James joined B. Riley Farber just as the second wave of the pandemic was taking off. For anyone who is an avid traveller—and that would be James—staying put is like cruel and unusual punishment. He’s not one of those gaze-out-the-bus-window tourists, either. James prefers the local experience—immersing himself in the people, food, and culture.
Taking it all in
Often, travelling alone is the best way to soak it all up according to James. Some of his longest excursions have been through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia. He typically likes to stay on budget during his travels. Then, when the money runs out, well, it’s time to come home and regroup before his next adventure.
“Japan was probably my favourite trip,” he recalls, “though I wish I’d spent more time there. The country is so futuristic in their technology and transportation, which is amazing when you consider how far they’ve had to come in the past couple of generations.” Of course, Japan can be expensive and if you’re a sushi lover—that’s James again—you need to seek out those spots that colour-code the serving dishes according to the price. Still, he couldn’t visit Japan without sampling the pricey wagyu beef. “It was definitely expensive, but amazing!”
Though grounded for the time-being, he has dreams of returning to Europe, visiting an African Safari, and maybe a sojourn in South America.
Sports fun and sports fan
Back in Toronto, James is a bit of a sports nut, both as a player and spectator. “I used to play hockey and baseball, but my favourite now is pickup basketball—the great thing is, you can just meet up and play and you don’t need anything but a hoop and a ball.”
As a fan, James follows all the Toronto teams. Naturally, he was in his glory when the Raptors went all the way in 2019. “I was working at York and Bremner at the time of their victory parade, which was right on their route, so I just had to come out and watch.” Although it took hours for the parade to reach him, it was well worth the wait!
James is also an avid fantasy sports fan with fantasy football being his favourite. He created a fantasy football league with his friends five years ago and it’s been going strong since. “I have a loyal following, most of the guys that joined at the beginning are still in the league today. It adds so much more excitement to the games every week!”
Strumming the strings
Another favourite pastime for James is listening to music, rock and hip hop being his main genres. He’s also been playing guitar since he was 13. “I was forced to play piano when I was young. It was definitely a good base, but I just got tired of it.” He talked his parents into getting him a guitar and it seems to have stuck. His main influences in guitar? Dallas Green (City and Colour), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave). But above all the others is Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin.
And when it’s time to relax…
“I used to read a lot more,” James recalls, “but now I seem to use up all my reading energy on my insolvency studies.” Instead, it’s the small screen that’s more his go-to entertainment these days. “I’ve been watching Vikings lately, which I quite like,” he says, “but if I had to pick my top three, it would definitely be The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Wire.”
At home at Farber
James finds himself at home at Farber. “Compared with the bigger firms, B. Riley Farber is a tight-knit group, with a friendly and supportive team environment,” he finds. “And the restructuring work we do here makes it all the more interesting.”
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