Don Roberts

Economist Don Roberts offers the Foundation community the opportunity to draw on his intimate knowledge of the financial services sector to promote sustainable development in Canada.

Don G. Roberts is the chief executive officer of Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd, a firm that provides advice on strategic direction and raises capital for companies in the renewable energy, clean technology, and forest products industries. In 2012, Corporate Knights named Mr. Roberts the individual in the financial services sector who most contributed to sustainable development in Canada. Institutional investors surveyed by Brendon Woods and/or Greenwich Associates ranked Roberts Canada’s best analysts for the paper and forest products sector seven times between 1997 and 2008, and in 2006, Forbes Magazine named him one of the best brokerage analysts in North America. 

Prior to starting Nawitka in July 2013, Mr. Roberts was a vice-chair of wholesale banking and a managing director in investment banking with CIBC World Markets Inc. In this capacity, he founded and led CIBC’s cross-functional Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Team, whose mandate was to establish CIBC as the dominant investment and commercial bank serving Canada’s renewable energy and clean technology sector. The team achieved this goal in 2009. While at CIBC, Mr. Roberts also provided senior coverage for companies in the global forest products industry.  

Mr. Roberts is known for advising ministers and premiers in Canada and internationally on financing and strategic growth in the resource sectors. Early in his career, he spent ten years as a senior economist and a chief economist in the Department of Forestry, Government of Canada. 

In addition to his work with Nawitka Ltd., Mr. Roberts is an adjunct professor in the Department of Forest Resource Management at the University of British Columbia and a member of the boards of directors/advisors of Kruger Inc. (Montreal), Endurance Wind Power (Vancouver), Ensyn Technologies Inc. (Ottawa), and the Rights and Resources Institute (Washington DC). In addition, he advises a range of government, industry, and NGO groups. 

Mr. Roberts holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of British Columbia, a master’s degree in forestry economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA and credit for doctoral studies in international finance and economics from the University of Chicago. He is a certified board director with the Institute of Corporate Directors.