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"Are all humans human, or are some more human than others."

Romeo Dallaire / Former UN Leader in Rwanda

SANDSTONE Asset Management Inc. is a Calgary-based firm that provides discretionary investment management services to private individuals, foundations & family trusts. The firm is fully independent and unaffiliated, and owned by our key employees. Our pride of ownership is evident through our passion for investing and our dedication to developing and nurturing client relationships. We focus on a limited number of clients who meet our minimum investment requirements to ensure the highest standard of personal service.

Our clients understand that our people are our greatest strength and competitive advantage. We have retained some of the most highly regarded and competent people in the industry.

  • Sharon Watkins / CEO
  • Brent Pickerl / President
  • Karen O'Connor / CFO


Sharon Watkins -
 CEO

Sharon was the first female CEO of an IIROC registered firm in Canada.

Deeply respected for her financial acumen as well as her visionary leadership, Sharon was introduced to the security industry in Toronto during the 1970s while working with her father. She moved to Calgary in 1984 to work for Merrill Lynch, Dean Witter Reynolds (where she achieved Officer status) and Midland Walwyn.

While at Merrill, Sharon acquired the international investment expertise that she brings to bear with her holistic approach to portfolio management, using the time-tested principles of value investing, applied on a global basis. Sharon's performance was recognized with a nomination for the Investment Dealers Association Distinction Award.

Sharon left Merrill Lynch to realize her dream of offering her clients informed, independent, unbiased advice, and was one of the original founders as well as Managing Director of each of the Calgary offices of Gordon Private Client service, and McLean & Partners of Calgary. Sharon is a licensed Portfolio Manager.

In 2004, Sharon established a new investment firm with a rigorous practice and strong commitment to nurturing client relationships. SANDSTONE Asset Management has thrived since its inception, and continues to grow and evolve in response to the changing needs of a dynamic community.

Sharon is married, with four grown children and five grandchildren. She is highly active as a volunteer, serving on numerous not-for-profit boards and working with organizations ranging from the Calgary Drop-In Centre to Alberta Ballet. She co-sponsored the establishment of the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management in 2003, and was one of a small group of Canadians invited to meet with the His Highness the Aga Khan on his most recent trip to Canada. Sharon served as a Director on the National Board of the Investment Industry Association of Canada and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada's (IIROC) Alberta District Council. Sharon is currently on the Advisory Board of the Global Business Forum which is held annually in Banff and recently joined the Board of Calgary Makerspace.

 Brent Pickerl - President

Brent began his career with one of the largest financial institutions in Canada, CIBC Wood Gundy. He spent several years building his knowledge of the investment field and acquiring his industry credentials, and could often be heard commenting on the evening business report for CKUA as well as QR77 Radio's Talk to the Experts.

Brent subsequently worked for McLean & Partners in Calgary, where he teamed up with Sharon Watkins. Recognizing their shared investment philosophy and aspirations, Brent and Sharon stepped out on their own and started SANDSTONE Asset Management in 2004. It has proven to be a highly successful enterprise, and the company continues to go from strength to strength even in these times of volatility.

Brent holds the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada's Partners and Directors designation, and is a licensed Portfolio Manager.

Brent has completed the Governance-Plus Program at CentrePoint in Calgary, focusing on development of leadership competencies through strategic board placement. Currently he is the Chair of the Finance& Audit Committee for the board of Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA), which champions the arts as a key driver of the long-term success of our city. Brent is also Past Chair of the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Immigrant Youth, an agency which assists new immigrant families in the community. From 2008-2011 he was selected to serve as a jury member for the City of Calgary Awards, celebrating outstanding achievements and contributions made by Calgarians.

Brent is married with three young children. His ongoing goal is to provide energy and intellectual capital in a corporate and not-for-profit setting, while continually growing as a person. In his spare time he enjoys participating in his children's activities, and has completed numerous marathons and Ironman competitions.

Brent was selected as one of Calgary's Top 40 under 40 and was featured on the cover of Calgary Inc.'s 2007 edition.

Karen O'Connor - CFO

Karen started her career in public accounting with KPMG both locally and overseas, with clients ranging from oil and gas to an international food and beverage company. She left public accounting and moved into the investment industry joining the Alberta Stock Exchange as Exchange Examiner and Chief Compliance Officer. After three years with The Exchange she moved to industry where she has worked at several local Investment Dealers in a financial capacity.

Karen is married with three school-aged children. She recently served as Board of Directors in the capacity of Treasurer of the River Valley Private School in Calgary, and currently volunteers extensively with her church.

Karen enjoys yoga, hiking, skiing, scuba-diving and loves to travel.