Advancing Innovation Roundtable
Unlocking Growth Opportunities for Canada's Innovation Economy
TMX Group is proud to fund the work of the Advancing Innovation Roundtable, a 12-member independent working group comprised of senior leaders across Canada's financial services sector, including finance, investment and capital formation. Formed in October 2016, the private sector, investor-led Roundtable is focused on developing solutions to increase access to growth capital for Canadian innovation economy companies as they progress beyond the seed and startup stages.
In February 2017, the Advancing Innovation Roundtable published a comprehensive report containing recommendations, sourced from both public and private markets, on how to close the growth capital gap in Canada, currently estimated at $4 billion, and growing. The Roundtable recommendations are organized into three categories: 1) Institutional Capital, 2) Public Markets and 3) Ecosystem Foundations. Each recommendation is supported by specific, viable proposals that are actionable immediately.
— Salil Munjal, Chair, Advancing Innovation Roundtable
— Lou Eccleston, Chief Executive Officer, TMX Group
Salil Munjal, Chairman, Advancing Innovation Roundtable and General Partner, Yaletown Partners
Michael Denham, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Business Development Bank of Canada
Lisa Porlier, Lead (Technology Sector) and Deputy Country Manager,
Russell Reynolds Associates
Salil Munjal , General Partner,
Roundtable Member Biographies
- Geoffrey Beattie, Chief Executive Officer, Generation Capital; Chairman, Relay Ventures; Member of the Board of Directors at General Electric, Royal Bank of Canada and Maple Leaf Foods
Geoff Beattie is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Generation Capital, a private investment firm based in Toronto. Geoff is also the Chairman of Relay Ventures a Canadian venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto.
Geoff is a director of General Electric Company and Chair of the Risk Committee, a director of Royal Bank of Canada and Chair of the Risk Committee, and a director of Maple Leaf Foods and Dominion Bond Rating Service. He is Trustee of the University Health Network, Canada's largest hospital and healthcare network, Chairman of the Prosperity Institute at the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto, a director of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Golf Canada.
From 1998 through to 2013 he was Chief Executive Officer of The Woodbridge Company Limited and Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters, where he was responsible for managing the business interests and investments of the Thomson Family. He was Chairman of CTVglobemedia from 2004 to 2010. Prior to joining Woodbridge, Geoff was a partner at Torys, a Canadian law firm, and Vice President at Wood Gundy, a Canadian investment bank. Geoff graduated from the University of Western Ontario (1984) with a JD.
Geoff serves as the Chairman of the University of Western Ontario's "Be Extraordinary" capital campaign and Co-Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation capital campaign.
His non-profit work over the years includes the creation of the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital, the transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Ballet of Canada, Roy Thomson Hall and the United Way. He is also a founder and supporter of Right to Play and St. Jude's Children's Center India.
Geoff sat on the Federal Government Economic Advisory Council, the Canadian Council of Chief Executive Officers and was a government appointed Director of Ontario Hydro.
Geoff has published articles on leadership, corporate governance and the importance of focusing on long-term strategy to build strong enterprises and sustaining communities in Canada and has lectured at a number of Canadian and U.S. Universities.
- Helen Beck, Senior Vice-President, Canadian Equities and Indexed Management, Equity Markets, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Helen Beck is Senior Vice-President, Canadian Equities and Indexed Management, Equity Markets, at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
She has over 20 years of experience as an analyst and portfolio manager in the Canadian stock market. Helen began her career at the Montreal Exchange and spent 15 years with CN Investment Division where she managed a Canadian equity portfolio as well as a North-American portfolio and was a member of the Division`s executive committee. Prior to joining the Caisse in April 2014, Helen was Head of Canadian Equities and a Partner at Jarislowsky Fraser, where she served on their Investment Strategy Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Finance from Concordia University and is a CFA charterholder.
- Michael Denham, PRESIDENT and Chief Executive Officer, Business Development Bank of Canada
Michael Denham was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of BDC on August 10, 2015. Mr. Denham brings more than 20 years of management experience to BDC, having led large organizations with a pan-Canadian presence.
