Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of Toronto for 2023. A Canadian metropolis with towering buildings and the famous CN Tower, Toronto is home to a diverse cultural population, competitive universities, and world-class professional sports teams. As Canada's business and financial capital, the city is North America's second-largest financial services center. It has one of the highest concentrations of financial services company headquarters in the Americas. As seasoned executives, this group of awardees plays a pivotal role in the city's economy as they steer the financial operations of companies such as Toyota Canada, Bird, and Quickplay.
This year’s awardees include Jeannie De Guzman, Chief Financial Officer of 1Password, who was part of the company’s $620 million Series C round, the largest funding round in Canadian history. Awardee Jamie Porter, Chief Financial Officer of Alamos Gold, was recognized as a CPA Ontario Fellow in 2022—the highest distinction for a CPA—for outstanding career achievements. Also awarded is Laura Boland, Chief Financial Officer of Bulk Barn Foods Limited. Boland utilized her passion for sustainability to develop Canada's first reusable container program within the grocery industry.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of Toronto for 2023.
1. Bryan Looman
Chief Financial Officer, Janssen
Bryan Looman is the Chief Financial Officer of Janssen. He first joined the company in 2017. Looman spent a number of years overseas supporting Janssen's worldwide business before returning to Toronto.
Previously, Looman was the Regional Director of Finance at Janssen Research and Development. Before that, he was the Director of Finance at Janssen-Japan. Earlier in his career, he worked with Arthur Andersen as a Senior Accountant. Looman earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
2. Larry Froom
Chief Financial Officer, H&R REIT
Larry Froom has been with the H&R group since 1997. He has served as Chief Financial Officer of H&R REIT since 2006. Froom is responsible for overseeing all transactions, corporate finance, and financial reporting.
Prior to this, he was VP of Finance at H&R Developments, overseeing financing and accounting of every division, including residential apartments, condo developments, and single-family construction. Prior to joining H&R, he was a Manager at Ernst & Young, where he serviced clients in the real estate industry. Froom earned a Bachelor of Accounting at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and has a Chartered Accountant designation.
3. Krista Cameron
Chief Financial Officer, CONTAX
Krista Cameron is the Chief Financial Officer of CONTAX. She has three decades of accounting experience in small- to mid-size companies and over 10 years of experience partnering with SAP Solutions. This combined knowledge has helped her run company financials on the SAP Platform.
Previously, Cameron was an Advisor at Freedom 55 Financial and a Regional Administrator at J.H. Ryder Machinery. Before this, she was the Office Manager at Canadian Hydro Developers and a Senior SAP Consultant FICO at Accenture and Johnson & Johnson.
4. Matthew Rajnauth
Chief Financial Officer, Tangerine
Matthew Rajnauth is the Chief Financial Officer of Tangerine, Canada’s largest digital bank. He is an experienced finance professional and a CFA charter holder.
Over the last 15 years, Rajnauth has worked across a wide range of areas within banking, including retail banking, institutional equity research, sales and trading, competitive benchmarking, and strategic balance sheet management. Before Tangerine, he was at Scotiabank for over 10 years, serving most recently as the Head of Financial Analytics. Prior to this, he held positions at RBC and TD Bank. Rajnauth graduated from McMaster University with an MBA and a bachelor's degree in commerce and finance from the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University.
5. Mehmet Shah
Chief Financial Officer, StackAdapt
Mehmet Shah is the Chief Financial Officer of StackAdapt. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Staff Accountant and Consultant at KPMG Canada. There, he provided professional accounting, audit, and review services to large financial institutions performing numerous financial statement audits and reviews in both integrated and non-integrated audits under IFRS, including extensive SOX control testing. Before that, he was a Junior Accountant at the Student Society of McGill University. Earlier in his career, he was the Vice President of Communications at the Management Undergraduate Society. Shah graduated from McGill University with a bachelor's degree in commerce and accounting.
6. Leslie Miller
Chief Financial and Information Officer, Toyota Canada
Leslie Miller is the Chief Financial and Information Officer of Toyota Canada, the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. She joined the company in 2016 as the Director of Finance and Accounting.
Miller first got her start in 1997 as a Tax Manager at NewCourt Credit Group. From there, she went on to Toyota Motor Manufacturing before becoming the Superintendent of Business Services and Treasurer at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Miller graduated from Brock University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
7. Jeannie De Guzman
Chief Financial Officer, 1Password
Jeannie De Guzman is Chief Financial Officer at 1Password. With over a decade of experience working in senior financial roles at some of the largest names in Canadian technology, De Guzman’s expertise sees her steering the financial direction at 1Password. She joined shortly after the company’s Series A funding, where she built many of the back office functions and operations from the ground up. De Guzman was part of 1Password’s Series B funding round, which doubled the company’s valuation, and its Series C round. At $620 million, this marked the largest funding round in Canadian history.
