Meet Brent Finlay...
Hi ... and thanks for spending some time on this site.
Here's where you get to learn a little bit about me and how I came to creating this site and working with business financing.
Things have definitely taken a few turns since my days growing up on a farm on the Canadian Prairies. Back then, my time was spent more breaking my back than pushing a pencil or punching keys on a computer.
I grew up as a "Flat Lander", not far from the longitudinal center of North America, and got a first hand experience in self employment in one of the most volatile industries in the world ... Agriculture.
As a farm boy, I also got to understand the order of things: Work hard all summer so that you were allowed to play hockey all winter.
In the late 80's, massive drought hit the prairies, and there wasn't much going on, so I went to university and 5 years later came out with an under grad in Agricultural Economics and an MBA in Finance.
At that point, the region was still recovering from the drought, so I became an Ag lender and my first assignment was to manage a territory around Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that had the highest number of delinquent accounts and the lowest lending in the entire province.
Within two years, the overdue accounts became the lowest in the province and the lending the highest.
Whether I fully realized it or not at the time, my career as a finance based reorganization expert and professional trouble shooter (I sarcastically refer to myself as a mopper) had begun.
Next stop, the third largest grain company in Canada.
Back in the early 90's, this company was a long established co-op that had recently gone public and needed to rebuilt its $250,000,000 infrastructure and they needed to do it in a hurry or risk being overrun by the competition.
After three years of being public, the capital expansion was in full swing and basically out of control.
My job as the Capital Planner was to somehow create order out of the chaos.
3 1/2 years later, we had a detailed consolidation and capital investment strategy that was in full swing. The rest as they say is history. The company was eventually acquired and is now part of the largest grain handling and farm inputs system in Canada.
So as things were nicely rounding into shape with the grain company, a large U.S. Multi-national Biotech Company came knocking and wanted to see if I could lend them a hand.
The challenge: Transition from a very successful two product, operationally excellent company, to a product innovation company expected to feature hundreds of products, develop new markets, and basically turn everything upside down and inside out along the way to doubling the Canadian Business.
My job: Keep us from blowing ourselves up.
The company had assembled an impressive array of talent from a variety of different industries to "shake up" the historical approach to business and drive the product innovation platform into the new millennium.
Even though I was hired be the finance lead and effectively the CFO for the Canadian Business, the first day I was on the job I was given operations, and soon after customer service. It just got better and better after that. While my new peers were out shaking things up, I had to develop a support and control system around what they were doing and clean up their messes along the way with about 1% of their available resources.
To make things even more interesting, in my second year on the job, I added to my 70+ hour work week existence by enrolling into the Certified Management Accounting accelerated program for business professionals which was all weekend, every second weekend, for 10 months.
It was a very interesting time to say the least. Never before had I worked in a company where everyone had a type AAA+ personality, where each individual was completely driven to succeed and had never really known failure to any great extent (or was prepared to admit it).
It made for a very interesting mix.
To say it was all a tremendous learning experience would be an understatement.
During my time there as CFO and diffuser of corporate chaos, I was involved in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, consolidations, IPO, restructuring, product launches, capital expansion, and so on. I also got to experience burnout, divorce, and all the other not so pleasant things that come from working way too hard for a master who always has more for you to do.
The company also achieved the expected growth and success through developing and launching new products with state of the art technology. Much of what we did was precedent setting in the industry and created several landmark rulings with respect to the future sale of biotech products in Canada.
In my last 2 years with the company, I went full circle and got to sit at the other side of the table leading up strategic planning and business development. My last assignment was to complete a national restructuring of the Canadian organization ... and in the process I restructured myself out of the company.
It was time for a break.
It took me about a year to decompress and get back to planet earth from my sometimes surreal corporate experience.
What a wild ride it was. Like most things in life, it was a mix of the good and the bad but overall an amazing learning experience that I will always be able to draw from.
Since that time, I moved to Eastern Canada and have been working for the last 15+ years as a business financing consultant, working with companies in need of assistance with financing, business development, and strategic planning.
As I surveyed the market, I noticed an incredible lack of relevant information on the subject of business financing, so it became obvious that I needed to start spending the time necessary to develop more information on the subject.
This website is an extension of my overall approach to educate my visitors and customer about business financing.
It will continue to grow with content as time goes by.
While I will always have a strong passion for business financing and development, it is now firmly balanced off with the passion I have for my family who will remain front and center in my life.
All the best to you and your business ventures.