10 Questions with Jamie Wilkie (January 2020)

1. What do you do at The Marquee Group?

I lead our Training and Consulting practices in Western Canada and specifically grow and develop new relationships with clients west of Ontario.

2. How long have you been at Marquee?

I have been at Marquee for almost a year.

3. So you are one of our newer team members. How has your first year gone at Marquee?

It has been unbelievable and easily the best career decision I have ever made. The team is incredible and I really believe in the product that we are selling. The company has been growing at a massive rate and I have been having a lot of fun.

4. You have an interesting background. Can you tell us more about that?

I wandered into investment banking by accident. I only planned to be there three years tops… then I blinked and it was 12 years later! Investment banking was great – lots of smart people and I worked on very interesting projects and deals. But as I became more senior I was less involved in the analytical work and more involved in client management. I tried a few more things after I left and then joined Marquee in March of 2019.

5. Interesting. What else did you experiment with before joining us?

At first, I tried to get as far away from spreadsheets as I possibly could. I started to build docks for lake properties in Alberta and BC. But unfortunately there aren’t that many lakes in Alberta! Then, former clients started calling me again to help them with consulting projects which dragged me back into the land of spreadsheets. I have known some of the Marquee team for over ten years and actually helped them build an oil sands modeling course in the mid-2000s. We reconnected late 2018 and the rest, they say, is history.

6. What is your favourite snack to munch on while building a model ?

Cheesies and Fresca. Yes, it is an odd combination and I will tell you why. When I started in investment banking, the office manager was a saint of a woman but our snack selection tended to be limited to whatever was cheap and plentiful. We didn’t have much in the way of caffeinated drinks and the main snacks we had were Costco-sized bags of Cheesies. Over time, I came to appreciate how well the artificial citrus flavour of Fresca brings out the subtle hints of processed cheese in the Cheesies. If you haven’t tried this combo yet, I would highly recommend you visit your nearest 7-11 right now.

7. Hmm, I am a little unsure about that food combination. But what is your favourite keyboard shortcut or modeling tip?

I am old school and only use Excel 2003 shortcuts (unless I’m teaching). My favourite is Alt + E + S + F for paste special formulas (for everyone else who is using Excel in this century, the shortcut is Alt + H + V + F).

8. Let’s change gears from modeling back to you for a moment. You told us you built docks so that must mean you like the outdoors. Are there other activities you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy cross-country & downhill skiing, hiking, wakeboarding/surfing and generally anything outdoors with my wife and two boys. The rockies are (quite literally) in our backyard, so I spend as much time as possible in them.

9. If you weren’t working at Marquee, what would you be doing?

That is a really good question. I once had a dream to manage a Blockbuster Video. Maybe I would manage a retro VHS video store. As you have probably realized, I am all about picking unsustainable businesses! Docks in Alberta, VHS videos that no one ever watches…

10. L-shaped Enter key or straight Enter key?

Straight. L-shaped is ridiculous because it jams up on you. What is this, 1943? I don’t know how people worked like that. Technology has definitely evolved and I am forever grateful.