Silicon Valley Bank grows Canadian team with promotion, two new hires

Santa Clara, Calif. HQ of Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has added two new directors to its Canadian team and promoted another, as the commercial bank looks to expand its presence in the country.

SVB Canada has promoted Shez Samji to managing director and head of business development, and brought on Gabi Mandowsky as managing director of global fund banking and Daryl Johnston as managing director of technology banking.

SVB Canada has promoted Shez Samji and added Gabi Mandowsky and Daryl Johnston to its team.

The United States-based bank launched in Canada in 2019 and is headquartered in Toronto. SVB provides financing for private and public tech and life science companies. Some of SVB’s Canadian tech clients include Shopify, Snapcommerce, Symend, and Borrowell.

In May last year, SVB Canada appointed former president of PayPal Paul Parisi as its head of Canada. Parisi’s appointment came nearly a year after Barbara Dirks, who was set to lead SVB Canada, stepped down from the role, citing personal reasons.

SVB’s recent Canadian expansion saw the bank develop a presence Western Canada. Last year, the bank expanded to Vancouver with a new Western Canada lead, Caterina Papadakos.

“When I joined Silicon Valley Bank nearly a year ago, as Head of Canada, I was drawn to the role because of the enormous opportunity for SVB to contribute to and support the Canadian innovation ecosystem,” said Parisi. “I could not have predicted the events of 2020, but I am incredibly excited about the outlook for Canada‘s tech and life science economy.”

“We are committed to the Canadian market for the long-term and plan to expand our presence and capabilities in the market over time,” he added in a statement to BetaKit. “You can expect to see continued growth of the team to support the different sectors, segments and geographies that we serve.”

“Our goal is to be the most sought after financial partner to innovative companies and their investors across Canada,” Parisi added. “SVB is the bank of the global innovation economy, and Canada is an extremely important market.”

Samji, who will be based in Toronto, first joined SVB in 2019 after 10 years of private equity and credit investing experience. In his new role, Samji will be responsible for supporting Canadian and US investors and companies seeking growth opportunities in Canada. Last July, Win Bear, SVB Canada’s former head of business development, left the bank to become managing director of Kensington Capital Partners.

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Mandowsky joins SVB after several years of providing lending and corporate finance for private equity firms in Canada at BMO. She has taken on Samji’s previous role. In the new position, Mandowsky will work with venture capital and private equity firms across the country to provide personalized lending and industry insights to investment firms and their portfolio companies.

Johnston, who has more than 25 years of financial services experience in Canada’s innovation economy, will lead SVB Canada’s relationship management team.

In March 2020, SVB launched a relief initiative for tech startups negatively impacted by COVID-19, consisting of loans of up to $10 million USD, and the ability for venture debt borrowers to defer their principal payments for a period of six months.

“I am proud to lead this strong team at a time when the growth prospects for innovative companies in Canada look so promising,” said Parisi. “We look forward to continuing to champion Canada’s innovation economy both in Canada and around the world.”

Photo of SVB’s Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters, courtesy of SVB

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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