Focus team profile: Anthony Chan, Senior Manager, Operations

We are pleased to welcome Anthony Chan who joins the firm’s Operations team as Senior Manager. Get to know Anthony as he shares some insights about himself below.


What do you do at Focus and what do you enjoy most about your role?

Anthony: I manage Trade and Fund Operations at the firm, enabling portfolio managers to focus on generating alpha, while my team and I ensure their intended trades are completed. What I love most about the role is the challenge and pace. I was once told that within an investment firm, Investment Operations is the ‘first line of defense’ and maybe even the ‘least fun’ function – but critical nonetheless. Knowing that I provide that critical support, motivates me to seek knowledge to perform my role better and constantly improve trading capabilities for the firm.


How did you find your way into the world of Investment Operations?

Anthony: I started my career in the investment industry at State Street, a large global custodian. It was in Operations, that I was able to find my passion in problem solving for the investment industry and improving processes to get more efficient at trading. To do this, I made several lateral moves to gain exposure to transaction lifecycles of multiple asset classes. From State Street, I moved to CPP Investments and honed my craft. Because of its size, I was able to gain experience to asset classes and markets that were not typically found in smaller asset managers in  Canada. This really helped me solidify my love & passion for Investment Operations.

What is the most insightful piece of advice you have received? How and why is it still relevant to you today?

Anthony: One thing that I have been taught is that early in your career, try everything and do not be afraid of change – change can be nerve wracking, but most of the time is good, and maybe even needed! A lot of people start a career with goals and expectations of where they think they will be financially, experience, and even what role they ultimately want to play. But if you focus on finding your passion first, what I have learned is all those rewards and expectations of a successful career will materialize on its own… Your colleagues and peers will feel and appreciate the energy you bring to your job every day… You will accomplish so much more with less burnout. I still apply this mentality today and it has been working since

Springtime is right around the corner, is there anything you are looking forward to?

Anthony: Spring is great for our household, as we can get back outdoors hiking or on bike rides, and also planting colorful flowers around the house. The bright colors and sunshine always bring a level of energy and happiness every day!

Who is the best Star Wars character and why?

Anthony: My favorite Star Wars character is a robot (droid) R2-D2. I can relate as his entire existence throughout the Star War series is to help all main characters achieve their missions/goals. R2-D2, while always in the background, plays a critical role in each and every mission’s success via supporting activities (i.e. keeping engines of starfighters operational during intense dogfights, opening locked doors to provide safety of those under attack, and providing companionship to those during harsh times, etc) – kind of like what investment operations professionals do!