From Olympian to Analyst: Brandon McBride on the World of Sports, Finance, and Their Surprising Similarities

by Sequoia Financial Group
by Sequoia Financial Group

For many people, financial planning and wealth management are not the most natural complement to professional athleticism. Brandon McBride, a two-time Olympian and Sequoia Financial Group Wealth Management Analyst, disagrees.

McBride represented Canada at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the middle distance (800 meters) event. He is the former Canadian record holder in the 800 m, has won four national titles, is a two-time NCAA Division I 800 meters champion, and nine-time track and field All-American at Mississippi State University.

Now a Sequoia Financial Group team member, Brandon McBride knows his path to Sequoia was only possible with all he learned as an athlete. From training to communication and team camaraderie to openness and transparency, he exemplifies the essential qualities for a successful athletic career and employs that same approach to provide his clients with Sequoia’s renowned “built for you” experience.

We sat down with McBride to discuss his journey from Olympian to Analyst.

Sequoia Financial Group (SFG): Brandon, when and how did you realize you were a gifted runner?

Brandon McBride: I was passionate about running from a young age. My parents were strict about curfews, and I lived about 2 miles away from my friends. I figured out that I could spend more time playing if I ran to and from their houses instead of walking, saving me about fourty minutes to an hour of commute time.

A few years later, someone asked, “Have you ever thought about competing in running?” So, why not? At that time, it was just about fun. Many years later, as a 16-year-old, I realized I could run at the professional and Olympic levels.

SFG: You made the Canadian National Team at 16. How was your first Nationals experience?

McBride: I was young, but even then, I recognized a huge gap between where I was athletically and what it would take to be a professional. The following year, after adjusting my training team, techniques, discipline, and level of focus, I saw how all the pieces came together to a more positive experience and outcome.

SFG: That’s interesting. Does that inform your work today?

McBride: Of course. Could I have reached the Olympics without a team of dedicated professionals, including my incredibly supportive family? Likely not. It’s not impossible, but the chance of success grows by surrounding yourself with the right team. It’s not so different in the world of finance.

For our clients, Sequoia Financial Group is that team: dedicated, knowledgeable, trustworthy partners who want to see our clients live their chosen futures. And, just like your family and team of coaches and trainers specializing in your event, Sequoia tailors each client team specifically and intentionally with the client’s end goals in mind. There are no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solutions for our clients. No two clients are alike; no two athletes are alike; at Sequoia, your financial planning is as unique as you are.

SFG: You’re telling me that finance and professional athleticism have more in common than I’d think?

McBride: Oh, absolutely. Work ethic, discipline, focus, resilience, and learning that success isn’t instantaneous; it’s one step at a time. I learned that through sports. That’s how I approach the financial industry. It’s a journey.

Additionally, working within a team dynamic, I learned that I was responsible for clear and concise communication, or my team could not function to its best ability. If I’m unclear with my team, there’s an increased risk of the baton being dropped. The same goes for Sequoia, where our conversations and decisions are too critical to misunderstand or misinterpret among each other or with our clients.

SFG: How has your athletic success inspired your professional drive?

McBride: I was immeasurably lucky to grow up with an incredibly supportive family, and that’s where it started. Throughout my professional athletic career, I’ve had the support of coaches, mentors, trainers, peers, and my community, and it’s made all the difference.

Now, it’s my good fortune to pay that all forward. I want to help others succeed, too. That’s why working within Sequoia Financial Group is such a perfect fit. Finance can be an intense industry, but at Sequoia, our client’s success is our success; this is an entire firm focused on helping individuals and families achieve their goals.

SFG: How has the drive to help others succeed pushed you in other areas of life?

McBride: I have a not-for-profit, the McBride Youth United Association, dedicated to empowering at-risk, underrepresented, and racially marginalized youth and guiding them toward reaching their full potential. We aim to be a beacon of support and opportunity, ensuring every young person we serve has the tools and resources to navigate life’s challenges and succeed.

We offer mentoring and educational programs for elementary and high school children and even have a summer camp! Our organization provides the youth of Windsor-Essex County with skill-building, essential life skills, strong interpersonal skills, and pro-social friendships. We offer a safe space for youth to come in and get what they need: tutoring, a hot meal, mentoring, and everything in between.

We have a “Future Olympians” mentoring program where we help athletes aspiring to be professional and Olympic-level competitors and match them with former professional and Olympic athletes who want to share their knowledge and skills with new talent.

SFG: You’re so honest and candid about your career in track and field and at Sequoia. I’ve always found athletes to be relatively closed-off when detailing specifics around their trade. Do you find that to be the case?

McBride: Sometimes, sure. I was raised in a very open and supportive home. Openness has always been a part of who I am, including while I was training. And it’s worked in my favor.

I remember being at meets, getting lined up on the start line, and older athletes asking me how I was feeling, trying to get in my head. I answered honestly. There were days when I wasn’t feeling great, nervous, or not in my best form, and I’d say so. I found that my honesty sometimes led other athletes to underestimate me.

I’ve always strived to be someone people could look up to. When I met older athletes as a kid, I could tell they were guarded and sometimes unapproachable. Without them, I couldn’t get the valuable insights, information, and education I needed to improve or learn.

That’s another parallel I draw with sports and Sequoia. Sequoia is transparent with everyone about everything. It’s hard to explain, but transparency, openness, a growth mindset, a culture of learning and helpfulness, and clarity of communication are rare. It’s rare for organizations to be so thoughtful. It’s how I knew I’d found a home here; our values align.

SFG: Finally, Brandon, I have a question unrelated to your job. How will you be enjoying the Olympics this year, and do you have any predictions?

McBride: Ha! I don’t make predictions. Sports can be so unpredictable. Even if the athlete or athletes you’re watching are having the best year of their life, something as simple as eating the wrong thing in the morning, stubbing a toe on the couch, or jetlag can bring even the best records to a screeching halt. So, I’m out of the prediction game.

I will enjoy these games from home this year, which will be nice after 10+ years of traveling and competing. I’m fortunate enough to be mentoring a few athletes this year, so there’s a different layer of stress I’ll have to contend with, but I’m really excited to watch from the comfort of my couch.


Brandon set his sights on the Olympics and achieved that goal. What Olympic-sized goals do you have for your financial future? Click here to learn about Sequoia Financial Group’s offerings and how we help enrich lives by helping individuals and families live their dreams.

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