PwC Canada adds four external directors to board

01 June 2021 3 min. read
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In an organizational first, PwC Canada has welcomed external directors to its board. The four new directors – Ian Austin, Bev Briscoe, Scott Patles-Richardson and Razor Suleman – join PwC’s board on July 1, 2021.

The addition of external voices will help the Big Four firm continue to provide diverse viewpoints and high levels of service to its clients and stakeholders, according to a release from PwC.

“The growth and evolution of PwC's governance model supports our long-term viability, and addresses our desire for increased transparency. This historical move helps position the Board to anticipate and plan in a constantly changing business environment," said Mike Harris, partner and outgoing PwC Canada board chair.

PwC’s board focuses on overseeing the firm’s governance. The board also supports the accounting and consulting firm's management in executing future strategies.

The addition of four directors will expand the board’s size to 14 members. PwC Canada has 7,000 partners and staff across the country.

PwC Canada adds four external directors to board

"These four individuals, along with the nine partners elected by their peers, now makes our Board composed of diverse experience, geographies, genders, and ethnicities that will improve decision-making to better serve our stakeholders,” said Nicolas Marcoux, CEO of PwC Canada.

Ian Austin, PhD, is the dean of the Centre for Business at George Brown College, where he oversees academics, processes, and strategic vision. He has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in the post-secondary sector.

Before joining George Brown, Austin was principal of Barbados Community College and deputy director for continuing and professional education at the University of the West Indies.

Bev Briscoe has been a director for over 15 years at several corporate, crown, and nonprofit organizations. She is currently the chair of Kal Tire and was recently chair of the board of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, lead director of Goldcorp, and a director of Newmont.

Briscoe previously owned a transportation services company and held senior management roles in the heavy equipment industry in Canada serving construction, mining, and forestry.

Scott Patles-Richardson is founder and senior advisor at Indigenous Financial Solutions (IFS), a firm focusing on economic development, partnerships, and investments in Indigenous communities. Patles-Richardson works at the intersection of corporate Canada and Indigenous affairs, and has served as lead negotiator on multi-million-dollar settlements, agreements, and contracts.

Before founding IFS in 2014, Patles-Richardson was CEO of Ishkonigan Consulting and Mediation and VP of Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba. Earlier in his career, he was a senior manager in corporate banking at Scotiabank and a senior manager in cash management at RBC.

Razor Suleman is cofounder and CEO of Elevate, a not-for-profit focusing on leveraging technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change. A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Suleman is also a cofounder and board member of ScaleUp Ventures, a Toronto-based venture capital fund manager.

Suleman was previously founder and CEO of Achievers, a technology platform for employee engagement. Before that, he founded and ran I Love Rewards, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) rewards and social recognition solutions provider.

"The breadth and diversity of experience of these new board members add external insights and independence that further strengthen the firm's ability to fulfil our purpose of building trust in society, and solving our clients' most important problems," Harris added.