Our team

Steve Chen

Vice President and Head of First West Capital

Steve Chen

Vice President and Head of First West Capital

Steve is passionate about creating long-term relationships with our clients and helping them to overcome barriers to growth.

An entrepreneur at heart, Steve believes in the synergy of great financing and strong partnerships – which led him to join our team in 2019. He understands the ups and downs on the road to growth and truly enjoys collaborating with high-performing businesses to help them achieve their objectives. As Head of First West Capital, Steve leads all facets of the business from origination, deal execution, portfolio management, risk management and is ultimately accountable for the driving the overall growth and profitability of the business.

From start-ups to multinational corporations, Steve has 15+ years of experience in growth and M&A financing and has held roles at BDC Growth and Transition Financing and BMO Asset Based Lending, as well as VanCity Capital and CIBC Leveraged Finance.

He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Charterholder) and received an honours degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. Steve is also a board member of the Vancouver Chapter of the Risk Management Association, and a member of the Accounting Standards Board, Private Enterprise Advisory Committee.

About Steve

  • His two daughters and wife are the best things in his life.
  • Steve loves the NBA, golf and watching live sports.
  • His three favourite food groups are salt, fat and acid. Generally speaking he prefers savoury over sweet, however, at any point in time he may have an apple pie for breakfast.
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Debby Fu

Director

Debby Fu

Director

Debby is a key liaison between First West Capital and our clients and provides deal evaluation, investment analysis and ongoing portfolio management.

Debby plays a crucial role in crafting well-structured junior capital solutions. Highly analytical and relationship-focused, she has a talent for uncovering clients’ needs and establishing strong partnerships. She also provides insights and solutions for improving internal processes and procedures, making us more efficient at serving our clients.

Debby has been in financial services for 10 years, including auditing financial institutions and gaining valuable deal experience at a large investment bank in Johannesburg, the financial hub of South Africa. She graduated with a B.Bus.Sci Finance (Honours) and Accounting from the University of Cape Town and is also a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CPA and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

About Debby

  • A huge fan of the outdoors, Debby loves to hike in the summer and ski in the winter!
  • She is very much a dog person.
  • She is the Event Director for the Central Park run at Central Park in Burnaby.
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Jason Sellakumar

Director

Jason Sellakumar

Director

Based in Toronto, Jason is responsible for deal origination, investment analysis and ongoing portfolio management.

Jason is passionate about financing and growing the Canadian economy. By helping Canadian businesses grow, acquire and transition with junior capital, he turns that passion into action. He also manages and oversees First West Capital’s existing investments, ensuring clients feel supported and empowered in executing their operational and financial plans.

With over 10 years experience, Jason started his career in public accounting and has since built a wealth of expertise in financial services, management consulting and banking. When identifying and crafting innovative junior capital solutions, he looks to foster strong relationships by taking a collaborative and client-focused approach. He also sits on the board for three of his portfolio companies.

Jason graduated from Brock University with an Honours Bachelors in Accounting (BAcc), and is also a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA).

About Jason

  • Jason is a lifelong fan of basketball and – from Vince Carter to Kyle Lowry – is always willing to discuss which Toronto Raptor will go down as the greatest player of all time.
  • He was born and raised in Toronto but has also lived in San Francisco and Scottsdale. Despite some crazy stories from living across the border, home is and will always be Toronto.
  • Jason is married to his loving wife, a social worker and clinical therapist, and together they support a number of different GTA-based social causes, with a focus on youth, community, and mental health.
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Geoff Devereux

Director

Geoff Devereux

Director

Based in Vancouver, Geoff is responsible for deal origination and execution, investment analysis, and ongoing portfolio management.

Geoff is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and enabling value creation for his clients. With a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face while building a company, he is committed to understanding client needs. He values collaborating with high-performing businesses to develop creative financial solutions to help them achieve their goals.

