Nevin Markwart has come a long way from his start as a self-described “kid from Regina.” Selected by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 1983 draft after starring with the Regina Pats, he logged 309 NHL games over nine seasons as an industrious forward who showed his grit in the corners. With only a high school education, he embraced the Entrepreneurial Studies program offered by Northeastern University for Bruins’ players at the rink after practice. His resulting academic success motivated him to complete his MBA at Northeastern after he hung up his skates in 1992.
Now, as a director on the Board of the Business of Hockey Institute (BHI), Markwart knows first-hand how well hockey and education go together, and the massive impact the latter can have on the business end of the sport. His combination of experience and education has enabled him to prosper for over 20 years in the world of high finance, and he is excited about BHI’s potential in concert with Athabasca University and its Executive MBA featuring hockey-specific courses. “We believe we can help organizations and individuals evolve their game in the hockey eco-system.” Markwart’s passion draws on sound experience as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for international firms like Wellington Management and Fidelity Canada, and most recently, as President and CEO of Canoe Financial in Calgary.
He began paying attention to hockey finance at an early stage in his career, when he set up the NHL’s first 401K pension plan for his teammates in 1988. With information rare for the time, he knew that the Bruins’ annual player salary budget was about $3.6 million. Compare this to today’s NHL salary cap of $71.4 million per team. In this light, Markwart’s comment – “since 1992 there’s been a dramatic change in hockey’s business model, from a business focused on the sport of hockey to a business focused on the entertainment of hockey” – is both understated and insightful.
He sees the BHI collective as a “think tank” that can help focus research, bring in business experts as resources, and provide “significant hockey leadership” for AU’s program. As we shift into 2016, Nevin Markwart is looking forward to focusing on his role with BHI and encouraging the business of hockey. “We’re all energized by the mission. At BHI and AU we believe the Executive MBA built for the business of hockey will become the platinum standard of executive training in hockey.”