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Immigrant Access Fund Canada

Director of Finance & Risk



Company Information

IAF supports immigrants, including refugees, who arrive in Canada with professional skills but who lack Canadian accreditation. Prevented by Canadian regulatory bodies from working in their field without a licence, and lacking the financial resources to pay for the training and licensing, they often fall into “survival” jobs, well below their talents, and into poverty. Without income, collateral or credit history, it is difficult if not impossible for them to access mainstream credit to bridge the gap.

IAF addresses this problem by providing micro loans of up to $10,000 to internationally trained immigrants so they can obtain the Canadian licensing or training they need to work in their field. Since 2005, IAF has provided $18 million in loans to 2,800 immigrants across Canada from a wide range of occupations. The impact of an IAF loan is profound:

  • The income of skilled immigrants is tripled. With the help of a $7,000 loan, the average loan triples the recipient's income, from $16,000 to $50,000.
  • The contributions of skilled immigrants to the Canadian economy multiplies exponentially. Every $1 invested in IAF returns $15 for the Canadian economy in the first year after a borrower completes their learning plan. Loan recipients increase their tax contribution by 4 times.
  • Canadians, as a whole, benefit when immigrants are able to put their skills to work in Canadian communities, particularly where there are skill shortages. 80% of loan recipients have found work closely matching what they did in their country, most commonly as medical professionals, engineers or in the financial industry.

IAF is the only national organization providing micro loans to skilled immigrants.

In the past decade, IAF has grown from a grassroots organization in Calgary approving 7 loans in its first year to a national organization approving nearly 500 loans in the past year. With over 170,000 skilled professionals entering the country every year, and awareness of the program still low, IAF's Board and recently hired CEO are positioning IAF to increase its impact exponentially.

Job Description

The Role

Reporting to IAF’s new CEO, the Director of Finance & Risk is responsible for the leadership and management of IAF’s finance and loan portfolios as the organization prepares for ten-fold national growth. With the support of a team of finance and loan staff, the Director is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s financial health including, its operating budget and loan capital-- monitoring and evaluating the risk associated with a charity lending money. The Director works collaboratively to build awareness and understanding of risk management and compliance practices among IAF staff, board, committees, funders and other key external stakeholders. This strategic leader will provide oversight on all things financial, ensuring the right policies, metrics and processes are in place to supports IAF through a significant growth phase.

The Opportunity

This role offers the opportunity to be part of the new leadership team for a unique Canadian charity whose mission--to integrate immigrants into the Canadian economy--has never been timelier. The Director will have the opportunity to provide strategic financial support to a national organization on the cusp of significant expansion. Candidates from the private sector and senior finance leaders in the not-for-profit and public sectors have an opportunity to join an entrepreneurial, impact-driven charity lead by a growth-oriented CEO.

The Ideal Candidate

The Director of Finance and Risk is a strategic, results-driven performer who is motivated by improving processes, creating efficiencies, reducing risk and leveraging the finance role to support the mission of an organization. The Director has the skills to communicate about financial matters clearly and confidently with people with a wide range of financial sophistication.

The individual’s strong financial acumen is critical for ensuring the organization is financially solid both in its operating budget and its loan capital. The individual has a strong affinity for program development and delivery.

The Director is a strong manager and enjoys developing the skills the people who report to her/him. The ideal candidate combines confidence and humility in his/her relationships with colleagues, the board and key stakeholders including IAF’s various funders. The selected candidate will be a collaborative leader who enjoys leading people in an effort to grow them professionally and personally.

Collaborative, entrepreneurial, strategic, high energy and detail oriented are all words used to describe the successful candidate. The Director is a compassionate, empathetic person who cares about the welfare of others and believes in IAF’s mission and values.

Key Accountabilities

For more details regarding the key accountabilities go to www.searchsmart.ca

Qualifications & Required Skills

  • A university degree and a designated CPA in good standing.
  • A minimum of 7 years post designation experience in a finance role with at least 3 years in a management capacity in a complex organization that has seen significant growth.
  • Experience overseeing a loan portfolio in a risk management and compliance capacity is a definite asset for this role.
  • Demonstrated background in financial analysis, financial reporting, asset/liability management and portfolio management with a thorough understanding of budgeting processes, financial accountability, risk management and business case development.
  • Ability to understand complex financial concepts and models and the capacity to determine the potential impact on the financial operations and health of IAF.
  • Familiarity with accounting for non-profits, financial reporting to public funders and reporting on charitable donations. Experience managing complex funding agreements.
  • Track record managing a team of financial professionals with the ability to motivate, coach and inspire excellence.
  • Excellent grasp of computerized financial systems.
  • Excellent communication skills that allow you to connect with and influence others.
  • A self-confident individual who can work independently and as part of a team and has a high degree of accountability for their actions and their team’s deliverables.
  • Innovative – always looking at ways to make things better.
  • Has an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoys being part of a growing organization.
  • Is both strategic and detailed-oriented.
  • A team player who will support staff and colleagues when they need help.
  • Empathetic and compassionate to the needs of others.
  • Personal experience with the challenges facing immigrants and refugees is an asset.
  • Applications from visible minorities and immigrants are most welcome.


To apply for this role please send your resume and a one page cover letter to sandra@searchsmart.ca. 

Your cover letter should include answers to the following questions:

  1. What attracts you to this position?
  2. What makes you a fit for this position?
  3. What is your current compensation?
  4. Private sector candidates, please tell us any experience you have in non-for-profit sector?

Contact Information

Immigrant Access Fund Canada
Staffing & Executive Search
Sandra Paquette
Posting Date: 02-Jun-2017Not-for-profit and Charitable OrganizationsAccounting and Finance Permanent, Full-Time Open 1 ASAP
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