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Jiaqi Nie (EMBA 2017) takes on new role at financial services holding company

Executive MBA graduate Jiaqi Nie is now Chief Operating Officer, Global and President, China for Gravitas Ilium Corporation (GIC).

Jiaqi Nie (EMBA 2017)
Jiaqi Nie (EMBA 2017)

Jiaqi Nie, part of the 2017 Executive MBA cohort, is now Chief Operating Officer, Global and President, China for financial services holding company Gravitas Ilium Corporation (GIC).

With a diverse career with responsibilities ranging from managing infrastructure budgets for US Government departments to tenure as Chief Operating Officer, Board Member, Regional CEO and Chief Representative at various subsidiaries under a China-based Fortune 500 steel company, Jiaqi is now using his skills to build value for clients and expand the long-term strategic platform of Canada-based GIC.

“I am proud to take on this challenging and rewarding role for an exciting and ambitious organisation,” says Jiaqi on his appointment.

A boutique financial services company based on Bay Street (Canada’s “Wall Street”), GIC, both directly and through its subsidiaries and partners, offers a broad set of capital-markets and wealth management services in Canada, the US, Hong Kong and mainland China.

With offices in Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco, and with a proposed office in China, GIC’s mission is to provide seamless coverage to public and private companies and investors as they seek to access diverse sources of investors and opportunities.

New responsibilities, new challenges

In this new role, Jiaqi leverages his experiences as a senior officer, earned on both sides of the Pacific, to bridge the knowledge and logistical gaps experienced by investors and firms trying to complete transactions between Asia and North America. In doing so, Jiaqi is also responsible for providing GIC with the oversight that ensures quality in product and service delivery, and the highest ethical and compliance standards.

Responsible for managing two important business areas within the company, Jiaqi’s responsibilities are split and diverse. As Chief Operating Officer, Global, he manages all the IPO business in Canada and Asia Pacific, all global M&A deals, fundraising and asset management business globally, especially in the US and Canada.

As President, China, Jiaqi is responsible for the company’s China strategy and expanding business to Asia Pacific, such as international expansion, helping international companies go public in China, and connecting Chinese companies to the international capital markets.

A return to education to recharge, refresh and upskill

Jiaqi joined the Executive MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School in 2017.

“I wanted to go back into education to recharge, refresh my existing skills and broaden my horizons,” says Jiaqi on his decision to pursue an Executive MBA.

“I didn’t initially consider Cambridge because my life is established in Toronto. I visited many US-based business schools that would have reduced my commute, but they didn’t feel right for me. It was my parents that suggested Cambridge to me and set the ball rolling.”

“The reputation of the University of Cambridge and the impacts its graduates make in business, politics and innovation, plus its long history of producing some of the greatest thinkers in philosophy and science, made me consider it the best place to grow personally and professionally.”

Having worked in different sectors in North America and China, Jiaqi realised exposure to Europe was something he was keen to gain through his education.

“The Cambridge network is global. I met people from different sectors, geographies and professions every day throughout the programme. The perspectives I gained from this network of individuals from outside of China and the US have been of great value. With China’s high level of investment in EMEA, the global nature of the programme has empowered me to be a truly international Chief Operating Officer.”

Your College: a unique part of the Cambridge experience

Jiaqi was also drawn to the programme’s association with the University of Cambridge’s collegiate system. As members of the University of Cambridge, every participant of the Executive MBA programme becomes a member of a College. Jiaqi was a member of Emmanuel College.

“College membership is part of the unique identity you have access to as a member of the University,” says Jiaqi on the experience. “I visited my College whenever I was in Cambridge and often attended College-only speaking events and dinners. It was a very special part of my Cambridge experience.”

As for advice for prospective applicants for the programme?

“Talk to alumni and current participants. Think hard about what you want to get out of the Executive MBA experience and speak to people on your shortlist to manage your expectation. After all, it’s a big financial commitment and you’re making personal and professional sacrifices – you need to be convinced of value.”