Our alumni community is over 14,000 members strong. From Toronto to New York City to Hong Kong and beyond, our graduates are making their marks in businesses and communities around the globe. We are exceptionally proud of all of our grads and are excited to share their stories.
Featured Alumni Profile
Vlad Tasevski, BCom ’07
“I think it is very important for alumni to get engaged with the Commerce community as it is one small way for us to give back and help make a difference in current and future students’ university experience.”
Vlad Tasevski (BCom ’07), a Vice President at BlackRock, is part of the exchange-traded funds (ETFs) industry, one of the fastest growing segments in the asset management industry globally. Vlad is enthusiastic about his sector; he notes that “the ETF industry is still young and will grow rapidly for the next 5-10 years and it’s very exciting to be a part of the ETF revolution.”
“My Commerce degree provided me with a great theoretical background for the tasks and projects I’ve done and still do at work,” says Vlad. For him, the Commerce Program at UofT was attractive because of its rigorous finance curriculum, and its proximity to the Toronto’s financial district. Furthermore, UofT had the best university water polo program in the country – an important consideration for Vlad, who was a promising young athlete.
A transfer student who immigrated to Canada with his family only three weeks before school started, Vlad will never forget his first UofT class in macroeconomics. “It was an entirely new and different experience for me compared to the university I had previously attended in Macedonia,” he says. The size and diversity of the student population at UofT provided an unparalleled opportunity to build a network of friends and contacts from around the world. “When you consider the world-class faculty, staff, and curriculum, UofT is by far the best platform for university education in Canada and more broadly,” says Vlad.
As a student, Vlad was deeply involved with the UofT Men’s Varsity waterpolo team. He was on the team for four years, during which time they won four OUA championships , and he made the All-Star team every year. “It was a great way to complement the academic side of my university experience,” he says. Vlad is now the head coach of the UofT’s men’s water polo team, a position he has held since 2009.
After graduation, Vlad joined Claymore Investments Inc, a start-up in the investment fund industry that focused on offering ETFs. At the time it seemed a risky move, but he was very excited by the prospects of the ETF industry and more importantly, by the people at Claymore. “It turned out to be a great story. We built it into one of the most successful companies in the Canadian asset management industry ever and five years after I joined, it was acquired by BlackRock, the biggest asset manager in the world,” says Vlad.
As the current Chair of the Rotman Commerce Alumni Steering Committee and mentor to a fourth-year student, Vlad is focused on building and strengthening the alumni community, something that all alumni will benefit from. “I think it is very important for alumni to get engaged with the Commerce community as it is one small way for us to give back and help make a difference in current and future students’ university experience,” he says.
His advice to new grads? Have confidence in their abilities, look ahead, work hard, and keep learning. “Most importantly they need to have confidence in themselves and their capabilities because they have one of the best business degrees in the world. When choosing their next job they should think long term and choose the one that will benefit them the most in 3-5 years from now. Once they start working, regardless of their position they need to work as hard as they can, always be curious and learn as much possible. If they follow these simple principles good things will happen and the sky will be the limit,” says Vlad.