Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Groupe Desgagnés Inc.

Groupe Desgagnés Inc. (“GDI”, “Desgagnés” or the “Company”) is a Québec conglomerate renowned for the quality of its maritime and land operations. It is headquartered in Quebec City, and its business units are present in major Canadian ports, on the Middle and Lower North Shore, and in the Canadian Arctic. Desgagnés stands apart for its range of diverse yet complementary national and international activities.

Around its headquarters, the business units operate successfully in their respective fields. Each, in all their diversity, must coordinate the overall strategy as defined by the Company’s Management and according to their own business objectives. In addition to promoting a sense of responsibility and the pursuit of excellence, this decentralization policy generates a productive and profitable synergy.

Addenda Capital has some 140  employees working out of Montreal, Toronto, Guelph and Regina.

Desgagnés is a private Quebec company made up of passionate, proud, and dedicated people. It is a company that has earned an enviable reputation and place in the Quebec and Canadian maritime community and that is looking to the world, while providing forward-thinking and inspiring leadership in environmental and sustainable development issues. Desgagnés is looking for proactive, strategic, and team-oriented leaders to propel it into the future.

The Position

The Chief Financial and Administrative Officer reports to the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Desgagnés. A high-level manager with a long-term vision, he* plays a leading role in the strategic development, growth and long-term planning of the Company while taking on the day-to-day management.

Team player and fiduciary of the Company’s financial health and risk management, the incumbent assumes broad multidisciplinary responsibilities in respect of the management of performance, internal control systems, costs and administrative policies as well as of budget, accounting, tax, treasury, currency and information technology planning.

Member of the Senior Management Committee, he is an agent of change who, through his expertise and his ability to analyze and synthesize large amounts of data and complex files, is fully involved in growth, acquisition, and development projects, and is a key player in strategic negotiations.

He is also responsible for offering and providing, to the business units and to the various departments of the Company, consulting and support services in the areas of his expertise and responsibilities as well as to develop, implement and oversee the application and compliance with the administrative policies adopted by the Company.

Finally, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer is an important and influential player in the organizational culture, ensuring it is perpetuated through each of his actions.

Key Responsibilities

With the support of the members of his team and other departments and business units, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer:

Team Management and Human Resources

  • Lead and supervise the accounting, finance and payroll teams while exercising creative, energetic and passionate leadership, contagious to the entire team and the entire Company;
  • Ensure the development of a team culture based on respect, transparency and collaboration, commitment, and a strong sense of responsibility and personal achievement;
  • Apply the best practices in human resources management and, to this end, recruit, evaluate, develop, promote, and motivate the staff under his responsibility, define the annual objectives to be met by each and set up the criteria and performance indicators to measure them;
  • Ensure that the organizational structure meets the needs of each of the department’s activities, determine the staffing and training needs of the team members;
  • Ensure that a process is in place to identify talent and succession, for all levels;
  • Define, with the support of the human resources department and according to Desgagnés’ policies, the remuneration structure and working conditions of the staff under his supervision;
  • Ensure that workplace health and safety policies as well as discrimination, harassment, risks related to impaired faculties and other labor regulatory policies are applied and respected.

Strategic and Financial Management

  • Be a trustee of the Company’s financial health and, as such, provide the leadership required to determine and meet financial strategies and objectives in line with the Company’s business and growth strategies;
  • Be a key player and fully participate in the development of the Company’s strategic plan and execution, in particular with regard to aspects of the financial strategy in the short, medium and long term;
  • Develop models and perform analyses that identify critical trends, support strategic decision-making and create a view into the future;
  • Develop and recommend criteria and objectives for optimizing the Company’s capital investments and provide strategic advice in this regard, including on financing options to meet the Company’s sporadic and/or growth needs;
  • Stimulate change within the Company thanks to a solid business partnership with its managers, in order to identify their needs, seek business solutions and push the limits of the current and future objectives and strategies of the business units and services;
  • Participate in, or manage, the analysis and the realization of major projects, business opportunities, investments or acquisitions and, if necessary, present the results, suggestions and recommendations and support management in its decisional process;
  • Manage all financing projects, develop and maintain excellent business relationships with investors, financial institutions, financial, tax and regulatory authorities;
  • Supervise and manage the financial situation, banking affairs, financing activities and the capital structure of the Company, and ensure compliance with banking and financial commitments;
  • Advise the Company during due diligence and assume its supervision, and where applicable, participate in the integration of acquisitions, their recovery and their development;
  • Put in place the necessary processes to ensure that the Company has up-to-date knowledge regarding government assistance of all kinds (grants, loans, training assistance, etc.) and ensure that it benefits fully from available programs;
  • Assist business units and departments as needed in data preparation, and cost and profitability analysis, including the development of salary policies for unionized and non-unionized Company staff.