Based in Montreal since 2001, Mr. Denham most recently served as President and CEO of AquaTerra Corporation. Prior to this, he was the Senior Managing Director of Accenture's Canadian division, a role he held since 2011 after joining the company in 2007. Before this, he was President, Business Process Services with CGI Group, and Senior Vice President, Strategy at Bombardier Inc., where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy and global partnerships.
Mr. Denham began his career in 1987 with McKinsey & Company, and was a Leader of their Canadian practice, focussing on manufacturing and mining from 1994 to 2001.
He is a former member of the board of directors of Futurpreneur Canada (formerly CYBF), an organization focused on supporting youth entrepreneurship in Canada. He currently sits on the board of the Montreal Chest Institute Foundation of the McGill University Health Centre and is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Selwyn House School in Montreal.
Mr. Denham is bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) from Princeton University and a Master of Science in Economics with distinction from the London School of Economics.
- Paul Desmarais III, Vice-President, Power Financial and Power Corporation
Mr. Desmarais was appointed Vice-President of Power Corporation and Power Financial in May 2014. He joined the broader Power Corporation organization in 2010 working for Imerys in Paris and Great-West Lifeco in Toronto. He began his career in 2004, working with Goldman Sachs in the United States, in the Investment Banking and Investment Strategy Groups, as well as in the Special Situations Group.
In May 2014, Mr. Desmarais was named a director of Great-West Life, Investors Group, Mackenzie, Pargesa and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. He is also Chairman of Sagard Capital, Portag3 Ventures, and Wealthsimple, and Vice-Chairman of Imerys.
Mr. Desmarais is the recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard College (graduating cum laude) and he holds a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD in France.
- Lou Eccleston, Chief Executive Officer, TMX Group
Lou Eccleston is Chief Executive Officer of TMX Group Limited. He joined TMX Group on November 3, 2014. Mr. Eccleston is a member of the TMX Group Board of Directors; he is also a member of the Board of Directors of several TMX Group subsidiaries, including TSX Inc., TSX Venture Exchange Inc., Montreal Exchange and NGX.
Mr. Eccleston has more than 30 years of extensive experience gained in senior leadership roles in the information services, financial technology and capital market services sectors.
Prior to joining TMX Group, he was President, S&P Capital IQ and Chairman of the Board, S&P Dow Jones Indices, which are business lines of McGraw Hill Financial. He was with that organization for six years. While there, Mr. Eccleston was named to the Institutional Investor "Tech 50" in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Previously, Mr. Eccleston was at Thomson Financial for four years in the roles of President of Global Sales, Marketing & Services and President of the Banking and Brokerage Group. Mr. Eccleston was at Bloomberg LP for 14 years, where he held a number of roles including chief executive of Bloomberg Tradebook for 6 years. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Pivot Inc., a capital market software services company.
Mr. Eccleston earned a BA in Economics from Drew University in Madison, NJ as well as a MBA from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.
- Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, CIBC
In this role, he is responsible for CIBC's brand strategy; key corporate client and partner relationships; as well as bank-wide marketing, communications and public affairs. He also has lead responsibility for the bank's goal of becoming the leader in client relationships by enhancing their experience and satisfaction at every interaction.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Forbes was Executive Vice President of Brand, Corporate and Client Relationships. He has also held a series of progressive management positions since joining CIBC in 2001, including serving as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs.
Prior to joining CIBC, Mr. Forbes was Vice President of Communications at Moore Corporation from 1997 to 2001. He also held management positions at Rogers Communications.
- Salil Munjal, General Partner, Yaletown Partners
Salil Munjal has dedicated much of his career to leading or supporting the growth of Canadian technology businesses as an investor and executive. Salil is General Partner at Yaletown Partners, a private firm investing in Canadian technology companies, which consistently ranks as one of Canada's most active independent venture capital firms. Salil leads Yaletown's investments in Bit Stew Systems, Vizimax and Solegear Bioplastic Technologies as well as serving on their boards.
