With expensive projects to ease passenger woes, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) is handing over its financial reins to an executive who has never managed, a decision that has raised eyebrows among management experts. Someone you know better than the other way around, retorted Melanie Kau, president of the company’s board of directors.
Appointed last July, Aymeric Dussart spent nearly 12 years as manager of Montreal-Trudeau and Mirabel. Although he already performed data analysis and modeling, these are information technology responsibilities that have been assigned to him in recent years.
“It’s irregular,” says Richard LeBlanc, a governance, law and ethics expert at York University in Toronto. We are talking about people who specialize in information technology. It raises eyebrows when you entrust a financial position to someone who lacks adequate training. »
Before getting this promotion, Mr. Vice President of Dussart Technologies and Innovation. Those who hold a master’s degree in economics and another in IT management, the latter are neither a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) nor a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – titles commonly held by financial directors.
In an organization, the financial director is a sort of financial watchdog. He manages budgets, is responsible for everything related to financial compliance and plans future expenses. In an interview with PressMme Cow supported Mr. Dussart’s candidacy.
He is someone who deeply understands the needs of the airport. Someone you know is better than someone you don’t know. [M. Dussart], someone whose career we respect. in the team [des finances]There are 10 CPAs.
Melanie Cow, Chair of the ADM Board of Directors
About two months before the arrival of new president and CEO Yves Beauchamp, Mr. Dussart was appointed. A member of the ADM board for three years, he is taking his first steps at the helm of an organization modeled after a private company. He led major infrastructure projects during his tenure as Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance and Director General of the Ecole de Technologie Supérieure at McGill University.
Only in Montreal
At the country’s other major airports — Toronto (Pearson), Calgary and Vancouver — managers responsible for finance have all previously held similar roles. All of them hold CPA or CFA designations.
These certificates are not required for the company’s financial management, but they are common. At FEI Canada, a professional association that brings together more than 1,100 financial executives, nearly half of its members describe themselves as financial directors. Of this number, 96% are CPAs.
In this regard, Mr. Dussart’s career stands out.
“His past professional experience or even his diplomas do not indicate that he has the skills for the position of financial director,” estimated Saidatou Diko, a professor in the Department of Accounting Sciences at ESG UQAM.
Financially, ADM has many challenges. 1 billion due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has a debt of 2.3 billion and has to plan expensive investments. Congestion caused by long lines of cars, for example, demonstrates the limitations of the landing stage’s capability on the “city” side. So we have to find money. The experts were interviewed Press I wonder if Mr. Dussart is equipped to accomplish this.
In a note published last August, rating agency DBRS Morningstar predicted an increase in ADM’s debt due to upcoming large-scale investments.
Jacques Roy, a professor of operations and logistics management at HEC Montreal, author of a recent piece examining the challenges ahead for Montreal-Trudeau, Mr. Dussart was surprised to be selected as the head of finance.
“The challenges are major in terms of financing,” the expert said. It seems to me that we can turn to someone with a financial profile, as this person will have to negotiate with bankers or possible investors if the method of financing airports is to change. »
Mr. Roy wonders why ADM did not select a manager with experience in managing airport operations. However, he states that we must give the runner a chance.
M. analyzed 120 to 130 applications for the post of presidentme Cow. She confirms that Mr. Beauchamp’s profile fits the projects awaiting ADM. In the university sector, M explains, the latter has developed to “complex” investments, particularly in the University of Montreal’s new Outremont campus.me Cow. This expertise will benefit Montreal-Trudeau as it prepares to enter this phase, she said.
Montreal Airports in Brief
Mandate: Manager and operator of Montreal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports
Full Time Employees: 534
Revenue: 652 million
Passenger traffic: 16 million
- 66.5 million
- Surplus generated by ADM in the first six months of the year
Source: Montreal Airports