Jason Holtby – 2011 Lakeland College Distinguished Alumnus recipient, Lloydminster campus
“I didn’t even know what investment banking was at that time. I just knew I wanted to work in business,” he says.
Today Holtby is the senior managing director and head of investment banking for investment dealer Raymond James Ltd. He runs the Canadian investment banking group with operations from Vancouver to Toronto and is a member of the Equity Capital Markets Executive Committee which is directly responsible for the direction and stewardship of the Capital Markets Business in Canada.
“The majority of my work involves major transactions,” says Holtby, noting that he helps clients determine the market value of a business, sell or purchase a business, or raise capital for expansion or acquisitions. These transactions range in value from $10 million to $3.5 billion and are across multiple sectors.
Originally from Lashburn, Sask., Holtby is Lakeland College’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus recipient. He will accept the award and address the Class of 2011 during the Lloydminster Campus Convocation Ceremony this Friday, June 3.
“One message I’ll share with graduates is that your education is a starting point. There are endless opportunities out there that you don’t yet know exist. Just work hard and you’ll find that many opportunities will present themselves.”
Holtby’s journey from Lakeland’s Lloydminster campus to becoming a key player in an investment dealer began with a four year stint at Dunwoody and Company accounting firm in Calgary where he finished his Certified General Accountant designation.
“My work at Dunwoody and Company allowed me to work with a lot of clients and make connections with people in various industries,” says Holtby. One of the clients he worked with was Inter-Tech Drilling Solutions. He became Inter-Tech’s chief financial officer in 1994 and stayed with the oil and gas service company until it was sold to Precision Drilling Corporation in 1998.
“When we were selling Inter-Tech, I retained Raymond James as my financial advisor to help us with the sale. When the sale was done, they came to me and asked me if I wanted to work for them. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked and continue to work with great people at Raymond James,” says Holtby.
Recognizing that he needed to expand his knowledge, Holtby enrolled in Athabasca University’s MBA program. “I was working full-time and taking courses online. It was tough but I did earn my MBA,” he says.
Throughout his 13 year career at Raymond James, Holtby has had opportunities to move to Toronto or New York to advance his career even further, but he and his wife choose to remain in Calgary where their son and daughter are still in school and involved in activities. “Calgary’s been good to us so we’re going to stay here at least until our children graduate,” he says.
Plus he still loves the work he does at Raymond James.
“It’s a line of work that burns people out as there are long hours and your schedule is often controlled by other people’s schedules. But I still enjoy what I do and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping our clients. No day is the same and you have to keep learning. If you ever get complacent, you’ll be pushed out of this business really fast.”