Toronto, ON–Nadeem Velani, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Canadian Pacific (CP) has been named Canada’s CFO Of The Year™ for 2020. Now in its 18th year, the award honours senior financial leaders who have made significant contributions to business in Canada with demonstrated quality, insight and integrity. The award is presented annually by Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada), PwC Canada and Robert Half.
Nadeem Velani is an accomplished and driven leader, making significant improvements to CP’s financial performance, stakeholder relations and use of operational data. Nadeem’s appointment as CFO in 2016 allowed CP’s finance department to make changes for sustainable growth. Nadeem reimagined the role of the finance team, moving from a support function to a department that drives strategic decisions and enables results. His leadership and support can be seen in his finance team, many of whom have undergone training to become qualified railway conductors, locomotive engineers and railcar inspectors to better understand the operational aspects of the business.
“Huge congratulations to 2020 Canada’s CFO Of the Year™ winner, Nadeem Velani. In a rapidly changing world where the role of the CFO transcends many functions, you have proven yourself to be an innovative and successful financial leader. We see the results of this strong fiscal performance enabled in new strategic opportunities like CP’s acquisition of the Central Maine & Quebec Railway,” said Catherine Fels-Smith of FEI Canada. “Creating a true coast-to-coast network for CP, which Nadeem and his team were instrumental in both sourcing and leading, shows his long-term, strategic thinking. A true, modern-day CFO and a worthy recipient of this prestigious award”.
“The role of today’s CFO includes understanding the connection between an engaged workforce and the communication of data, leading to actionable insights. Nadeem encourages a deeper understanding of the business across all levels and that is the kind of innovative leadership style that gets results,” said Alaina Tennison, Partner and CFO, PwC Canada. “CFOs like Nadeem play a critical role in building trust and confidence in their organizations and CP is fortunate to have such a strong leader helping set the strategic direction.”
“Nadeem Velani is an exceptional example of what it means to be a CFO in a rapidly-changing world ― expertly navigating ever-evolving challenges and opportunities, both within and beyond the traditional finance function. He truly embodies everything Canada’s CFO of the Year™ award represents,” said David King, senior district president for Robert Half. “Nadeem’s impressive efforts in leading CP to strong financial results are matched by his innate understanding of the link between a strong corporate culture, and a successful business. His ability to foster an inclusive, collaborative and transparent environment at CP has been pivotal to the innovative growth of this historic brand.”
He is a champion of diversity and inclusion, mentor and sponsor of women with his involvement in CP’s Women on Track events, CP Women’s Open golf tournament and is on the selection committee for the Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards. As a mentor, he sponsors and facilitates developmental opportunities for all levels, from new hires touring the operational facilities to emerging leaders and the senior leadership team. As Chair of CP’s Leadership Steering Committee, he strongly believes that career development is integral to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce and plays a critical role in the success of CP today and into the future.
Nadeem holds a B. Economics degree from the University of Western Ontario and MBA in Finance/International Business from McGill University.
The Award, presented by Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada), PwC Canada and Robert Half, recognizes an individual who best exemplifies the evolving role of the CFO, which has moved beyond the traditional perception of financial expert to that of a strategic, influential and essential member of the C-suite.
About Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)
Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) is the leading voice and informed choice for senior financial executives across the country. With 12 chapters and 1,600+ members, FEI Canada provides professional development, networking opportunities, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members. The association membership consists of senior-level financial executives spanning various industries, functions and disciplines, representing a significant number of Canada’s leading and most influential corporations.
About PwC Canada
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. More than 7,000 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 276,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.
About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers job search and management tools at roberthalf.ca. Additional insights on the latest hiring trends also can be found in the company’s newly released 2020 Salary Guides. For further leadership insights, career and management advice, follow roberthalf.ca/blog.