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Members of the Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network

Learn more about the Canadian members of the A4S CFO Leadership Network.

The network brings together a group of leading Canadian CFOs from large businesses seeking to embed the management of environmental and social issues into business processes and strategy. Find out more about the members of this group.

Patrice Impey, co-chair

Patrice Impey

Patrice is the chief financial officer and general manager of Finance, Risk and Supply Chain Management for the City of Vancouver. She oversees all aspects of finance, accounting, treasury, risk and supply chain management for the city.

Patrice holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s in Business Administration degree, and has over 20 years’ experience in senior financial and operational management positions in the private and public sectors.

Jonathan Simmons, co-chair

Jonathan Simmons

Jonathan joined OMERS in January 2014 as CFO and strategy officer, with responsibility for operating planning, financial reporting, investment valuations, actuarial matters, financing and tax, adding responsibility for strategic planning and asset-liability management in 2021. Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, with $105 billion in net assets and more than half a million members as of December 31, 2020. Prior to joining OMERS, Jonathan was a partner at PwC for more than a decade, where he led PwC Canada’s insurance practice. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.

Jonathan is also a director of Economic Investment Trust, a TSX-listed investment company and a founding member of the Canadian Chapter of A4S.

Gregory Craig

Brian Lawson

Gregory Craig was appointed executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) in March 2020. In this role, Gregory will help advance CTC’s One Company, One Customer strategy and lead the company’s efforts to achieve its stated financial aspirations.

Prior to his current position, Gregory was president, Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) and president and chief executive officer of Canadian Tire Bank, responsible for the overall strategic direction and growth for the Financial Services division. During his tenure at CTFS, he achieved double digit receivables growth and led the successful launch of the Triangle credit card program.

Since joining CTC in 1994, Gregory has held several progressively senior finance roles, including serving as CFO of SportChek and Mark’s following his integral role in the acquisition of SportChek in 2012, and as CFO of Canadian Tire’s Retail segment. Prior to that, Gregory was vice-president, Finance at CTC, where he was accountable for the external reporting and accounting/finance operations across the company.

Gregory also previously served as senior vice-president of Financial Planning and Analysis, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of financial planning, analysis and performance management, and for providing financial and business counsel to divisional and functional leadership teams across the company.

Gregory is a CPA and CMA, and holds an MBA from York University and a BBA from Brock University. In 2019, Gregory received the Brock University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Tim Deacon

Tim Deacon 

Tim is the chief financial officer at Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan, responsible for financial and management reporting; taxation; valuation, risk analytics and model valuation; financial operations; investor relations; and strategic initiatives.

Tim has more than 20 years of senior management experience in financial management and global investments. He was most recently group controller and global chief accounting officer at Manulife Financial. Previously he was CFO of Manulife's Global Wealth and Asset Management businesses and held other senior executive roles across finance, risk, strategy and operations. Prior to Manulife, Tim was a director at PwC LLP in the Global Capital Markets Group based in Toronto and London.

Tim is an Ontario Chartered Professional Accountant and a U.S. Certified Public Accountant. In 2013, he was awarded the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario’s Award of Distinction. He is currently a board member of CPA Canada’s Canadian Performance Reporting Board and a board member and treasurer of Business / Arts. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University.

Doug French

Douglas French 

Since 1996, Doug has consistently accepted challenges in increasingly senior roles at TELUS, culminating in his appointment as executive vice-president and chief financial officer (CFO) in May 2016. He has influenced every recent transformational event at TELUS, including its evolution from a regional to national telecommunications carrier, the deployment of advanced wireless networks and its generational investments in fibre.

Today, he leads a team of more than 700 professionals responsible for financial operations, reporting and analysis, treasury, investor relations, risk management, revenue assurance, taxation, pension investment management, corporate development, corporate governance and law, real estate, and sustainability. Doug is also a proud member and the global executive sponsor of Spectrum, TELUS’ resource group for LGBTQ+ team members.

Doug began his career as a Chartered Professional Accountant at Ernst and Young, where he worked for eight years before joining Clearnet, a predecessor company to TELUS. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and was appointed a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario in 2017.

Doug and his wife, Ann, recently celebrated their 30-year wedding anniversary and have two daughters, Samantha and Rachel. He enjoyed serving his local soccer club as president and treasurer for many years and is a member of the International Accounting Standards Global Preparers Forum, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability organization and the Business Council of British Columbia.

Nicholas Goodman

Brian Lawson

Nicholas Goodman is a managing partner and chief financial officer of Brookfield Asset Management, responsible for Brookfield's global finance, treasury, risk management and technology functions.

Nicholas joined Brookfield in London in 2010 and has held several finance roles across the organization. Most recently he served as treasurer of Brookfield Asset Management and prior to that was chief financial officer of Brookfield Renewable Partners. Prior to joining Brookfield, he worked for several large financial institutions in London and New York.

Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Karen Higgins

Karen Higgins

As executive vice-president, Finance, and CFO, Karen is responsible for the financial management, strategic planning, and corporate development for the Co-operators group of companies.

Karen brings almost two decades of leadership and management experience in the financial field, holding previous roles with Clarica, Sun Life Financial and Seniors Money Limited, before joining The Co-operators Group in 2008, as vice-president, Corporate Finance. In 2011, she took on the role of vice-president, Finance, Property and Casualty Operations (CGIC, COSECO, CUMIS General), and in 2017 she led the finance team within the Life operations (CLIC and CUMIS Life) where she oversaw the financial analysis and actuarial valuation of the organizations in support of business strategies, initiatives and operations.

