True Leadership is in Short Supply
True Leadership is in Short Supply
In our connected age, there is no shortage of ideas, beliefs, or perspectives that can amass a following. But what makes a true leader? At Sandstorm, we believe true leadership is built on principles of trust, integrity, authenticity, and goodwill. These guiding values influence every decision we make, from our investments to the people we hire. As a result, we’re proud of the company that Sandstorm is today and of the people behind it who are making a positive impact on the world around them.
Nolan Watson didn’t always envision himself as a businessman. From a young age, his parents instilled values of compassion and benevolence, which developed into a passion for humanitarianism. With a driving force to help people, Nolan realized early on that he might be more useful if he built a solid foundation as a business leader with an understanding of how organizations and global economies work.
By age 26, Nolan had accomplished more than most. As the youngest CFO of any New York Stock Exchange-listed company, he used his resources to develop and launch a grassroots organization in Sierra Leone that provides free, world-class education to children, developing them into self-sustaining, successful leaders in their communities—an organization that is still thriving today. While many would have considered these achievements more than enough, Nolan was seeking the next adventure.
In 2008, at the depths of the Global Financial Crisis, Nolan co-founded Sandstorm along with his business partner, David Awram. With Nolan’s financial and business acumen and David’s geological and technical expertise, the two of them set out to build a royalty company that would not only compete with the very best in the business but would reshape and propel the industry forward. As they’ve grown the company over the years, the same core values that motivated Nolan from a young age, have been the building blocks for Sandstorm.
Royalty companies exist in a space that overlaps mining and financial markets—two industries that have historically attracted unethical players looking to make a quick buck on the backs of others. It is rare and refreshing to discover a company run by individuals who hold themselves to a higher standard. Nolan’s view on leadership might be summed up in the phrase, expect excellence, demand integrity. His desire is for every team member to do their best and hone their craft, but above all else, to lead with integrity and compassion.
It was David Awram who first conceived the concept of Sandstorm. While working at Silver Wheaton (now Wheaton Precious Metals), Dave saw the extraordinary potential within the royalty business model and asked his fellow colleague and good friend, Nolan Watson, if he would be interested in starting a new royalty and streaming company. It wasn’t just the success of Wheaton that Dave and Nolan felt they could replicate—they also desired to push the business model further and reshape the landscape of mining finance.
Always up for a new adventure, it was Dave’s entrepreneurial spirit that helped launch Sandstorm. However, it is his charisma, perseverance, and genuine care for people that have shaped the successful company that Sandstorm is today. Dave’s character and integrity are woven into the fabric of the company and reflected in the team that he and Nolan have built over the years.
Dave has worked tirelessly over the decades sifting through technical studies and evaluating prospective investments. As a Geologist, Dave is most at home when he’s surrounded by nature and conducting site visits. It’s this level of “boots on the ground” experience that has contributed to his success in the mining industry. Beyond the rocks, it is his care and concern for the people and communities he works with that has made him an admirable leader. Always looking out for your best interest, Dave’s desire is to see people grow and prosper—whether you’re a local miner, a Sandstorm shareholder, or you’re fortunate enough to call him a friend.
Erfan Kazemi grew up in a home where excellence was encouraged, and integrity was valued above all else. Raised by his mother who was a chemist and his father an engineer, the importance of education was instilled in Erfan at a young age. With a passion for numbers, Erfan studied mathematics at university and became a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.
His love for business was formed during the early years of his career at a global accounting firm where he quickly became a rising star and laid the groundwork for a move into the mining industry. During his tenure as a Senior Manager, Erfan met Nolan Watson and heard about Sandstorm—a new royalty company he was building. Drawn to the company’s young, vibrant management team and entrepreneurial nature, Erfan knew it was an environment where he could thrive and contribute in a meaningful way.
As Chief Financial Officer of Sandstorm for over a decade, Erfan has been instrumental in navigating the company’s rapid growth into a multi-billion-dollar company. Beyond his financial and negotiation expertise, Erfan’s leadership philosophy permeates Sandstorm’s corporate culture. He is a firm believer that you can accomplish great things if you surround yourself with hard-working, intelligent people who are ethical. With a natural gift for mentorship, Erfan is passionate about discovering people with raw talent and nurturing those individuals into the next generation of leaders.
Sandstorm is a company built on experience. Our award-winning executive team has completed billions of dollars in royalty transactions, and our corporate development team is continually seeking out new investment opportunities. Our in-house technical team has worked on projects in over 100 countries and has decades of industry experience. Use the directory below to learn more about Sandstorm’s leadership.