Investor on Nova Scotia’s investment attraction potential
Monday, October 26, 2015
Meet ConnectNS network member, Chris MacDougall, Investment Expert and Hammonds Plains Native.
Chris MacDougall’s first job was at a Sobeys in his hometown of Hammonds Plains. While earning a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s University he started his first business in online sports retailing. After completing his Masters at the University of Saint Andrews, he moved to London where he would kick-start a career in the financial markets.
His career path would lead him to Mongolia where he advised on investment opportunities, and supported the attraction of foreign investment.
MacDougall now resides between Asia and South America operating as a Managing Director at Crovan Holdings, a private equity investment and advisory firm. He holds several advisory and directorship positions with companies across Asia, North and South America.
An avid private investor, MacDougall’s holdings include a Mongolian investment bank and brokerage, a leading North Korean intelligence firm, a mobile technologies company, as well as various mining and oil & gas holdings.
We caught up with MacDougall to gather his thoughts on Nova Scotia and attracting investment to our province:
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Nova Scotia”?
Friends and family, I was raised in a very tight-knit household. Even though I live on the other side of the world, I speak with family several times per week.
What do you enjoy most about working in private equity?
The opportunity to create real value and to solve problems.
Whether it’s a specific operational problem within a portfolio company, a strategic or corporate restructuring, divestiture or financing solution for a distressed company, the list goes on.
Bottom line, each day is different, stimulating, and I wake up excited to see what’s next.
What’s the best lesson you ever learned?
Work hard. This is a lesson that seems lost on many people. It’s the difference between entitlement and ambition, between dreaming big and actually having the tenacity to pursue those dreams.
What’s the greatest asset Nova Scotia can offer to global investors?
Nova Scotia has proven to be a hub for entrepreneurial businesses. As these companies grow and start to generate positive cash flow they may require growth capital or look to expand into new markets. This pool of entrepreneurs and the businesses they create can offer a unique opportunity to investors.
That said, Nova Scotia is competing with the rest of the world when it comes to attracting investment. In addition to strong businesses the province also needs to offer competitive incentives that will attract investors – which, NSBI plays a large role in facilitating.
What do you miss most about Nova Scotia?
That’s a tough question.
In no particular order: donairs, salt air, lobster, home cooking, and the Huskies stadium in October. But, more than anything it has to be the people.
Chris MacDougall is a member of the ConnectNS network of proud Nova Scotians, alumni and expats from over 40 countries. Learn how you too can get involved.