Earlier in his career, Salil was President and COO of Leitch Technology where he helped to grow the Canadian public company to more than a thousand employees with six global offices. Leitch was acquired for $600 million by Harris Communications (now Imagine).
Salil also served as managing director at Counsel Corporation, a diversified mid-market private equity firm based in Toronto and New York. Salil began his career as a corporate finance lawyer at Torys LLP.
- Hugh O’Reilly, President and Chief Executive Officer, OPTrust
Hugh O'Reilly was appointed President and CEO of OPTrust effective January 2015. He has responsibility for all of the organization's operations, namely overseeing management of the pension fund assets and pension plan administration.
Mr. O'Reilly is one of Canada's foremost pension experts and brings extensive expertise in the operation and governance of the jointly-sponsored pension plans to OPTrust. One of the two pension lawyers rated by Lexpert on both the management and union side, Mr. O'Reilly previously led the Pension Benefits and Insolvency Practice at Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP. He has authored many articles on pensions and benefits matters and is currently a member of the editorial advisory board of Benefits and Pensions Monitor.
During his career, Mr. O'Reilly has also served as senior policy advisor and Chief of Staff to a cabinet minister in the Ontario government, held the role of Senior Counsel at Canada Trust and practiced law as an associate lawyer at Oslers and as a partner at Torys.
Mr. O'Reilly holds an LL.B. from the University of Calgary and a B.A. from the University of Regina.
- Gerry Pond, Chairman and Co-Founder, Mariner Partners Inc.
As Co-Founder of Mariner, Gerry has over 45 years of in-depth experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. As the CEO of NBTel and the President of its successor, Aliant Telecom, Gerry was at the helm during a period of significant deregulation in the Canadian industry. Under his leadership, NBTel embarked on a decade of innovation, and in the process transformed NBTel into an international ICT leader
He was the driving force behind the formation of Mariner Partners Inc. and has co-founded a number of successful ICT start-ups in Atlantic Canada including iMagicTV, Q1 Labs, Brovada Technologies, Radian6, Shift Energy and Cirrus9. As a proven innovator in ICT, Gerry is the Co-Founder of Propel ICT, a start-up accelerator, and the Pond-Deshpande Centre which encourages emerging entrepreneurs and innovators in the region to accelerate the creation of sustainable, scalable enterprises. He is also Co-Founder of East Valley Ventures, an advanced accelerator for Atlantic Canadian start-up companies with a mission of helping passionate Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies. There are currently over 30 companies connected to East Valley Ventures.
Gerry, former Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1997), has been recognized both nationally and regionally, including the prestigious 1997 Canadian Information Productivity Association (CIPA) Innovator of the Year and Hall of Fame, the NB Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement (KIRA) Awards Person of the Year 2002, the 2003 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Top 50 CEO Award in Atlantic Canada in 2003 and 2005 by Atlantic Business Magazine, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of New Brunswick – Saint John. Educational achievements include a BA from the University of New Brunswick; Organizational Effectiveness Program, Harvard University; Executive Program, McGill University; and Senior Executive's Program, University of Western Ontario. Recognized for his tireless contribution to the region's economic development, Gerry was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in October, 2007.
Gerry was awarded at the Canadian Startup Awards with the 2011 Canadian Angel of the Year by Techvibes & KPMG. Over the years, he has been instrumental in the success of many Atlantic Canadian start-ups and his leadership has made him an inspiring mentor to many individuals in the IT community. In 2012, he was recognized with the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian award for New Brunswick. In 2013, The Learning Partnership honoured Gerry as a Champion of Public Education; that same year he received the Order of New Brunswick for his innovative spirit and for being the driving force behind so many of New Brunswick's information technology and telecommunications success stories such as Radian6 and Q1 Labs. Both companies were recognized by the Canada Venture Capital & Private Equity Association's (CVCA) as Deal of the Year in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Most recently, Gerry's passion for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship was recognized at the 2014 Canadian Startup Awards where he was presented with the prestigious Wolf Blass Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Lisa Porlier, Lead (Technology Sector) and Deputy Country Manager, Russell Reynolds Associates
Lisa joined Russell Reynolds Associates in 2004 from the University of Toronto where she was the Executive Director of the Capital Markets Institute, a policy institute focused on providing rigorous research guidance to policy makers on the competitiveness of the Canadian Capital markets.
