Meet Simon Bali

Simon has a taste for extreme sports, which goes back to his younger days. He took the plunge into skydiving when he was a teenager and loved the experience. Since then, he’s been white water rafting numerous times. “I was thrown from the boat on one occasion,” he recalls. “That’s probably the closest I’ve been to a near death experience.” And then there are the activities he does for just plain fitness and pleasure, like weightlifting and running. If there’s a chance to get a dose of nature along the way, even better. Simon also enjoys kayaking, camping, and walks along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Strategic mind—poker and chess

For Simon, the best games are ones that combine thinking with competition. “I used to play a lot of online poker,” he says. He’s also ventured to the poker tables at the Niagara Falls casino on occasion, though he admits it can be a bit intimidating. “The casinos attract the more seasoned players who know each other and play all day,” he explains, “so when you’re an occasional player, it can feel as though you’re the little fish the others are trying to catch!” Simon also enjoys cruises and finds most ships have a poker room where he can test his skills. These days, though, he has developed quite a passion for chess, which still involves lots of strategy, minus the high stakes.

Exploring the globe

Simon definitely likes his boat trips, but he’s also partial to long road trips that offer lots of scenery and adventure along the way. One of his more memorable trips was a drive from L.A. to San Francisco with his father, which featured deserts, mountains and beautiful sequoias in the national parks.

From a cultural perspective, Santa Monica beach featured the boardwalk, quaint little shops, street performers, and lots of character. The only constant was the perfect weather. Simon’s trip to Israel also proved very interesting and one he decided to try alone. However, when things open back up, he looks forward to visiting Japan, southeast Asia and New Zealand. The Nordic countries are also on his list at some point in the future.

Time for diversions

“If I had an hour to relax, it would likely involve reading or Netflix,” he imagines. On the TV front, he likes Breaking Bad, Fargo and The Leftovers. For books, he’s currently enjoying more fiction but still enjoys psychology or history books like Predictably Irrational or Sapiens.  “Doing an MBA, I had a lot of non-fiction school reading that was pretty dense, so I’m catching up with more novels these days instead,” One of his all time favourites is The World According to Garp. 

On oversharing in social media

Simon says he’s pared back his social media accounts. “I really just use LinkedIn now,” he says. “I understand the benefits of it but it’s not natural for me to want to share the details of my life publicly. I found I was browsing content, but it wasn’t adding a lot to my life and I wasn’t posting, so it just made sense to scale it down.”

B. Riley Farber is the real deal

Since arriving at B. Riley Farber, Simon has found the culture to be very authentic. “They really want employees to be successful and happy and that motivates everybody to be their best in a natural and organic way.” As part of the Organizational & Talent Development team, he’s seen cohesiveness and connection in action. “People seem to be very natural communicators at B. Riley Farber and genuine in what they say.”

He even enjoyed a humorous moment with Alan Farber during his first virtual meeting at the firm. Although Simon tried to keep his poker face intact, Alan’s infectious laugh ended up getting the better of him.

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