Brian Paes-Braga: Lithium Resource Entrepreneur Turns His Attention to the Media Industry

Brian discusses the sale of Lithium X and how he feels very fortunate to be surrounded by the best people in the business like Frank Giustra and Paul Matysek. He says, “Like anything in life, it’s all about the quality of the people and the ambition that drives them.” Their timing was fortunate, selling the company for $261 a share and every investor along the way made money.

He says, “Frank and I share the same basic curiosity and a unique outlook on life. It’s possible to create real wealth, and it’s a matter of capitalizing the right opportunity at the right time with the right people.”

Brian worked several jobs as a teen and was able to purchase his first condo in Vancouver before the crazy condo boom at age 14. He dabbled with trading at 17, and after two years in university, he found the environment not conducive to his goals. Fortunately, in early 2009 he was hired by Stew Vorberg who had also mentored Frank Giustra. In 2015, he identified the potential with lithium and built a thesis for his ideas. Frank, who had become a friend by then helped him capitalize Lithium X, which quickly reached a 265 million dollar market cap.

He says, “Being able to attract highly talented people and mentors all comes down to treating people with respect.” Approaching those in a senior position in business, you should show a positive attitude and bring some excitement. Also doing your homework is vital since they are putting time and energy into you. You want to get to a great position where you can score a goal.

He explains his new project as chairman of Thunderbird Entertainment (TSX.V:TBRD) and how they plan on leveraging the billion-dollar video on demand media industry. Thunderbird is growing rapidly, and they have a great management team, an excellent CEO, along with 50 million in revenue. It’s not unlike how Lithium X was back in its early days, and he is excited to convey the story of why he is putting his money behind the company.

Time Stamp References:
1:20 – Building of Lithium X and sale.
3:30 – Business relationships with good people.
6:40 – His background and forming Lithium X.
12:45 – Attracting mentors and highly talented people.
16:10 – Overview of Thunderbird Entertainment
24:00 – Reasons for being publicly listed.

Talking Points From This Week’s Episode
• The building and sale of Lithium X
• Brian’s background and mentors.
• Why a positive attitude and energy are essential in business.
• His latest project as Chairman of Thunderbird Entertainment.

Brian Paes-Braga is a Principal, Head of Merchant Banking at SAF Group, a structured credit and merchant banking group which builds, invests, finances and advises high growth companies.

While still in his twenties, Brian Paes-Braga partnered with Vancouver mining financier, Frank Giustra, to found Lithium X, a lithium resource company that he led and sold in March 2018 for $265 million, a little over two years after founding the company.

Today, Paes-Braga continues to follow his business leadership and entrepreneurial ambitions. In addition to his work with SAF Group, he serves on the Board of Directors at Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc., a Vancouver-based content production company, and on the Board of Directors for metals company, DeepGreen Metals Inc. Additionally, he continues to lead his private family foundation, Quiet Cove Foundation, which supports innovative solutions to large scale social issues.

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