Upkar Arora


Prior to joining Purpose Capital, Upkar founded and led Illumina Partners, a boutique advisory firm that specialized in strategy, operations, M&A and finance since 2002. During the past thirty years, at Illumina and in companies such as Onex, Nortel, Trizec & Olympia & York, he has worked in a number of senior roles with some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. He has acquired, operated and advised companies in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe and has completed more than $20 billion of mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, dispositions and financings.

He has also been actively engaged in the social finance sector over the past seven years, investing in enterprises committed to social impact and generating positive, scalable and sustainable change in our communities. To date he has made investments in community bonds, social impact bonds and renewable energy.

In addition to his professional commitments, Upkar has been actively engaged in organizations that strive to make our communities more vibrant – in areas such as arts and culture, education, transportation and infrastructure, sports, citizenship and inclusion through organizations such as:

  • Board Member – University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors
  • Director – Metrolinx Inc.
  • Director – Institute for Canadian Citizenship
  • Chair, Advisory Council – University of Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance
  • Past Chair – McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Canadian Arts Summit

Upkar is a CPA, CA and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He graduated with a Master’s degree from University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance where he has also taught for the past four years.