Erica Pearson

Founder and CEO of Vacation Fund

Erica is changing how companies handle offering vacation benefits to their employees through her company, Vacation Fund. For companies in competitive industries looking for a cost-effective strategy to retain talent and boost the company’s reputation, Vacation Fund is an employer-matched vacation saving platform that allows employees to direct a portion of their paycheque into a separate Vacation Fund Account, and allows the company to match a portion of the contribution. This helps companies attract talent faster, keeps employees productive and engaged by helping them regularly recharge, and allows companies to retain people for as long as possible by helping them live their lives to the fullest.

AAfter 4 years competing as a varsity athlete, and simultaneously earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Queen’s University, Erica spent several years on the RBC Capital Markets trading floor in Toronto. She held Analyst positions within Debt Capital Markets, Foreign Exchange Institutional Sales, Institutional Equities Trading, Money Market Sales, and Interest Rate Derivative Solutions. Erica then worked as an Analyst for the CEO Office of Investor and Treasury Services. At the end of December 2016, she informed RBC of her intention to resign to start her own company. The idea for Vacation Fund was born from Erica’s upbringing. Her family was very frugal, but prioritized spending time and money on travel and experiences. By the time she turned 22, Erica had visited over 40 countries. Vacation Fund started out as an automated savings tool to help people save for their bucket list trips.

How did you get started?

In early 2017, Erica left the world of Capital Markets to help people save for their bucket list trips. It was in the research and discovery stage of her business that she realized that people highly valued vacation time, but they were hesitant to ask to use it at the same time that companies were trying to encourage people to take days off.

What's the most exciting thing that’s happened since launching your company?

We were featured in a CBC article that brought us a lot of credibility, attention, and awareness for what we’ve been doing.

What's the biggest roadblock you’ve faced running your company?

We started 2019 with the loss of what was supposed to be our biggest client to date. We worked for 6+ months to land this client and exceed their expectations, and the client pulled out of the agreement 2 days before we were supposed to launch this program for their employees.

What do you wish you knew at the beginning?

This will take longer than you expect it to, so enjoy the journey and be patient.

What is your favourite spot in Toronto?

My condo with my fiance. I am such a home-body. :)

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