Relationships are integral: You never know when you will connect again

Ben Gibbons, RSM alumni

Culture RSM alumni

I grew up on a sheep/wheat farm in New South Wales, Australia (approximately six hours west of Sydney), and studied engineering at the University of New South Wales. I graduated in 2004 and initially worked for a telecommunications company before beginning my investment banking career at Deutsch Bank. I soon realized my preference and passion were to work with entrepreneurs, so I joined the corporate finance team of a mid-tier accounting firm. And in early 2012, I met my wife (a Canadian in Australia for secondment) in Sydney, and we moved to Toronto.

My career with RSM Canada LLP (RSM) began soon after moving to Toronto when I secured a job as an associate at one of RSM’s predecessor firms. I joined the partnership group in 2015 and was provided several growth opportunities. Many others arose when we joined RSM in late 2017, leading me to several roles throughout my years at the firm.

As a value creation partner within the transaction advisory services (TAS) practice at RSM, I led the Canadian TAS group, our private equity launch team, and I was the firm’s consumer products industry leader. I supported and managed local and cross-border transactions focusing on divestitures in the private and public company sectors – key focus areas included transaction readiness and strategic planning, deal structuring and carve-out assessments, financial projections, separation management, and broader deal support.

I left RSM in late 2021 to become the founder and managing partner of Waterpoint Lane. This organization invests in growth-stage companies centered around primary production, technology and services, and consumer products that focus on and promote sustainable practices throughout our food system. I saw a need and an opportunity to drive change in how we think about our food supply that secures a lasting and sustainable legacy for future generations. I’m also still the chair of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Toronto, and this role allows me to maintain contact and relationships with former colleagues. AGC Toronto is the global community for middle market dealmakers, and business leaders focused on driving growth. ACG members have access to industry data and networking opportunities.

During my time at RSM, I think I’m most proud of supporting the build-out of our transaction advisory services deal group in Canada. Relationship building across Canada and the United States and mentorship were critical and still play a large part in my career. I remain in touch with several RSM partners, staff and other RSM alums.

In terms of career advice, from my perspective—try to find something to be famous for, whether it be technical, by market, by industry, etc. Whatever your passion may be, showcase it! Clients and prospects will want to work with you. Be authentic and be yourself! Relationships are integral—maintain them and don’t burn bridges. You never know when you will connect again.

Want to hear more about Ben’s RSM story? Connect with him on LinkedIn. And if you’re inspired to find your next role at RSM, explore our openings today!

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