard to reduce the number of years constituting the racial wealth gap: “I do this in my role at BMO, I speak on panels for women in Capital Markets, I lead literacy seminars for Black students in high schools, I am doing my part and sharing what I’ve learned.”
Rigg hosts seminars for his family and cousins, covering topics from buying your first home to establishing the right mindset around savings, debt, and investing. In an industry that is forever learning and evolving, Rigg is engaged in his current role, working directly with clients, and managing different assets of wealth in different stages of clientele life. He feels fortunate to be in a position where he can learn with his clients and what they go through while providing advice and counsel.
Working every single day to close the racial wealth gap, Rigg also notes how underrepresented the field is, from a gender minority standpoint, but also a gender standpoint. He has been successful in overcoming most biases, preparing as much as possible for any interaction he might have: “My name doesn’t give away that I am Black or a visible minority. I am always well-researched and I’ve had to work harder to overcome some initial biases.”
Do the Right Things and Work Hard
Feeling blessed and honoured, Rigg was elated to receive a Young Achiever’s Award from Telfer: “I didn’t seek out the award. When you continue to do the right things, put your head down and work hard, and try to put yourself in a better position each day, the dividends will pay off and the recognition will come.”
Speaking to future business leaders studying finance at Telfer, Rigg encourages students to identify what their skills, strengths, and weaknesses are — to create a pathway that will complement more strengths than weaknesses, to learn as much as they can, and to specialize in that industry. He believes it is easier to progress faster in a career one is well-suited for, and it may take longer if it is something that does not play to individual strengths.
Looking toward the future, Rigg is going to continue pursuing his passion for wealth management. Currently, there is a big paradigm shift in the industry — with the ageing population, large amounts of wealth are being transferred to the younger generation. Rigg is excited to be involved in this shift and hopes he can help allocate capital to initiatives that might make the world a better place.
Exploring massive shifts in wealth management, such as the huge transition of wealth being passed on from the older generation to the younger generation, he is excited to learn more about this paradigm shift, be involved in these conversations, and allocate capital that might make the world a better place. Plus, he is going to begin mentoring the next generation of Telfer Nation finance students!
The Telfer Capital Fund
The Capital Markets Program is a two-year program to aid the learning and development of successful Telfer School of Management students. Students will also be responsible for managing assets provided by the Telfer Capital Fund, which Rigg co-founded in 2016. This is a tremendous opportunity for students to get involved and be exposed to high finance industry executives.