Risk and Insurance Management

  • Be a trustee of the “consolidated” risk management system of the Company, and as such, define, document and supervise the processes used to identify, assess and manage the risks related to its activities, formulate, and recommend risk management policies for the entire Company;
  • Develop and implement, with the various business units and the various departments, the management tools and reports in order to assess risks, and take measures to reduce them, on an individual basis, by service, by business unit and on a consolidated basis;
  • Define a permanent and continuous risk management improvement system for the Company and ensure that it is fully applied and monitored;
  • Pay particular attention to the risks directly under his responsibility, in particular in terms of capital management, debt management, cash flow management, financial management, liquidity, credit and accounts receivable, fluctuation of exchange rates, interest rates, contracts, etc.;
  • Ensure that the Company’s operations and assets are fully protected by adequate insurance on property, activities, operations and civil and environmental liabilities;
  • Ensure that the process of filing claims to insurers as well as the collection of amounts receivable is efficient and prompt, and ensures follow-up.

Performance and System Management

  • Identify, clearly articulate and set up performance indicators for the Company and its business units to assess the performance of each of the Company’s sectors and activities;
  • Implement a process for evaluating the effectiveness and relevance of designated performance indicators as well as of the information systems and management reports, in line with the needs of the Company and its development;
  • Ensure that the cost price system in place is complete and efficient, according to the needs of each business unit and department;
  • Ensure the development, implementation and availability of information systems and management reports that meet the needs in terms of management and financial, operational, administrative, environmental and social performance, at all levels within the Company, and that these reports allow data to be translated into information facilitating decision-making, performance evaluation, problem solving and the implementation of improvement processes;
  • Provide solid and forward-looking analytical leadership using value-added financial modeling and analysis, compare them with desired ratios and performance, and present solutions to improve and optimize the Company’s profitability;
  • Oversee the analysis of discrepancies between the actual operating, capital and project expenses compared to the plan, budgets, forecasts and the previous financial year and, if necessary, suggest the necessary corrective actions;
  • Forward to the managers concerned the reports, statistics, balance sheets and current performance of the Company, of its activities, of the business unit or of the service in relation to budgets, set objectives and comparable activity sectors, be  responsible of the analysis of variances and, if necessary, raise points for improvement and make recommendations in this regard;
  • Produce an internal annual report on the Company’s performance covering its financial report, its health and safety report, its environmental report and its social report, including the relevant analyses;
  • Ensure the production and delivery by the Company of all statistics and reports required by governments and para-governmental organizations;
  • Collaborate in the management of the Company’s quality assurance systems and ensure the implementation of ISO 9001 for Groupe Desgagnés Inc. as an entity as well as for his own service, and this, in respect of, among other things, the services it provides to its internal clients;
  • Ensure the implementation of an efficient and secure payroll management and processing system, including the appropriate internal controls;
  • Supervise, and if necessary, manage, the implementation of the new accounting and human resources Enterprise resource planning system (ERP).

Internal Control, Cost Management and Administrative Policies

  • Ensure the development, implementation, updating and maintenance of efficient and effective internal control systems, processes and procedures, ensuring the integrity of financial, contractual and operational management, including, when required, the implementation of alternative control measures;
  • Ensure that each system, process and procedure is fully documented with a detailed flow chart for each of them;
  • Ensure the implementation of systems, processes and procedures relating to the management of sales, purchase, operations and financing contracts, employment contracts, and any other form of contract, and incorporate, within each contract category, risk management (financial, operational, contractual, etc.), both prior to their signature and in the context of their execution and monitoring;
  • Define and implement systems, processes and procedures for effective cost management, at both operational and administrative levels with particular emphasis on supplier management as well as on the management and control of labor, maintenance and repair costs and to ensure that invoices for purchases, sales and approved expenses correspond to the services rendered or received;
  • Ensure the diffusion of all control and management procedures as well as the development of training methods and programs in internal control and management systems (risk management, management of contracts, sales, purchases, and suppliers, etc.) for all the Company’s business units’ employees and various departments;
  • Ensure the development, application and upholding of administrative policies and procedures, including the applicable forms and the implementation of the necessary controls to ensure compliance;
  • Ensure the implementation of a permanent and continuous system for review and improvement of internal control systems and processes, contract management, cost management, sales management and administrative policies.

Budget Planning, Accounting and Taxation

  • Manage all aspects of finance and accounting as well as monthly and annual reporting, forecasting, budgeting and long-term planning;
  • Oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of budget planning and accounting systems, as well as related processes, policies and procedures;
  • Define the principles and parameters pertaining to the preparation of financial forecasts, budgets and long-term financial plan;
  • Supervise and actively participate in the process of preparing and distributing management reports, along with annual and multi-year operating and capital budgets;
  • Guide the accounting team in regard of bookkeeping and production of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements, in accordance with accounting standards and applicable laws, and ensure their completeness;
  • Oversee the planning of the annual audit of the Company’s books and financial statements;
  • Produce and send quarterly and annually, to the financial institutions concerned, the financial statement analysis reports and the accompanying ratios;
  • Plan and make the appropriate recommendations in terms of corporate taxation and ensure that the Company’s tax burdens are kept at their minimum level, all in accordance with the laws and regulations in force;
  • Coordinate relations with the tax authorities in terms of taxes and, if necessary, take charge of cases requiring direct involvement;
  • Participate in the potential establishment of an internal audit department and an audit committee and, as the case may be, fully collaborate with them.