Previously, Lisa worked in investment banking with Scotia Capital Inc., for nine years. As a director and relationship manager, she led the firm's technology practice, working in mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings and corporate finance advisory.
Lisa is past President of Women in Capital Markets, and Chair of the Heather L. Main Memorial Scholarship, where she has played an instrumental role in developing and implementing internship programs for women graduates of business schools.
Lisa received her B.B.A. (with honors) from Wilfrid Laurier University and her M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She is a CFA® charterholder.
- Kevin Uebelein, Chief Executive Officer, AIMCo
Kevin Uebelein joined the Alberta Investment Management Corporation as Chief Executive Officer in January 2015. Kevin succeeded Dr. Leo de Bever, AIMCo's first CEO.
Kevin is a highly accomplished executive with an impressive career of almost three decades in investment management. Prior appointments include President and Chief Executive Officer of Pyramis Global Advisors, the institutionally-focused asset management unit of Fidelity Investments, holding assets in excess of US$200 billion, and also the position of Global Head of Investment Solutions at Fidelity Investments. Previously, Kevin held a variety of positions with Prudential Financial Inc., including Head of Alternative Investments, and culminating as Chief Investment Officer for International operations.
Kevin brings considerable global perspective beyond the United States, having held senior investment management roles in both London and Tokyo. His experience spans leadership roles in both private and public investing markets and end to end accountability for investment strategies and performance in all asset classes. He has been the architect of a number of investment business build outs, including the development of Prudential's private equity strategy. He has also overseen the growth of a third-party institutional and mutual funds business and accordingly has an exceptional orientation to client and stakeholder relations.
- Tamara Vrooman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vancity Credit Union
As president and chief executive officer of Vancity, Canada's largest community credit union, Tamara Vrooman believes that banking has a vital role in developing a healthy society-building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work. This summarizes Vancity's vision of redefining wealth.
Tamara views the economy as much more than what is written on a balance sheet; it includes the social and natural economies in which we all live. Understanding the interdependence of these three means that Vancity takes a very different approach to banking, ensuring its products, services and advice deliver financial, social and environmental results for the more than 519,000 members it serves. As a financial co-operative, Vancity is ideally suited to operate in an economy that is ever changing because it is through its close connection with members that Vancity sees what is required to meet their changing needs. This 'member-led innovation' guides Vancity in its business strategies.
Under Tamara's leadership, Vancity has gained international recognition for its values-based banking model. Vancity was the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world's leading sustainable banks and banking cooperatives. In 2014, Pope Francis asked Tamara to participate in a Vatican Summit entitled The Global Common Good: Towards a More Inclusive Economy with 70 leaders from around the world. Tamara also spoke about Vancity's model with the Dalai Lama at the 2014 Heart-Mind Summit in Vancouver.
Tamara's achievements at the credit union include leading Vancity to become the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada, and one of the first mainstream financial institutions to launch an alternative to predatory payday loans for its members-the Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™.
Prior to joining Vancity, Tamara served as Deputy Minister of Finance for the Province of British Columbia and as Secretary to the Treasury Board and CEO of the Public Sector Employers' Council. She led the successful renegotiation of 100 per cent of expiring collective agreements in the public sector without a strike or mediation, and led the Ministry to two AAA credit rating upgrades. She oversaw the government's annual $100 billion borrowing and cash requirements and developed its $36 billion fiscal plan. Her prior portfolio was as Deputy Minister and Executive Financial Officer for the Ministry of Health, where she balanced the budget and developed the Ministry's financial management plan.
Tamara pursued post-secondary education at the University of Victoria, earning a Master of Arts in History in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts with honours in 1991. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2013.
On a personal level, Tamara lends her voice and leadership experience to issues related to women, families and children with a particular focus on issues related to equality, inclusion and empowerment.