Before joining 1Password, she was the VP of Finance at BlueCat Networks, where she scaled the finance team and oversaw sales operations. Before this, she worked as Senior Manager of Corporate Finance at OpenText, Canada’s largest publicly traded software company. She oversaw all treasury functions. She has also held positions at KPMG and Ontario Power Generation. De Guzman graduated from McMaster University with an MBA and from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts.
8. Laura Boland
Chief Financial Officer, Bulk Barn Foods Limited
Laura Boland is the CFO of Bulk Barn, a Canadian bulk foods store founded in September 1982 by Carl O'Field. She has been with the company since 1994. Boland is an accomplished financial executive with strategic expertise and has led the business through digital transformation, major infrastructure projects, organizational restructuring, and rapid growth. Boland has a strong passion for sustainability. Reducing packaging and waste is a main component and key pillar of the Bulk Barn business, culture, and shopping experience. Boland was part of the team that developed and rolled out Canada’s first reusable container program within the grocery industry, allowing Bulk Barn customers to shop waste-free in their stores. This program was launched in 2017, and today there are over one million waste-free transactions taking place in Bulk Barn stores every year.
She first got her start in 1989 as a Senior Staff Accountant at Ernst and Young. From there, she went on to become a Corporate Accounting Manager at MCC Video One. Boland graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University.
9. Gerry O'Reilly
Chief Financial Officer, autoTRADER.ca
Gerry O'Reilly is the Chief Financial Officer at autoTRADER.ca. As CFO for the TRADER Corporation, O’Reilly oversees all finance, accounting, treasury, tax, credit and collections, corporate program management, investor communications and relations, and legal and trademark activity.
O'Reilly brings a wealth of financial management, financial planning, and commercial insights experience from multiple business sectors. Before joining TRADER Corporation, he held positions at Quickplay Media, a Canadian-based company that provides managed services for distributing premium multi-screen video to connected devices. Previously, he was at Xplornet Communications, a national service provider focused on delivering telecommunications services to rural Canada. O'Reilly graduated from Ivey Business School at Western University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in commerce and accounting from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
10. Andrew Kennedy
Chief Financial Officer, Capstone Infrastructure
Andrew Kennedy was named Chief Financial Officer of Capstone Infrastructure Corporation on April 1, 2017. In this role, Kennedy provides leadership in all areas of finance and risk management and partners on the strategy for Capstone and its assets in support of its mission to drive the energy transition forward in North America. He has been with Capstone since its inception.
Under Kennedy’s leadership, Capstone successfully transitioned into one of Canada’s fastest growing independent renewable power producers, while securing more than $1.4 billion in project financing and increasing the company’s EBITDA by more than 50%.
Prior to joining Capstone, he was the Vice President of Finance with Capstone’s predecessor, Macquarie Power and Infrastructure Corporation, and also held progressively senior roles at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in public company financial reporting.
Kennedy is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and is a member of both CPA Ontario and the American Institute of CPAs in Illinois. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in economics, with cooperative education and accounting options, from the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.
11. Michael Dawson
Chief Financial Officer, CAAT Pension Plan
Michael Dawson is the Chief Financial Officer of CAAT Pension Plan. He is responsible for overseeing investment finance, corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, and operational risk management.
Prior to joining the CAAT Pension Plan, he was the Vice President at BlackRock and the Senior Manager of the Asset Management, Audit, and Assurance Group at PwC Canada. Dawson graduated from Brock University with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
12. Bruno Kaiser
Chief Financial Officer, Smile CDR
Bruno Kaiser is the Chief Financial Officer of Smile CDR. He has 30 years of global experience in investment banking within the US, UK, and Canada. He has extensive experience in finance and strategic advisory.
Before this, he was the Managing Director and Head of Metals & Mining at Desjardins Capital Markets. Prior to this, he was a Partner in Investment Banking at Paradigm Capital. He has held positions at National Bank Financial, Morgan Stanley, and CIBC World Markets. Kaiser graduated from INSEAD with an MBA and McGill University with a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting.
13. Rajesh Raut
Chief Financial Officer, Community Trust
Rajesh Raut is the Chief Financial Officer of Community Trust. He joined the company in 2019. Raut has over 15 years of progressive experience with multi-national organizations.