Treasury and Currency Management

  • Manage cash flow to ensure that the Company can meet its financial obligations, has the necessary working capital for its operations and invest excess funds in the most advantageous manner, and produce a monthly report to this effect;
  • Endorse the management of risk related to cash flow management, including in terms of investments, receivables, receipts and disbursements;
  • Ensure the most judicious management of the various currencies used by the Company to reduce costs or maximize profits, as the case may be;
  • Develop performance indicators related to cash flow management, monitor them and report on them regularly.

Information Technology

  • Oversee and control the Information Technology department which is responsible for ensuring the implementation, upgrading, deployment and operation of IT, office automation and communication equipment and programs, for carrying out feasibility studies and implementation of new systems, new equipment and new programs, and ensure their implementation;
  • Ensure, with the team in place, the daily management of the department, participate in decision-making in terms of development, upgrading and deployment of Information Technologies, office automation and communication, ensure the follow-up of their implementation as well as the preparation of annual operating and capital investment budgets for Information Technologies;
  • Be fully involved, with the Information Technologies transformation committee, in carrying out the Company’s strategic plan for the development, upgrading and deployment of Information Technologies in the short, medium and long terms and, as such, ensure that Information Technology, office automation and communication (including integrated management software, websites, intranets, extranets, social networks, etc.) meet the needs of strategic development of the Company and its development.

Consulting Services and Internal Clients

  • Provide consulting services to all the Company’s business units and the various departments in terms of accounting, budget planning, cash-flow, administration, taxation, internal control, management and financial analyses, insurance, information technology, risk management, etc.;
  • Develop and implement management tools and performance indicators, including ISO 9001, to assess the quality and speed of the services provided as well as the satisfaction of the internal customers served.

Other Tasks

  • Actively participate in the upholding, promotion and development of Desgagnés’ corporate culture;
  • Exercise all duties and influence related to a senior management position, including the leadership associated with it;
  • Perform special mandates and other tasks that may be entrusted to him by his immediate superior.


  • Assume the performance and leadership of:
    • The Company’s financial control, Budget planning and Performance Monitoring Committee,
    • The Company’s Risk, Opportunities, Finance and Investment Management Committee,
    • The Company’s Information Technology Transformation Committee;
  • Be a member of the Company’s Senior Management Committee;
  • Participate in the Company’s various business units’ management committees to which he is appointed.

Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications

The role of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer requires hands-on leadership, that demands supporting complex, high-level responsibilities in corporate strategy, finance, accounting and multidisciplinary management while having to delve into the recurring daily details. The main skills and requirements are :

  • University degree in accounting, finance or actuarial science as well as a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience in similar functions;
  • Member of the CPA organization is an asset;
  • Perfectly bilingual (English & French) both spoken and written;
  • Knowledge and proficiency in MS Office software – excellent in Word and expert in Excel; 
  • Strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting skills with excellent judgment;
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize large amounts of data in order to identify and present meaningful observations and recommendations;
  • Excellent knowledge and experience in financing with an extensive contact network with institutions and professionals;
  • Tangible and significant achievements in financial management, accounting cycle, risk management, process management, continuous improvement and cost management;
  • Relevant experience in management software (implementation, use, upgrading);
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills;
  • Team-oriented with people development skills;
  • Sense of urgency with the ability to respond quickly to the applicant’s needs;
  • Innate sense of responsibility, commitment and professionalism while emphasizing quality and rigor;
  • Disciplined and methodical with a sense of organization and work planning as well as respect for deadlines;
  • Strong personal impact based on the credibility of his expertise and experience and demonstrates excellent leadership; 
  • Significant availability;
  • Long-term vision and ability to create value and innovate; agent of change with excellent strategic ability, strong analytical mind and ability to synthesize; partner and business accomplice who contributes to the Company’s success as a whole;
  • Entrepreneurial, proactive, creative, energetic, passionate and action-oriented;
  • Developed business acumen, excellent negotiation skills and judgment along with a sharp practical sense; ability to make quick decisions and a sense of priorities and urgency;
  • Transparency and accuracy in his communications; 
  • Utmost respect for decision-making and governance processes;
  • Adhesion to the values of ethics, probity and integrity, as defined in Desgagnés’ Code of Ethics and Conduct. In addition to being a skilful defender of Desgagnés’ values and culture, embrace the principles of “Total quality in everything we do, and everything we are, both as an entity and as an individual”, and of “Always be proud of what we do, to always be proud of who we are”.

* The masculine form is used only for the purpose of lightening the text and refers to all genders.

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Phone: 514 333-1535
1265 Berri Street, Suite 800, Montreal, Quebec H2L 4X4