Meet Alan Farber

picture of Alan in a suit on a sidewalk in downtown Toronto

Founder, Joint Managing Partner, Rainmaker, ‘Chief Motivation and Culture Officer’, Philanthropist, and Art Lover.
An immigrant from South Africa, and CPA by designation, Alan Farber started his business as a corporate finance and restructuring professional. Scratch below the surface and you discover that Alan is more right-brained than most people from his profession. He’s a creative outlier, uber inquisitive, and a driver of unconventional change. To the point of sometimes being disruptive and unsettling to those around him.

While Alan embraces his responsibilities with gusto, philanthropy especially feeds his soul. When he is not busy with his growing family (grandkids), or strategizing and growing the business, he thrives on helping others. From friends and family members, to employees and even strangers, Alan is extremely grateful and happy to be in the position to help.

One of many examples happened in the late ’70s when Alan was instrumental in helping a Vietnamese family emigrate to Canada, “I formed one of the first groups to sponsor a refugee family of 13 people. That will always be one of the highlights of my life.” And when the Russian Jewish people could leave Russia, he was the first to sponsor a Russian Jewish immigrant into Canada.

Art Lover 
Alan is also an avid art enthusiast, and if you’ve ever seen his office or home, his passion for contemporary art is on full display. He cherishes a 75-year-old framed Olivetti typewriter which hangs in his office. He explains, “this was brought over from South Africa by my mother-in-law (who was my first employee, and who invested 21 years into the firm), and it was the first ever piece of Farber office equipment. It is now a historical treasure of the firm.”

Culture Advocate and Motivator 
Another thing that Alan is passionate about is Farber’s corporate culture. Alan jokingly shares his hiring philosophy, “If you want to fly like an eagle, surround yourself with eaglets.” It’s a humorous analogy, but something he takes to heart. ‘Build a business around driven, collaborative, and best in class talent’, he opines. It’s the secret to Farber’s success and he doesn’t hide that fact.

While he enjoys guiding and mentoring younger employees, he expects reciprocity—urging them to keep him up to speed when it comes to the latest trends and technology. He is proud to admit that he continuously learns from younger people who have so much to offer.

Give him a chance and he will talk about culture, both to external audiences and firm staff. Alan says, “I adamantly believe that the family culture at Farber is a core reason for our success, and I will work tirelessly to perpetuate it for the rest of my career.”

Youthful and optimistic
He qualifies for Canada’s senior citizen discounts, but in his head, he is about 20 years younger.  He says, ‘I work hard, then play hard’. He loves travelling with his wife of 46 years, Adele. She is a psychotherapist (sometimes Alan’s), his bridge partner, a talented hobby artist, and doting mother of three, and grandmother to their seven grandkids. When it comes to travelling, he plans to check off Morocco and New Zealand (to name a few), but he admits that he has more than his fair share of exotic stamps in his passport.

Alan thinks that the secret to his abounding energy and optimism is his passion for success, his self-deprecating humor, and keeping in solid physical condition.

If you are a friend, or want to be, look Alan up. He welcomes a chat and relishes human interaction.

Meet more Faces of Farber.