Ottawa, May 23, 2013

Archived - Minister of Finance Establishes a Venture Capital Expert Panel to Grow Canada’s Venture Capital Industry

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today the establishment of a Venture Capital Expert Panel in order to advance key elements of the Venture Capital Action Plan.

In January, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Venture Capital Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy for deploying $400 million to help increase private sector investments to create jobs and economic growth.

“In a competitive global environment, our Government realizes that we must play an important role in promoting a more innovative economy, by supporting private sector investment needed for high-potential small and medium-sized businesses to grow,” said Minister Flaherty. “The outstanding Canadians selected for the Venture Capital Expert Panel will play an important role in helping to drive economic growth in Canada.”

The Panel members have extensive experience in the venture capital asset class, business and finance.

The Panel will provide advice and recommendations on two key elements of the Venture Capital Action Plan:

  • Selecting private sector managers for up to four funds of funds; and
  • Selecting up to five high-performing venture capital funds that will receive an aggregate direct investment of $50 million.

The Panel may also provide advice on other elements of the Venture Capital Action Plan.

The Panel members are:

  • Samuel L. Duboc (chair)
  • Jim W. Davidson
  • Gilles Duruflé
  • Robin Louis
  • Annette Verschuren

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For further information, media may contact:

Kathleen Perchaluk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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Biographical Notes

Samuel L. Duboc

In January 2013, Samuel L. Duboc was named the Department of Finance’s Clifford Clark Visiting Economist to support the implementation of the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan. Since June 2012, he had been engaged by the Department to serve as a special advisor on venture capital, to lead consultations and to provide recommendations on how to increase the availability of venture capital for high-growth businesses in Canada.

Mr. Duboc founded the private equity firm EdgeStone Capital Partners in 1999. Prior to starting EdgeStone, he served as Managing Director and member of the Deals Review Committee at CIBC Capital Partners, the merchant banking division of CIBC. From 1991 to 1994, he co-founded and developed the Loyalty Group Inc. (Air Miles Reward Program), where he served as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Duboc is also the Chairman and co-founder of Pathways to Education Canada, a national organization that helps youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education.

Mr. Duboc holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University magna cum laude and Tau Beta Pi and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In 2000, he was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 and named one of the “Most Influential” alumni of the program in 2005. Mr. Duboc is a member of World Presidents’ Organization and Chief Executives Organization.

Jim W. Davidson

Mr. Jim W. Davidson is the Chairman and CEO of FirstEnergy Capital Corp., an energy‐focused investment bank that offers corporate finance advisory services to the energy sector. With offices in Calgary, Alberta and London, England, the firm offers market research, mergers and acquisitions, trading, private placement, private and public equity underwriting and valuation advisory services. In 2005, Mr. Davidson led the company’s efforts to establish a strategic alliance with Société Générale, one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Last year, Mr. Davidson was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his contribution to the Canadian investment industry. In 2011, he was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture magazine, and he has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year and Outstanding Calgarian.

Mr. Davidson is a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Calgary Economic Development’s Financial Sector Advisory Committee, and he currently sits on the board of trustees of The Fraser Institute.

Mr. Davidson holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree (Honours) from the University of Waterloo.

Gilles Duruflé

Dr. Gilles Duruflé is an independent consultant advising venture capital and private equity funds, institutional investors and governments. He is also Executive Vice-President of the Quebec City Conference and President of its Public Policy Forum on Venture Capital and Innovation.

Dr. Duruflé was until 2004 a Senior Partner at CDP Capital Technology Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, in charge of the Funds of Funds portfolio, investing in North American and European venture capital funds. He was previously Head of Strategic Studies at the Caisse.

From 1979 to 1991 he worked as a Senior Partner in strategic consulting firms in the CDC Group (Caisse des dépôts et consignations, Paris) in Europe and North America.

He is a Vice-President of Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. He also sits on the Board of the Quebec City Conference and on the International Private Equity Valuation Board.

Dr. Duruflé obtained his Masters in Philosophy from the CERP (Paris), his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Paris VI University, and the Diploma of the Centre d’Études des Programmes Économiques (Ministry of Finance, Paris). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has published numerous books and articles on various subjects related to economics and finance.

Robin Louis

Since his retirement from full-time participation in the venture capital industry, Dr. Robin Louis has been an active angel investor, backing and working with several emerging companies. He serves on a number of Advisory Boards and Boards of Directors of these companies. Currently, Dr. Louis is a Senior Advisor to Vanedge Capital, where he advises on fund management issues and is a member of the Investment Committee.

Dr. Louis is a member of the Board of Governors of Science World British Columbia and serves on the Board of BC Social Venture Partners, a not-for-profit group of engaged philanthropists who invest time, money and professional expertise in local non-profits.

He was President and Director of Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, served as a Director of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum and the AceTech Academy for Technology CEOs, and was a partner at Ventures West Capital Ltd. from 1991 to 2008. Prior to that he was President of Columbia Computing Services Ltd.

Dr. Louis earned B.Sc. (Honours) and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Victoria and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of British Columbia.

Annette Verschuren

Ms. Annette Verschuren, O.C., is Chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., a company accelerating the commercialization of energy storage technologies through the planning and development of energy storage solutions. Previously, she was the President of The Home Depot Canada and Asia and President and co-owner of Michaels of Canada.

Ms. Verschuren is a board member and Chair of the Risk Committee of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, as well as a board member of Air Canada, the North West Company, Icynene, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Conference Board of Canada.

She has served as the vice-chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, as a member of the North American Competitiveness Council and a member of the Economic Advisory Council, a group of 11 Canadian business leaders charged with advising the Government of Canada on the 2008 global economic crisis.

A champion of community investment and volunteerism, Ms. Verschuren serves as Chancellor of Cape Breton University and chairs fundraising efforts for the University’s new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment.

Ms. Verschuren holds honorary doctorate degrees from Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University and St. Francis Xavier University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.