SUGANYA SAVES THE DAY
Year of Graduation:
Suganya Tharmalingam (BCom, 2001) knows how to set goals. When Tharmalingam, the youngest in her family, was in first year at U of T Scarborough, her mother asked her to join the family in a move to Ottawa.
“I told her, ‘I can’t do that because I’m working on my brand. This is U of T and it’s what I wanted. I’m going to get my degree here.’” And that’s exactly what she did.
Next, Tharmalingam moved to Chicago for a job at Deerfield Capital Management. She studied to earn a CPA designation — and worked her way up to vice president. “l learned a lot about hedge funds, CDOs and unique investment strategies, mergers and acquisitions.”
Tharmalingam got married, moved back to Toronto and took a maternity leave job as senior analyst at Kensington Capital Partners. The company was growing, just getting into private equity and venture funds, and so she stayed. The partners put her on a team working on mergers and acquisitions.
Then a crazy thing happened. Tharmalingam was on maternity leave with her second child. A week after the birth, she got a call asking if she could resume work. There was a “situation”: the vice president of finance and the controller had both quit, and team members were jumping ship. And it was April, in the middle of tax and audit.
“What could I say?” She said yes. She worked from home and pulled it off — hiring people, restructuring the team and working through the tax and audit. And now? With Tharmalingam as managing director and CFO, the company manages more than a billion dollars in assets.
“Things are going well,” she says. “I took a risk, challenging myself and coming way out of my comfort zone.”