Before Community Trust, he spent over 11 years at Equitable Bank, most recently as the Vice President and Controller. Previously, he was at CIBC, KPMG Canada, and Arthur Andersen & Co. Raut graduated from the University of Mumbai with a bachelor's degree in commerce.
14. Lu Qin
Chief Financial Officer, Super-Pufft Snacks
Lu Qin is the Chief Financial Officer of Super-Pufft Snacks. He’s been with the company for over 11 years. Qin is an experienced finance executive with strong business sense and excellent financial modeling skills.
He first got his start in 2005 as a Financial Analyst at Laura Secord. From there, he went on to become a Controller at Les Plats Du Chef Inc. Qin graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with an MBA in finance and from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.
15. Jamie Porter
Chief Financial Officer, Alamos Gold
Jamie Porter is the Chief Financial Officer at Alamos Gold. He joined Alamos Gold in 2005 and has served as Alamos’ Chief Financial Officer since 2011. He is currently the Director of the World Gold Council. Porter also currently serves on the Canada Advisory Board for FM Global. In 2022, he was recognized as a CPA Ontario Fellow, which is the highest distinction for a Chartered Professional Accountant and recognizes an individual’s outstanding career achievements and valuable community contributions.
Before this, Porter was Controller and Corporate Secretary for RNC Gold, a Central American-based gold producer. Earlier in his career, he was at PwC as a Manager. In 2016 and 2017, he was the recipient of the award for Best Investor Relations by a CFO in the small and mid-cap category at the IR Magazine Awards in Canada. Porter has a Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies from the University of Western Ontario and is also a Certified Public Accountant in the U.S., in the state of Illinois.
16. Mazen Chediak
Principal Chief Financial Officer, The CFO Centre Canada
Mazen Chediaki is the Principal Chief Financial Officer at The CFO Centre Canada. Chediaki is an experienced CFO who excels at increasing the bottom line of start-ups and established small- and medium-sized businesses. His track record includes accomplishments such as saving more than $2.4 million by identifying redundancies and raising $1.5 million within months for a start-up.
Before this, he was the Group Finance Director at Lindenberg Emirates LLC and the Vice President of Finance and Accounts at Al-Hosn Investment Company S.A.O.C. Chediaki graduated with a master's degree from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, an MBA from the American University of Science and Technology and a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting from Hariri Canadian University.
17. Shirin Kabani
Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Ninepoint
Shirin Kabani is the Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer for Ninepoint Financial Group Inc. and its subsidiaries. Shirin was involved in the Management Buyout of the Asset Management division of Sprott Inc. in 2017 which led to the formation of Ninepoint Partners LP; an independent, employee-owned, alternative asset management firm serving the investment advisor and institutional investor communities. With over $8 billion in assets and institutional contracts, it is among the largest independent asset management firms in Canada.
Shirin has been instrumental in operationalizing the finance function at Ninepoint and has executed various strategic initiatives including ERP implementations and finance transformation. She is responsible for providing an effective financial governance framework for the company and leading the ongoing finance operations; including external reporting, accounting, treasury, planning and budgeting. In addition to her financial services background, she has spent over 11 years in finance at IBM where she gained broad expertise from managing diverse business processes and operations. Shirin is a CPA and has attained her Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree - Summa cum laude, with a major in accounting, from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. She has completed her Partner's Director's and Senior Officer's course as well as the CFO qualifying exam from the Canadian Securities Institute and the Strategic CFO course - Harvard Business School Executive Education.
18. Richard Crofts
Chief Financial Officer, TAS_Impact
Richard Crofts brings over 20 years of experience in real estate and investment management. He is a Chartered Investment Manager, a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and has an MBA in finance and financial services, a JD in corporate law and a BA in commerce. He has built upon his multidisciplinary background in finance, strategy, M&A, law and operations and has worked with and for entrepreneurs and global financial institutions such as BentallGreenOak.
Richard believes in developing diverse teams focused on radical candor and taking a systems approach with a bias for action. He firmly believes that TAS can focus on both purpose and profit while playing a leadership role in shifting how business interacts with communities, society and the environment.
19. Craig Hudson
Chief Financial Officer, LumiQ
Craig Hudson is the Chief Financial Officer of LumiQ, a high-growth EduTech company providing CPAs their professional education through entertaining podcasts. Hudson himself is a proud CPA with over 20 years of experience in finance and operations, who recently closed the $400 million USD strategic acquisition of Knixwear in August 2022 as their CFO.
