We chatted with a kind-hearted and accomplished founder and CEO of Star Mountain Capital Brett Hickey, who took a community of care culture from a small town in Northern Canada and translated it meaningfully and with purpose to create one of the leading lower middle-market investment firms in New York City.

By Joanne Leila Smith

On the surface, it may seem contradictory for a guy who made his success on Wall Street to say that the best performers are those who have a higher purpose other than financial success. This seeming contradiction is however, what makes Brett Hickey, the person, and his raison de vivre, delightfully intriguing.

Raised by his school teacher dad, after his mother passed away from cancer when he was six years old, Hickey says growing up in a 10,000-people town gave him the fortitude to dream big. He did not want a life of hard labour, as is typical in a lot of small northern Canadian towns, and says he viewed education as a pathway to a different life.

“Passion, discipline, perseverance and organisation, these are hard things to teach, but they are the largest determinants of success. Some may call it ‘grit’. Technical skills are far easier to learn. The lesson from my own life is that while many people grow up with money, there are alternate paths you can go down to achieve your own success. Ultimately, I’m just a guy that tries to remove excuses by creating a plan and executing against it knowing that nothing is one hundred or zero percent probable. I was from a small town with no money and I achieved my dreams, so I hope my story inspires others to pursue their dreams,” says Hickey.

As a young Canadian gold medalist in speed skating, Hickey credits his earlier years’ training experiences with the skating team and community as being a major influence on his focus and drive, as well as his personal values and conduct.

“Skating was very formative for me. I got into speed skating because of my dad and it really just came down to culture. In our small town hockey was the main thing and speed skating was a smaller sport, but dad loved the people and the sense of community. This really became the theme of my life – people first. In speed skating, it’s a very different type of dynamic. It really came down to culture. No one gets into speed skating because they’re going to make a ton of money! Growing up in a small

Brett Hickey, Star Mountain Capital, Star Mountain Charitable Foundation, Joanne Leila Smith, private equity, asset management firm, middle-market investment firm, INDVSTRVS, Jiyang Chen

Brett Hickey – Building Cultural Capital

We chatted with a kind-hearted and accomplished founder and CEO of Star Mountain Capital Brett Hickey, who took a community of care culture from a small town in Northern Canada and translated it meaningfully and with purpose to create one of the leading lower middle-market investment firms in New York City. By Joanne...


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