Geoff has over ten years experience in working capital, mezzanine, subordinate and quasi-equity financing and has held roles at BDC in their senior commercial lending and junior capital groups. His professional background consists of a variety of senior accounting roles at early stage and growth companies in technology and professional services, supporting management with his expertise in analysis, reporting and fundraising. Having been on the both sides of the table, Geoff has a great appreciation for the needs of all stakeholders in the financing process and works diligently to ensure all needs are met.

Geoff graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. Geoff is also a board member of the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Risk Management Association.

About Geoff

  • Geoff loves spending time with his wife and daughter exploring the West Coast on family adventures.
  • He probably spends a bit too much time exploring the virtual worlds of video games with his daughter.
  • He also enjoys kicking off a vacation with a trip to the nearest used book shop to find a good “page turner” novel in preparation for some serious relaxation.
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Mary Liu

Associate

Mary Liu

Associate

Mary is a key liaison between First West Capital and our clients and provides deal evaluation, investment analysis and ongoing portfolio management.

Mary’s expertise in due diligence and underwriting provides our team support with crafting innovative junior capital solutions. With a background as a business valuations analyst, she discovered her passion for number crunching and financial analysis, leading her to join our team in 2019.

Mary has over 5 years experience in finance with a focus on business planning and client relations. She is committed to helping our clients grow, acquire and transition effectively.

Mary holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia, as well as a Diploma of Finance with Distinction from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is currently working towards her CBV designation. Mary is also a mentor to students in the career mentorship program of the BCIT Student Association.

About Mary

  • Mary loves animals and currently has 3 cats and 2 dogs in her household. She hopes to eventually live on a farm with all her animals.
  • She plays dodgeball several nights a week to stay active.
  • Mary loves travelling, particularly to Europe (she lived in Vienna as an exchange student during her time in university).
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Brett Norris

Associate

Brett Norris

Associate

As a key liaison between First West Capital and our clients, Brett conducts deal evaluation, investment analysis and ongoing portfolio management.

With his experience in corporate finance and passion for delivering strong financial advice, Brett paves the way for our clients to realize their strategic goals and creates junior capital solutions to help them grow.

Brett has over nine years of experience in accounting, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and business advisory, with a focus on mid-market companies. Prior to moving to Canada, he worked in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Brett graduated with an MBA at EDHEC Business School in France and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, Hons.) from Otago University in New Zealand. He is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and is in the final stage of becoming a CFA charterholder.

About Brett

  • Brett is a keen traveller, having lived in five countries and travelling to more than 30.
  • Inspired by cocktail movies, Brett’s original career was in hospitality management and food and beverage. Prior to pursuing his commerce degree, he graduated with a Diploma in Hospitality Management.
  • A lifelong sports fan, Brett’s latest hobby is watching hockey—even if he’s still learning a few of the rules!
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Jane Thomas

Compliance Officer

Jane Thomas

Compliance Officer

As Compliance Officer, Jane keeps our team in order. She is responsible for auditing, managing account files, and leading the essential administration on our team. Her client-focused approach ensures all financial transactions run like clock-work and that all of our i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.

Nothing gets by Jane. We depend on her attention to detail and technical skills to manage the behind-the-scenes funding administration and so much more! Jane is known for going the extra mile to keep things running smoothly, and is the go-to for transactions, CRM support and client relations.

Having worked in the credit union industry for over 35 years, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team, including many years leading a retail lending administration team.

About Jane

  • When Jane isn’t working, you can find her either at the gym, taking advantage of the great outdoors (such as fishing, hiking or going for long walks) or puttering in her garden.
  • She also likes to travel and is interested in seeing what the world has to offer!
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Work with us

If you’re a driven, collaborative and entrepreneurial financial professional, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s crucial to partner with people who will see you through challenges and successes, and truly care for your business. I always prefer to work with people who I like and respect, and who provide solutions – it makes all the difference to the long-term success of the business. That’s why we work with First West Capital.
Reut Rothstein, Executive, Crossworks Manufacturing