The Humble Start
If you want proof that doing what needs to be done pays off for Canada ICI, look no further than Brandon Kot. “In my last year of university, I started with ICI as a summer student. I started at the very bottom of the barrel,” Brandon says. “They created a new title for me, which was junior analyst. I was 21, the youngest person in the company, and I looked like a participant of ‘take your child to work day.’”
From binding books in the copy room to taking on a leadership position within the firm, Brandon has worn many different hats for Canada ICI. This willingness to roll up his sleeves and dig in is an attribute that’s served him and the firm well in his 13 years with Canada ICI, and plays into the fabric of the culture today. “In my first interview with Dale [Klein], he asked me, ‘What’s above you, and what’s beneath you?’” Brandon recalls. “I remember at the time, I was working as a manager four days a week in a nightclub that my family owned. I was doing some really crappy work — everything you can imagine being involved in the service industry, so nothing was beneath me.”
This company isn’t just an organization, it’s an organism,” Brandon adds. “It’s a living, breathing, growing, and organic thing. It continues to evolve. It has a personality.
Brandon attributes this concept — that no one is too good to do the gritty work — as a key ingredient in the company’s success. This is not only an example of Canada ICI getting in the trenches with their clients and investors, but it is also a value upheld internally across the organization that helps drive personal success. Brandon takes a great deal of pride in “seeing individual team members achieve their goals.” Whether those achievements directly affect the company, or if they’re “personal goals that we only play a small part in,” he is extremely proud to witness individual growth for Canada ICI team members.