At Walter Financial, we think like entrepreneurs. Our team members not only possess in-depth financial expertise, they have direct experience in the day-to-day realities of running a business. We pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to thoroughness and discipline. We keep our team small for a maximum of agility, flexibility and responsiveness – qualities that today’s entrepreneurs need now more than ever in an investment partner.
François Beaudoin is a member of several corporate boards and provides advisory services to national and international organizations in strategic planning, merger and acquisitions, human resources management and financial planning.
Mr. Beaudoin is a career banker who was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada where he worked from 1990 to 1999. Prior to that, over a 16-year period, Mr. Beaudoin held several executive positions in Quebec and Ontario at Bank of Montreal, including the position of Vice-President in the Quebec Region. From 1999 to 2012, Mr. Beaudoin acted as Senior Advisor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Montreal.
Mr. Beaudoin is a member of the following boards: Walter Financial (Chairman), Walter Surface Technologies, Peak Financial Group, Britton Electric, and Benson Group.
Mr. Beaudoin is past Chairman of the Quebec Chapter of the World Presidents Organization. Mr. Beaudoin holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York (1973) and a BBA from the HEC in Montreal.
President and Chief Investment Officer
René Fournier is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Walter Financial. In this role, Mr. Fournier leads the investment team and is responsible for the company's investment strategies, including asset allocation. He is also a member of the board of Walter Capital Partners in addition to being the Lead Director of its Investment Committee. Furthermore, Mr. Fournier is a member of the board of directors of Mayrand and Alimplus, both private companies in the food sector.
Before joining the Walter Group, Mr. Fournier was responsible for the Canadian equities team at a large Canadian pension fund. His responsibilities included leading the team of analysts in addition to leading the research strategy. Earlier, he worked at EDC as a director of structured project finance and as a project manager at J.D. Irving.
Mr. Fournier received an MBA from McGill University. He holds a CFA title and a professional engineer title in addition to a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Moncton University.
Vice President Finance and Secretary Treasurer
Frank Vitale is the Vice President Finance and Secretary Treasurer for Walter Surface Technologies and its financial arm, Walter Financial Inc. In this capacity, Mr. Vitale is responsible for the development, growth and strategic direction of all international finance, taxation, reporting and treasury-related matters of the overall organization.
After seven years of public practice in the accounting and audit field, Mr. Vitale went on to hold progressively senior positions with privately held companies. Prior to Walter Surface Technologies, he acquired a strong financial and operational background in the apparel industry, starting as a corporate controller at Baltex Swimwear in Montreal in 1997. He then went on to the role of Vice President Finance and Operations of the Corwik Apparel Group before switching industries and joining Walter Surface Technologies in 2009.
Mr. Vitale studied in Montreal where he completed a Finance and Accounting Bachelor’s Diploma from Concordia University and subsequently completed the intensive Chartered Accountancy Program at McGill University. He successfully completed the Canadian Institute for Chartered Accountants exam in 1989 to obtain his CA designation.
Portfolio Manager & Head of Research
Mathieu Bernier is a Portfolio Manager and the Head of Research at Walter Financial where he is responsible for coordinating and conducting investment research primarily for the firm’s public portfolios. In this role, he is in charge of analysis, financial modeling, executive interviews and site visits of portfolio companies. Mr. Bernier also works in close collaboration with Walter Capital Partners and participates actively on private transactions executed by the group.
Engineer by training, Mr. Bernier started his career in finance in 2011 in the Investment Banking group of TD Securities and later joined CN Railway’s employee pension fund as a Financial Analyst in the Canadian Equities team. Mr. Bernier held several positions at CN over five years where he was responsible for large portfolio investments in industrial, energy and utility companies.
Before working in finance, Mr. Bernier held highly-technical roles at various industrial organizations. While at Dominion Engineering Inc. (DEI), a US-based consultancy, he helped develop and commercialize Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning technology at eleven nuclear power plants globally. Prior to DEI, he conducted research at MIT’s Gas Turbine Lab where he participated in the design of micro-rockets for NASA and DARPA. Mr. Bernier began his engineering career at Pratt & Whitney Canada where he worked on the performance and testing of regional aircraft engines.
Mr. Bernier holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and MBA from McGill University in Montreal, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Mr. Bernier is member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and is currently pursuing the CFA designation.
- Meet the board members who guide our management team