When it comes to keeping busy, Piers has yet to meet a new gadget he doesn’t love. “I like shiny stuff,” Piers admits—particularly any device that make life a little bit easier. His latest purchase is an electric scooter which he can fold up and bring with him on the GO Train and then zoom to the office. “I’ll be a menace to traffic,” he jokes. His love of gadgets also extends to technology. “I have three phones on me today,” he explains. “Not sure why, but I can’t live without them.”
A Need for Speed
Piers describes himself as a car nut. “From a young age, I’ve loved cars.” Apparently, it’s more about the experience than the mechanics, he admits. “I love racing cars on a track, but I know little about taking them apart and putting them back together.” How fast has he raced? About 260 or 270 kilometres per hour on a race track. And on a road, “Well, slightly less.”
Growing up in South Africa, Piers played every sport —rugby, cricket, squash and tennis. “Any game with a ball,” as he puts it. “You could just throw a ball down on the floor right now, and I’d figure out something to do with it.” Baseball may have some similarities with cricket, but it doesn’t hold the same appeal for Piers. However, he recently tried out a batting cage and thought it was a lot of fun trying to whack a baseball at high speed. In an effort to assimilate as a North American sports fan, Piers checked out basketball and found it really exciting—particularly since he happened to arrive in Toronto just ahead of Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors’ run for the championship. “The rules are simple, you can easily see the players on the floor, and they’re amazing athletes. I’m definitely a Raps fan!”
Life in Southern Ontario
“Toronto may not get the tourists that other big cities get, but it’s a fantastic place to live,” says Piers. “It’s every bit as multicultural as it purports to be.” The Marsdens actually chose Oakville as home, which makes for a bit of a commute to Toronto, but it’s proven to be a great community.
To move here required an adjustment to Canadian winters, but their first taste of the cold wasn’t so bad. “We enjoyed our first winter,” says Piers. “You just need to embrace it.” That’s meant downhill skiing, ice skating and walks in the snow. Summer brought the opportunity to experience Muskoka, which has been a big hit with the family. “We had some great cottage time, recalls Piers. “Just wholesome fun with boats, kayaks, and no Wi-Fi. It was a chance to disconnect from the world and connect with the family.” Of course, the time on the water has gotten Piers thinking about buying a cool boat to scoot around the lake. “I’m not sure Canadians realize how lucky they are to have all this freshwater, both for enjoyment and as a resource.”
Piers appreciates the diversity of disciplines at Farber, having come from an environment with primarily accountants and insolvency professionals. “The people are super friendly and honestly interested in you.” He finds the 40-year mark for Farber to be particularly impressive, given the difficulty to sustain any firm for that length of time. “Some companies grow too fast and lose their character, but Farber has kept its culture. To have the original guys still walking the halls is pretty unique.”
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