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Associate Director, FW Capital At First West Credit Union

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Job Description

First West Capital provides customized junior capital to mid-market businesses across Canada and we are a division of First West Credit Union. We are a small, dynamic group of financial professionals who are passionate about helping businesses grow, acquire and transition. We exist to help our clients access flexible, minimally dilutive capital—and we understand the unique needs of entrepreneurs and their businesses. Because it takes one to know one. We're looking for professionals with a talent for finance and a passion for business to join our high-performing and enthusiastic team.

Purpose and Summary
The Associate Director - Origination is an integral member of the Origination team who advances the strategic direction and success of First West Capital through business development, transaction execution, effective portfolio monitoring and contributes to internal projects that enhance the overall performance of the firm. The Associate Director – Origination supports the Directors and Managing Directors by qualifying potential transactions, making recommendations that contribute to growing a high quality book of business, and guiding transactions through the process. The Associate Director - Origination is an emerging leader and mentor to the Associate team. This position is well-suited as a role progression for experienced underwriters looking to transition to a business development-focused role or as an entry position for an emerging business development professional with credit/underwriting experience.

Core Accountabilities

Business Development
  • Actively supports Directors in business development in a way that meets or exceeds established team revenue targets; identifies business sectors with growth potential and opportunities for First West Capital to serve their needs. The expectation is that as the Associate Director – Origination gains more experience, they will begin sourcing and closing their own transactions
  • Maintains membership and active participation in various business and professional development associations,
  • Builds referral sources through relationships with brokers and the corporate finance network; targets entrepreneurs directly, or at events where their participation is known
  • Demonstrates thought leadership through client and prospect presentations; follows through with prospects to identify viable financing opportunities for FWC
  • Initiates, leads, and participates in banking presentations to raise and maintain profile with commercial account managers
  • Travels as needed with other Originators to provide support at the client or prospective investee location

Deal Structuring and Advisory Services
  • Contributes to the development of First West Capital’s junior capital financing (including equity) portfolio by leading transactions as well as supporting Directors in negotiations
  • Receives, investigates, and evaluates proposals to determine their viability and develops junior capital financing proposals in accordance with First West Capital Funding Guidelines, policies and procedures
  • Exercises sound judgment in dealing with financing requests, processing applications and maintaining relationships with customers, prospects and referral sources
  • Provides consulting support and advisory services to clients as a part of First West Capital’s financing solutions; deepens client relationships by regularly providing expertise beyond the deal

Portfolio Management of Directly Soured Accounts (for External hires)

Investment Analysis -
  • Manages the investment application process for personally sourced accounts. Acts as the key client contact at the CFO/Controller level of the investee organization, using the “credit hat” and influence skills to assist in negotiating and closing the deal
  • Supported by analysis and assessment of the data, makes go/no go decisions to proceed to Deal Huddle, Deal Screen, and/or Credit Committee presentation
  • Manages all portfolio management functions on accounts that were personally sourced, including all deal negotiations and structuring; leads the process of investment amendments and analysis for any follow-on rounds of financing
  • May assign an Associate responsibility for securing forecast of future financial performance from prospective investees and to begin due diligence; provides guidance and training where needed
  • Consults with external legal counsel to ensure that security documentation accurately reflects deal terms as approved by First West Capital Credit Committee, negotiates changes to documentation as needed in multi-party deals, differentiating between material changes that require updated originator and/or Credit Committee approvals, and immaterial tweaks that do not prejudice First West Capital’s overall position
  • Services the ongoing needs of investees/borrowers; coordinates with senior lenders and other stakeholders to approve major changes
  • Maintains a professional standard of conduct at all times while promoting a positive image of the organization

Special Projects and Administration

  • Participates in special projects that advance the brand or market position and capabilities of the FWC organization such as strategic initiatives (equity product development and rollout)
  • Contributes to strategy for new product development that includes the input of internal FWC colleagues, Credit Union stakeholders, and industry contacts
  • Supports the onboarding and ongoing development of new, emerging, and experienced Associates, mentors Associates on new financing opportunities and portfolio management
  • Attends team meetings as required to share challenges, provide perspective and impart knowledge, and stay updated on who needs assistance, and the progress of key files
  • Meets annual CPD course requirements for maintenance of professional designation