Hudson’s experience is built off of 10 years with KPMG and includes roles as the CFO of Lift & Co. (high-growth CannaTech company, public listing on the TSX-V), and the VP of Digital Operations at Indigo Books & Music. Hudson earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.
20. Tim Alavathil
Chief Financial Officer, Quickplay
Tim Alavathil is the Chief Financial Officer of Quickplay. He is responsible for building financial efficiencies to support growth, maintaining financial discipline, budgeting, managing financial risks, and accounting processes.
Previously, Alavathil was the CFO of Endeavor Streaming, a video streaming platform with over 650 employees and 14 offices worldwide, where he oversaw their global finance operations. Before this, he was NeuLion, Inc.'s CFO, overseeing the sale in 2018 to Endeavor Streaming. Alavathil is a licensed Chartered Professional Accountant in Canada and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.
21. Lisa Hemi
Chief Financial Officer, Document Direction Limited
Lisa Hemi, CPA, CA is the Chief Financial Officer of Document Direction Limited. Hemi currently leads Document Direction's financial operations and is responsible for all accounting and finance operations and administration, and oversees many components of business operations. Hemi is also a strategic partner to the leadership team focusing on the achievement of financial goals and growing the business.
She has over 25 years of experience across a broad range of industries. Before joining Document Direction in 2018, Hemi worked at Callian Capital Partners as their CFO. Prior to that, she held senior-level finance positions in the mining and real estate industries. Hemi is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant and started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She graduated from McMaster University with an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree.
22. Alick Fernandes
Chief Financial Officer, ANB CANADA
Alick Fernandes is the Chief Financial Officer of ANB CANADA. Fernandes oversees all aspects of the finance and accounting functions of the organization while providing leadership in the development of short- and long-term strategic financial objectives. He is an analytical and hands-on finance executive with progressive experience culminating in strategic financial leadership for corporations in diverse verticals.
Before this, Fernandes was a Management Consultant for Lowes Canada, VP of Business Intelligence and Analytics for Bluegreen Vacations, and Director of Financial Analysis and Merchandise Accounting at Toys "R" Us. He previously spent 12 years at Sears Canada, most recently as Finance Director of Financial Services. Fernandes graduated from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management with an Executive MBA and Mangalore University with a Bachelor of Commerce.
23. Andreas L'Abbé
Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, Discovery Silver
Andreas L'Abbé is the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Discovery Silver. L'Abbé has been with Discovery for almost five years, joining just after the company’s inception in 2017. During his tenure as CFO, he has played key roles in Discovery's daily operations and strategic planning, including the acquisition of Levon Resources Ltd. and several private placement financings that generated cash of close to $100 million. He also leads Discovery’s ESG and Sustainability program.
Prior to joining Discovery, L'Abbé served as Director of Finance at Tahoe Resource Inc. (“Tahoe”), where he was involved in the acquisitions of Rio Alto Mining Limited and Lake Shore Gold Corp. He also previously served as VP of Finance at Timmins Gold Corp, Financial Reporting Analyst for Goldcorp Inc., and worked at the Red Lake Mine in Canada and the Cerro Negro project in Argentina. Before moving to the mining sector, L'Abbé was a public accountant at Grant Thornton LLP in their Assurance and Business Advisory Services group. L'Abbé has a bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Arizona State University.
24. Anthony Lam
Chief Financial Officer, eSentire
Anthony Lam is eSentire’s Chief Finance Officer. He’s responsible for continuing to scale the business and financial operations at eSentire. Lam has more than 20 years of extensive experience in high-growth public and private organizations spanning the digital health, media, loyalty, SaaS, software, and technology licensing sectors.
His experience includes leadership roles at Softchoice, Cryptologic, and Points.com. He has taken organizations public with successful listings on the NASDAQ, TSX, and London AIM and has also been part of many acquisitions. Lam has a bachelor’s degree in commerce, accounting, and finance from the University of Toronto.
25. Geoff Lowe
Chief Financial Officer, Xplore
Geoff Lowe is the Chief Financial Officer of Xplore. He has a proven track record of successfully setting strategies for businesses to grow organically and through acquisitions, optimizing capital structures, and leading multiple companies through successful sale processes.
He started his career in public accounting at Ernst and Young. He progressed through various finance leadership roles at Rogers Communications, Brookfield Asset Management, and most recently, Dentalcorp, where he was the CFO. Lowe graduated from The University of British Columbia with an undergraduate degree in commerce.