Weekend Warrior: Wayne Wachell featured in BCBusiness

Wayne Wachell on a tennis field holding a racket

This post is originally featured on the BCBusiness website and in their print magazine.
Author: Nathan Caddell | Oct 18, 2019

The Genus Capital co-founder and CEO serves up advice on staying active


Wayne Wachell got a bit of a late start with the game of tennis, but he’s more than made up for it over the years. The then–University of Alberta student was 20 when he began watching Argentine tennis sensation Guillermo Vilas. “He was kind of like Rafael Nadal back in 1975,” Wachell recalls. “So I picked up a tennis racket and started hitting with a friend and thought, Wow, I can do this pretty good.”

Cut to 45 years later, and the co-founder and CEO of Vancouver-based Genus Capital Management admits that he’s probably played “a little more than my wife would like.” But there have been some slight adjustments over the decades. As the Wachell family grew (he now has two adult children), cutting out on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. to return serves wasn’t going to fly anymore.

“I quickly got a new program, started playing at 7 a.m. in the morning and would walk in as the kids were getting up,” Wachell says. “Every morning I’m up at 5:30 because of the markets, and at my age, fitness is everything. Tennis helps keep my muscle mass and my flexibility.”

Though the kids have long since left Wachell’s West Vancouver coop, the man sticks to the early morning routine and now has a long list of counterparts to battle at Jericho Tennis Club.

“I’ve got a pretty big crew that I hit with. People go away, go on holidays, get injured,” he says. “You have to have a set of probably about seven that basically rotate. A couple are more regular in terms of playing once a week. But you can never have enough tennis partners; that’s just the nature of the game.”

Like Vilas, Wachell is something of a baseliner, a player who mostly operates from the back of the court and hits powerful groundstrokes. But he’s also apparently taken some lessons from how the former pro handled himself off the court.

Vilas was famously composed (he wrote poetry and was a heavy reader) in an era known for prickly competitors like Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. For his part, Wachell puts a strong emphasis on the concept of flow.

“One of the things that’s really important for happiness is having flow,” he says. “My wife said to me the other day, ‘You’ve got a lot of flow in your life.’ Tennis gives you flow, in terms of your mind focusing on something and being in that space. It’s really a form of meditation, I think.”

Wachell also derives flow from another weekend activity that he’s picked up in the past couple of years: maintaining the creek bed, or riparian zone, that runs through his West Van property.

“I go down there and three hours will have gone by; it’s just sort of a Zen thing,” he says of gardening and preserving the area. “You get the oxygen coming off the creek; it’s really special. I’ll go down there tired after tennis, and after half an hour I’m invigorated.”

Wachell hopes to play in some tennis tournaments in the future but doesn’t appear to be in a rush to change his current routine. “I’m lucky that I have two things that really help me with flow in my life, and make for spending more time outside versus sitting on the couch watching TV. I think it’s going to help me live a lot longer.

“Like Clint Eastwood says: I don’t let the old man in.”


Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
Marc B.
“I love the service I get at Genus.”
Chris H.
“Leslie and I were fellow board members when we met twenty years ago. For the last ten she has been thoughtful in the construction of an investment strategy for my family and is executing the strategy as planned. The team at Genus has met my expectations and are a pleasure to deal with.”
Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
“Genus is a very innovative firm. I am pleased to invest in their Fossil Free and Impact strategies that help me invest in line with my values.”
Marnie C.
“Great team of professionals. Excellent website and reporting. Responds to inquiries promptly. Very pleased with the process of changing from another company to Genus as well. Kudos.”
David L.
“Genus consistently provides a good, clearly explained, comprehensive picture of the general economic and financial situation, along with an excellent account of the investment decisions made in relation to this. Genus’ equally strong concern with clients’ questions and requests for further information is also a very important part of the service it provides.”
Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

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