The Person

The ideal candidate will bring the following background and experience:
  • 5 - 8 years of relevant industry experience in any one of the following: commercial lending, investment banking, financial advisory, valuations, subordinated finance, private equity and/or a financial institution environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of leveraged finance transactions such as: cash flow lending, debt and equity structures and applicable underwriting and due diligence skills.
  • An Accounting, CFA or CBV designation is an asset, as would any other relevant professional designations or degrees (MBA, LLB, etc.)
  • Proven relationship building skills, including the ability to effectively build value-added partnerships with investees / borrowers and other key stakeholders.
  • Coaching, motivation, negotiation and leadership skills
  • Ability to create, and work in, a distributed team environment in a rapidly growing organization
  • Sound business judgment, together with strong credit skills
  • Experience in, and comfort with, public speaking and presentations
  • Creative and strategic thinker with an ability to translate strategies into actionable plans
  • Integrity and professionalism – maintains a professional standard of conduct at all times while promoting a positive image of the organization.

Our values


We believe the sum is greater than the parts, because it maximizes goodwill.


We believe in being proactive, flexible and adaptable, because it makes our business strong


We believe in the driving force of perseverance because resiliency is crucial in a constantly changing and challenging environment.


Success Measures:

Individual Funding Goal: Meets or exceeds personally assigned funding or revenue goal, with deals priced in accordance with Funding Guidelines. Achieves target of zero write-offs through quarterly reviews that are accurate, complete, and timely. Supports Origination Team in achieving team targets by assisting with investment analysis on complex deals.

Business Development: Develops own network of business contacts and referral sources that lead to quality deal flow. Demonstrates thought leadership through content development for presentations and FWC marketing; attends events and conferences, develops new opportunities for channel development, ultimately developing the FWC and personal brand within the region.

Associate Team Development: Provides Associates with deal and underwriting exposure and mentorship that enables them to advance their knowledge and capabilities. Actively participates in team meetings; contributes to a positive work environment and the high performance of the Operations team.

Project Management and Administration: Contributes to internal projects and participates in process improvements where expertise adds unique value.

Competencies for Success (in alphabetical order):

Business Savvy
Shows understanding of issues relevant to the broad organization and business; stays abreast of current trends, policies and current events; understands how businesses work; uses cross-functional knowledge.

Coaches and Develops Others
Accurately assesses strengths and development needs of team members; gives timely, specific feedback and helpful coaching; provides challenging assignments and opportunities for development.

Customer Focus
Anticipates customer needs and takes action to meet the needs of both internal and external customers; responds quickly to customer inquiries; continually searches for ways to increase customer satisfaction.

Decision Making
Uses sound judgment in making timely and sound decisions; able to make thoughtful decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Prepares a plan of action in advance; sets the stage for a positive outcome; takes time to build trust in the relationship; able to uncover needs, priorities, and various options of the other party; works toward an agreement both parties can live with.

Technical/Functional Expertise
Possesses up-to-date knowledge and is regarded as an expert in the technical/functional area; accesses and uses other expert resources when appropriate.

Why work for us?
  • Our employees give us a lot and we think it’s only right to give something back. We offer a total rewards package that includes:
  • A competitive base salary plus performance-based incentive compensation and annual merit pay increases
  • Flexible benefits as well as retirement benefits
  • Vacation time, a flexible “Day4U”, and the ability to purchase up to 5 additional flex days
  • Other financial perks such as waived or reduced financial service fees, reduced rates on personal loans, mortgages, and vehicle leases, and no-interest loans to buy computers or fitness equipment for home use
  • But most of all, we’re invested in our local communities. Our initiatives are far-reaching with a special focus on raising food, funds and awareness for our local food banks. We volunteer and employees can be provided with paid time off to volunteer their time to assist in serving an organization.
What’s your place in the First West story? Apply now and let’s find out together!

Diversity & Inclusion
First West Credit Union is committed to diversity and inclusion. Our goal is to create an inclusive, accessible environment for our candidates and employees that reflects the communities in which operate. If you require an accommodation for the recruitment or interview process (including alternate formats of materials, accessible meeting rooms or other types of accommodation), please let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs.