My name is Rachel Lee and I am a Manager, Investment Finance at OMERS. I am part of the finance team for the Private Equity business, specifically for the Ventures portfolio and I am responsible for various finance functions including financial and management reporting, investor reporting and transaction support.
Prior to OMERS, I spent several years at KPMG in the Financial Institutions and Real Estate (FIRE) audit practice, taking on many roles since my first co-op term there from staff accountant to manager. I am also a Waterloo alumnus, graduating from the AFM program in 2016 and the MAcc program in 2017.
My morning routine varies day to day, depending on whether I am going into the office. My team works from home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I go into the office on Tuesday and Thursday. On the days I am going into the office, I wake up at 8:00am to get ready, eat breakfast and catch the bus. I always stop at Tim Hortons to pick up a steeped tea on my way into work.
Beginning of Work Day
I typically get to work around 9:15am, in time for a daily 9:30am meeting with my team. We use this time to catch up on weekend or the previous evening and discuss the tasks for the upcoming week. I found these check-ins helpful in understanding what my team is working on and if needed, it provides the opportunity to answer any questions or shuffle tasks around so that each team member has a balanced and manageable workload.
After the daily meeting, I spend about 30 minutes catching up on world, business and tech news from the previous day. I usually start with Globe and Mail and CNN Tech, and then read through the daily newsletters I signed up for (Term Sheet by Fortune and Morning Brew). I also have Google Alerts set up to my email so that I can browse through any news articles related to our portfolio companies and fundings made by OMERS Ventures. I would then take the time to address any time sensitive tasks or emails in the morning and plan for the rest of my day.
Around 12:30pm, my team and I head to the PATH to grab lunch. We try to go a bit later to avoid the lunch rush. Some spots that I visit frequently are Fast Fresh, IQ, Pantry or Koha. I will usually choose something on the lighter side for lunch such as salad or a rice bowl, and then snack at my desk throughout the day!
Throughout the early afternoon, I will attend meetings with various co-workers within OMERS. One of the important recurring meetings I have is a weekly call with the deal and legal team to discuss investments in the pipeline. It is important for my team to know what investments we are planning to fund in the near term as this determines when and how much capital we need to call from our investors. We also discuss any funding rounds that have been completed recently for our portfolio companies and determine its impact on our valuations.
In the late afternoon, I will attend more meetings or resume tasks that were on my to-do list. I like to check in with my team around 4:00pm especially if there are any urgent tasks and see what the progress is. My priorities will differ depending on what time of the month it is. If it is month-end (typically the first 4 business days of every month), the days are usually busier as we are trying to close and consolidate our books to report to corporate finance. This involves time-sensitive review of system reports and deliverables to summarize our monthly and year to date results. If it is not month-end, we typically have other tasks to do such as sending out capital call notices, distribution notices, wire memos, posting journal entries and creating financial statements.
After wrapping up my tasks for the day, I aim to go to a workout class such as Barry’s or Pilates. This gives me something to look forward to after work and keeps me active! I try to do my workouts in the first half of the week, so that I can make plans with co-workers or friends in the later half of the week and into the weekend. On the days that I am not working out, I will take a 20-minute walk home while listening to a podcast.
To close off...
Every journey is unique, so make it your own! Stay open minded and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. If you are passionate about a particular industry or career, don’t be scared to make that leap and reach out to the networks you have built through university and work. No one truly has it all figured out yet, so take it step by step!