Karen earned her Chartered Director designation through The Directors College in 2016 and her accountant (CPA, CA) designation in 1990. In addition to her Honours BA and Business diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, she completed Harvard Business School’s Leadership program and the Change Management program from Wharton Business School.

She is actively involved in her community as the chairperson of St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation.

Hratch Panossian

Hratch Panossian 

Hratch is senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer at CIBC. He has overall responsibility for strategy and corporate development; financial planning and analysis; financial, management and regulatory reporting; maintenance of accounting records; tax planning and compliance; treasury and balance sheet management; and investor relations.

Hratch was most recently global controller. Before that, he held leadership roles in areas including Strategy and Corporate Development, and Treasury, where he oversaw balance sheet management activities across capital management, asset liability management, and the bank’s investment portfolios.

Before joining Ontario Teachers' in 2004, David was chief financial officer of Bell ExpressVU. Prior to that, he was vice-president, Mergers & Acquisitions/Corporate Finance, at BCE/Bell Canada and partner-in-charge of the Corporate Finance Group of a major international accounting firm. He currently sits on the boards of Bristol Airport and BluEarth Renewables Inc.

Before joining CIBC, Hratch held strategy and corporate development roles at a large North American bank. He was also a management consultant with Oliver Wyman’s finance practice, where he focused on corporate finance, strategy, treasury, capital markets, and risk management. He began his career in Silicon Valley, holding technical and business roles in a successful fintech venture.

Hratch serves on the board of NPower Canada, as well as the board and finance committee of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. He holds a master’s degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate engineering degree from McGill University.

Maarika Paul, FCPA, FCA, CBV, ICD.D

Maarika Paul

Maarika Paul is chief financial and operations officer at La caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. She is responsible for monitoring financial performance, completing treasury operations, applying best practices in financial governance and managing business services. She also oversees human resources and talent management as well as operational activities and technologies. She is a member of the executive committee, in addition to being a member of the board of Ivanhoé Cambridge, the institution’s global real estate subsidiary.

Maarika is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA) and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) with more than 30 years of experience in financial management. She initially spent 10 years with KPMG. In 1994, she joined BCE, where she worked until 2011. Her responsibilities included, in particular, performance evaluation of BCE subsidiaries, financial planning, mergers and acquisitions and investor relations. She was also senior vice-president, Corporate Communications, and subsequently senior vice-president, Corporate Services. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from McGill University.

Her contributions to the community are numerous. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and a member of McGill University’s Board of Governors and head of its audit committee. In 2008, and again in 2015, she was named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list by the Women’s Executive Network. In 2013, she received the Leadership Award from the Association of Québec Women in Finance.

Claude Tessier

Claude Tessier

Claude Tessier, CPA, CA, joined Alimentation Couche-Tard as chief financial officer on January 28, 2016. Prior to joining Couche-Tard, Claude held the position of president of the IGA Operations Business Unit at Sobeys Inc. from 2012 to 2016 and was a member of Sobeys Inc. Executive Committee. He joined the management team of Sobeys Quebec Inc. in 2003 as senior vice-president, Finance & Strategic Planning. He has spent most of his professional career in the food industry after serving in several finance positions. Prior to his position with Sobeys Inc., Claude gained more than 15 years of experience in senior financial leadership positions with Fly Furniture, Provigo and Costco, including in CFO and vice-president roles. He has also held management positions with Mallette International and PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand).

He is chairman of the Circle K AS Board of Directors, the European division operating Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA, the retail gasoline filling stations. He also sits on the board of directors of the Maison de la Sérénité de Laval, which provides free of charge quality palliative care, and he participates, on a yearly basis, in its fundraising campaign.

Claude holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal (1986) and has been a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agrées du Québec since 1987.

Phil Witherington

Phil Witherington

Phil Witherington became chief financial officer at Manulife in January 2018. In this role, he is responsible for the global financial affairs of the company, including, capital management, treasury, controllership, taxation, investor relations and reinsurance activities. He is a member of the company’s executive leadership team and is based in the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Prior to this appointment, Phil was the interim CEO, Manulife Asia, responsible for operations in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Before that, he was CFO, Manulife Asia, leading transformational change within the finance function in Asia and providing strong financial leadership to business decisions by influencing divisional strategy and business unit profitability, as well as leading financial due diligence of all merger and acquisition opportunities.

Phil joined Manulife in 2014 and has 20 years of experience in insurance and financial services, in both developed and emerging markets within Asia. Prior to joining Manulife, Phil led finance in Asia Pacific for the retail banking and wealth management business of a major international bank, having earlier served as the deputy regional CFO for its Asian insurance businesses.

Previously, Phil was vice-president, Finance, at a major international insurer, based in Hong Kong. He also spent a decade with one of the big four professional services networks, based in London and Hong Kong, specializing in financial services audit and advisory services, with a particular focus on life insurance clients.

Phil holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography with first class honours from the University of Durham (United Kingdom), an Executive MBA jointly awarded by the University of Edinburgh Management School (United Kingdom) and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris, France). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (FCA) and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FCPA).