Chris Fenn is co-founder and general partner of Wildhorse Capital Partners. He spoke with Calgary’s Business about the company.
Calgary’s Business: Can you give me a bit of history behind Wildhorse? How and why it was formed?
Fenn: Wildhorse was formed out of a desire to disrupt the finance industry. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, my business partner and I recognized that the status quo was not working for business owners, nor was it sustainable. There was no company willing to provide a comprehensive, hands-on, relationship-driven approach to finance, so we built our own.
CB: How is your business model unique to the industry?
Fenn: Over the last 30 years in the finance industry, there’s been a shift towards a transaction-based model that primarily benefits the investment banks and institutions. Wildhorse takes a company-based model that benefits the entrepreneur and the investors.
We go above and beyond the traditional scope of a finance firm by working closely with our clients and providing them with a full scope of services, including but not limited to capital markets advisory, promotion, investor relations, legal, strategic guidance, PR and accounting. Our compensation is almost entirely back-end weighted, meaning we are only successful when our entrepreneurs and their investors are successful.
CB: Do you personally invest in every client that you work with?
Fenn: Yes – Wildhorse personally invests directly or indirectly in every client that we take to market.
CB: What industries today are particularly appealing to you from an investment perspective?
Fenn: We always let the market determine which industries to pursue, and right now it’s all about cannabis. The impending legalization will be good for Canada, but we are particularly excited about the wave of innovation and opportunities coming out of the American market.
CB: What’s your sense of where the Calgary and Alberta economies are today and their pace of recovery?
Fenn: This province is home to some of the most creative, resilient and hardworking business owners in the country. Entrepreneurs are fighting to get our economy back on track, but unfortunately it feels that some of these efforts are seeing resistance from the government. For the economy to fully recover, all levels of government must work together to create a more business-friendly environment.
– Mario Toneguzzi
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