Moez Kassam is a leading Canadian hedge fund manager and financial entrepreneur. As co-founder of Anson Funds, a Toronto-based investment firm, he has spent years seeking profitable opportunities with clients.
With an estimated $1.4 billion assets under management, Anson Funds has consistently outperformed its benchmarks by drawing upon three proven investment strategies; these include value longs, classic shorts, and opportunistic investments. The success of these approaches has led to Anson being recognized as a top performing hedge fund by Bloomberg and Barron’s. In addition, the Barclay Managed Funds Report recently listed Anson Funds as a Top 10 Equity Long/ Short Hedge Funds for three year compound growth.
“Investment strategies are only as good as a firm’s knowledge base and the talent of the investment team,” Kassam explains. “That is the foundation, but investment success requires a deeper dimension of wisdom and judgment. You need to have a feel for trends, what is going on in the wider economy and society, and a long-range perspective on what is happening beyond your own business, industry and community.”
Moez Kassam was a student at Bayview Glen School when he first became interested in finance. While at Bayview, his class excelled in the TD Stock Portfolio Challenge for Ontario, ranking in the top three. That experience fostered a love for investing. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2002 and graduated from the London Business School with a Master of Business Administration in 2010.
Beyond his successes in finance, investing and business, Moez Kassam is known for his generous philanthropy. Having achieved his own goals of becoming a successful investor, Kassam is dedicated to helping other people realize their dreams. Today, he gives back to society through a range of charitable ventures, both locally and internationally.
Together with his wife, he established The Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation. The Foundation has been quick to make an impact. It has supported charities across targeted initiatives including education, healthcare, shelter, food, arts and culture, and issues immigrant communities face.
An example of this targeted philanthropy was the Foundation’s 2022 gift to the Sinai Health Foundation, which supports medical care, research and a vast array of healthcare initiatives in Toronto, Ontario, across Canada and worldwide.
The gift has enabled Sinai Health to establish a Moez and Marissa Kassam Fellows program that trains doctors and other medical professionals from around the world at Sinai’s Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health. The trainees will take this knowledge back to communities in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other countries to establish and improve neonatal services in places desperately in need of such expertise.
The Michael Garron Hospital received a million-dollar donation from the Foundation in 2021, but the healthcare sector is not the only focus of the Foundation. The Kassam’s charitable efforts also include active support across organizations such as; Shelter Movers, The North York Harvest Food Bank, Families for Children, SKETCH Working Arts, and Together We Stand Foundation.
Programs that help Canada’s immigrant communities, as well as marginalized populations, are also central to the Foundation’s charitable giving. Windmill Microlending and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship are examples of such vital support services which were established to change the tumultuous nature of immigrating to a new country.
“We understand the needs of these communities, because we ourselves have lived their experiences, and shared these dreams,” Kassam says. “We are deeply invested in their success.”
If there’s one theme to Kassam’s success, it’s leadership. From Kassam’s perspective, a leader is someone who applies innovation, creativity and moral courage to problems in the business sector and beyond — someone who changes industries, changes lives and helps shape the future. A leader sees the big picture, masters important details, and commands the respect of peers and employees alike.
“A leader must understand people on both the macro and micro level,” he says. “A successful CEO intuitively knows what motivates his or her employees, whether it be compensation, career challenges, recognition, or the opportunity to be part of an exciting mission. The CEO then tailors a leadership style to the particular team.
“Whether in financial or consumer markets, having an independent view grounded in long-term thinking is critical. Leaders also need to dedicate time to reflect on their business’ position and for introspection. Step back, take a look at where you are, where you’re going, where you may find some new opportunities. This process will reveal ways to improve yourself and the way you run your business. It’s important to be honest when you do this exercise. It’s always nice to see what went well, or really well – but I think it’s more beneficial to see what went wrong, or really wrong in order for the team to avoid suffering from a similar scenario in the future.”
That is certainly the case with Moez Kassam. His successes may start with him, but they definitely do not end there. He makes the effort to ensure the community around, micro or macro, feel the positive impact.