President and CEO
Alex Yamini is the co-founder, President and CEO of Sarmaya Capital and a key member of the Board of Directors in his position as Vice Chairman. Alex thrives when dealing and working with people and has proven himself as a leader whose key to success has been allowing others to thrive and grow together with him. Prior to starting Sarmaya Capital, Alex co-founded and managed Tala Enterprises. He was responsible for financial operations, the company’s investment portfolio and procurement of new clients. By directing the company to mostly Private/Public Partnerships (P3’s), he created a self-sustaining client base and revenue stream, including collaborating on projects like the CanadaLine Rapid Transit System (Skytrain) and growing the company from a small steel supply components company in Vancouver, to one participating in some of the largest infrastructure projects across Canada. Prior to that, Alex was an Investment Advisor in the number one branch of one of the largest private wealth management companies in Canada where he was responsible for asset allocation of portfolios using a wide range of securities, implementation of tax-sheltered portfolios, integration and implementation of portfolios into private trusts with top tax lawyers in the field, in addition to implementation of tax deferred/advantageous structures and overall financial management for High Net Worth clients.
Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from McGill University in Political Science and Economics and has also successfully completed the Canadian Securities Course and the Conduct and Practices Handbook.
When not working, Alex enjoys travelling and spending time with his family. Alex works closely with Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House Vancouver as well as other private endeavours focusing on youth empowerment.
Chief Operating Officer
Andrew Cockburn is the co-founder and COO of Sarmaya Capital, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive staff. A proven leader and executive, Andrew believes that people are a company’s most important asset, which will play a critical role in enabling Sarmaya to be the ultimate team. Prior to Sarmaya, Andrew held several senior management positions with an International Real Estate Asset Management & Development Company, where he helped the company grow from less than $100 million to over $5 billion in assets under management. Andrew has a passion for Real Estate and people and through Sarmaya’s Community Betterment commitment, he can combine these two passions to ensure Sarmaya creates better lives for all involved.
Andrew holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, as well as an Advanced Studies in Business Diploma, from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Andrew has also completed his Canadian Securities Course Designation, and the Real Estate and Mortgage Brokers License Course.
Outside the office, Andrew enjoys spending time with his two lovely daughters Milla and Berkeley, as well as with his lovely wife Raina. Andrew is an avid skier and mountain biker, as well as soccer player. Andrew is on the Advisory Board for The Children’s Wish Society, and a past member of the Big Brothers organization.
Christopher Ross, B. Comm., C.P.A, C.G.A.
Christopher Ross is a co-founder and partner of Sarmaya Capital. He is a flexible team player, who possesses a demonstrated ability to use strong communication and interpersonal skills to address business challenges. Christopher strongly believes in the value of people and relationships and strives to positively build upon those values each and every day.
Christopher is a designated accountant with over 20 years of progressive experience within many industries including forestry, distribution, mining, construction, and multi-family real estate. Having worked with both private and public entities, Christopher’s experience includes financial accounting, analysis, audit, and taxation. Most recently, Christopher led the finance group for a construction company that operated in both Canada and the U.S. and also provided consulting services for a company involved in the U.S. multi-family real estate sector.
Christopher received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1994, specializing in accounting.
When not at work, Christopher is a supporter of the MS Society, enjoys sports and fitness and spending time with the Ross family.
Praveen K. Varshney, FCPA, FCA
Director and Advisor to the Board
Mr. Varshney has been a principal of Varshney Capital Corp., a Vancouver based venture capital, merchant bank and corporate advisory services firm, since 1991 and a Founding Director of Pyfera Growth Capital social impact fund. Mr. Varshney obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and is a FCPA, FCA.
He is a director or officer of various publicly traded companies including Mogo (Co-Founder) and BetterU Education Corp. He is also a Co-Founder of G-PAK and former CFO of Carmanah Technologies which became Canada's largest solar company. He also was Co-Founder of a predecessor of Mountain Province Diamonds who’s Gahcho Kué in September 2016 became the world’s largest new diamond mine since 2003 & De Beers’ second-largest producer behind its Jwaneng mine in Botswana.
Mr. Varshney is a Toniic member and a long-time member of both EO Entrepreneurs Organization & TiE (Founding Director). He’s also on a number of non-profit boards such as The Varshney Family Charitable Foundation, OneProsper.org and a Founding Member of instrumentsbeyondborders.org. He's also an SVP Vancouver Partner, a Vancouver Police Foundation Trustee, and on the Advisory boards of Room to Read - Vancouver and The Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation in New Jersey, USA. He also Co-Founded with his daughter, Jaiya, Down to the Last Straw, a global movement to reduce plastic waste with a major focus on single-use plastic straws.
Mr. Varshney is also a past recipient of Business in Vancouver's 40 Under 40 Awards.
CIO and Director of Acquisitions
Joe is a real estate industry veteran with over 20-years of experience in real estate acquisitions and development. An entrepreneur since 2013, Joe has been involved, as a Principal, in over $154.3 million (2,622 units) in multi-family acquisitions and over $112 million in sales. Joe started his real estate career in 2003 as a Senior Financial Analyst at RHA, Inc., an Atlanta based LIHTC Developer. While at RHA, Joe helped manage the financial and operational performance of over 10,500 affordable housing and student housing units. After RHA, Joe was an Assistant Vice President of Asset Management for iStar Inc., a large national publicly traded REIT, which provided Joe with vast knowledge and experience in nearly every real estate asset class including but not limited to; office, industrial, retail, multifamily, condos, structured finance, ground leases and development. During his tenure at iStar, Joe sold over $750 million worth of commercial real estate and $154 million of senior notes. He also leased over 2.5 million square feet of space and was on the development team of a $60 million mixed use development in Sarasota Florida that included an Aloft hotel, the high-end Condominium development known as One Palm and retail space. In addition, Joe oversaw the completion of a 126-unit condo project in Clearwater Florida after iStar foreclosed on the original developer half-way through the project. He also resided over the Board of the HOA of the community. Joe has significant management, development, acquisition, disposition, leasing and valuation experience. Joe holds a B.A. in Finance from Florida State University.