President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Development Bank of Canada

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International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Position title:
President and Chief Executive Officer
Montreal, Quebec
Application Review Date:
January 25, 2021
Opportunity number:

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is dedicated to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs, in line with its aspiration to be a leader in making Canadian entrepreneurs the most competitive in the world. It helps create and develop strong Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing investing, financing and advisory services. SMEs are the cornerstone of the Canadian economy and critical to its economic recovery and GDP growth in a post-COVID environment. BDC plays a critical role in helping entrepreneurs to scale up, diversify and export to support Canadian competitiveness internationally.

To address the challenges currently faced by Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, the BDC structures its approach around three strategic objectives: increasing access to capital and advice for entrepreneurs; accelerating innovation, growth and productivity for entrepreneurs; improving the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem. BDC also plays an important role in supporting entrepreneurs through economic downturns and liquidity crises.

The BDC has a portfolio of $36 billion and serves over 62,000 entrepreneurs directly and indirectly. It has 2,400 employees in 116 offices across Canada. Its services include financing, venture capital, indirect financing and advisory services.

The BDC strongly believes in diversity and promotes inclusiveness by offering products and services across Canada tailored to meet the needs of all entrepreneurs, including women, youth, immigrants, Indigenous Canadians, Black Canadians, Northern and rural entrepreneurs and visible minorities.

  • The President and Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the successful performance of the Bank in delivering its public policy mandate consistent with the interests of the Shareholder, clients, employees and other stakeholders. He or she is a business visionary who provides strategic guidance and exemplary leadership to ensure effective management of the Bank while remaining business and entrepreneur focused. He or she should possess a strong customer orientation and passion for delivery of a leading customer experience in the financial services sector.

The President and CEO is responsible for the establishment of:

  • A strategy to ensure that BDC is a successful organization that continues to grow to significantly increase its impact on Canadian entrepreneurs and play an effective role in the financial services industry in support of entrepreneurs in Canada;

  • An innovative technological framework in which clients can interact successfully and easily with the Bank so BDC can have more impact on more entrepreneurs;

  • A talent strategy to ensure BDC has an engaged and productive employee population that enables BDC to attract and retain the talent it needs to deliver on its mandate;

  • A diversity plan that will attract black Canadians and other minorities with a transformative approach to promote diversity, inclusiveness and engagement and inspire management to be effective coaches and mentors to others;

  • A sound capital management structure and internal control regime to ensure that BDC has the financial resources it needs to meet its current and future capital requirements, protect its assets and do more for entrepreneurs;

  • A robust risk management framework to identify emerging risks and risk trends that could impact BDC’s ability to execute on its strategy, including during a recession when BDC would be called upon to do more; and

  • A culture of ethical conduct and values that are aligned with BDC’s public policy mandate.

Diversity and Official Languages

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • An advanced degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline (business, finance, economics, Master of Business Administration) or an equivalent combination of education and experience;

  • Extensive experience at the senior executive level in a large private and/or public organization, reporting to a Board of Directors, preferably in the financial services or banking sector;

  • Experience in all or some of the following sectors:

    • Entrepreneurship and business;

    • financing;

    • venture capital;

    • advisory services;

    • subordinate financing;

    • clean technology;

    • information and communications technology.

  • Experience in corporate social responsibility and managing complex risks and exposures;

  • Experience in developing business strategies focused on key enablers and value proposition, and driving execution to deliver value to entrepreneurs;

  • Experience in leading organizational change and business transformation, including technological and digital transformations;

  • Experience in building and maintaining productive and effective multipartite relationships with partner organizations and diverse stakeholders, including media and Canadian entrepreneurs;

  • Ability to connect and develop strategies that build effective relationships with senior financial representatives, business leaders and other stakeholders to advance the interests of Canadian SMEs;

  • Ability to work within Government and build strong relationships with Government representatives to achieve the Government’s objectives and BDC’s mandate;

  • Ability to effectively establish corporate direction, lead and inspire large groups of people;

  • Demonstrates strategic and conceptual thinking to continually adapt BDC’s offering with innovative and evidence-based solutions and long-term strategies to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow;

  • Experience in economic empowerment of under-represented groups such as Black Canadians, women, new Canadians, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and social entrepreneurs would be considered an asset; and

  • Experience in economic empowerment of under-served market segments such as businesses located in rural or remote regions or in Northern Canada would be considered an asset.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the mandate, mission and business activities of the Business Development Bank of Canada, as well as the legislative framework within which it operates (e.g. the Business Development Bank Act and the Financial Administration Act);

  • Knowledge of the public policy environment facing Crown Corporations and the critical role they play in advancing the Government’s agenda to support small and medium enterprises;

  • Knowledge of entrepreneurship and the issues and concerns facing small and medium-sized Canadian businesses, including the challenges of exporting internationally;

  • Knowledge of the emerging trends, business risks and opportunities in the financial services industry, including online financing technology, and complex financial transactions, adoption of technology, innovation, environment and corporate social responsibility;

  • Ability to balance the financial sustainability of the organization with BDC’s public policy mandate to support SMEs;

  • Ability to oversee the management and deployment of a $36 billion portfolio;

  • Ability to act as a spokesperson in representing the BDC with stakeholders, media, public institutions, governments and other organizations;

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to manage the BDC’s communications with a wide range of stakeholders; and

  • Sound knowledge of the Canadian business sector – the key leaders, emerging trends and competitive forces, and challenges and opportunities for small and medium enterprises.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Sound judgment, tact and diplomacy

  • High ethical standards

  • Superior analytical and conceptual skills and the ability to think creatively

  • Integrity and Accountability

  • Strategic and innovative leader

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Dependability and collegiality

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • No individual is eligible to be appointed or to continue as President & CEO if the individual is (a) neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (b) a Canadian citizen who is not ordinarily resident in Canada; (c) a permanent resident, within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who has been ordinarily resident in Canada for more than one year after first becoming eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship; (d) a member of the Senate or House of Commons or a member of the legislature of a province; or (e) employed in the public service of a province (statutory).

  • You are willing to travel across Canada, as required.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on January 25, 2021. Candidates should apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the online application.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

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