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BDC welcomes Brian O’Neil as new Chair of the Board of Directors

(MONTREAL) – December 19, 2023 – The Honourable Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business, announced today the appointment of Brian O’Neil as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Canada’s only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs.

In addition to serving on BDC’s board of directors since 2017, Mr. O’Neil is President of A Faire Aujourd’hui Inc. (AFAI), a Toronto-based family office and private equity fund that manages a portfolio of Canadian mid-market private equity and venture investments, and advises on a larger portfolio of global assets. He has over 25 years of work experience, primarily advising and investing alongside Canadian companies, including 15 years of board-of-director level service and experience.

“BDC is pleased to see Mr. O’Neil taking on additional responsibilities as the new Chair of our Board. His experience in the investment equity world and as a BDC board member, combined with his deep understanding of the needs of entrepreneurs, will ensure continuity in delivering upon BDC’s ambitions. I look forward to working more closely with Mr. O’Neil as we forge ahead, together, in making sure a greater number of businesses across Canada are able to access the financing, the advice and the capital to grow and maximize their contribution to the economy,” said Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO

The Government of Canada and BDC also thanked former Chair Mike Pedersen for his more than five years of service to BDC’s Board and for the important work he undertook in support of BDC’s ambitions to do more, and better, for Canada’s entrepreneurs.

“Mike was a tireless champion for BDC and its strategic renewal, and on behalf of all of BDC, I thank him for his enormous contributions as Chair during one of the most difficult economic periods of the last century. As BDC navigated through the pandemic, his agility and adaptability were instrumental in BDC’s success and his steadfast adherence to rigorous governance principles enabled us to overcome very challenging conditions. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” added Hudon.

Mr. O’Neil‘s term as Chair of BDC’s Board of Directors is effective as of December 15, 2023, for a term of four years. The appointment was made under the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process.

Small businesses are a crucial contributor to Canada’s economy. They are responsible for 88% of private sector jobs and generate over 50% of the country’s GDP. As a development bank, BDC’s role is to support entrepreneurs in their growth, spurring competitiveness, and the rise of Canadian champions. BDC supports 100,000 entrepreneurs and, by extension, is developing the economy for the benefit of all Canadians.

About BDC 

As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, BDC is a partner of choice for all entrepreneurs looking to access the financing and advice they need to build their businesses and tackle the big challenges of our time. Our investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions to help grow the country’s most innovative firms. We are one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. For more information on BDC’s products and services and to consult free tools, templates and articles, visit bdc.ca or join BDC on social media

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