2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards Recipients!

The 2019 Association for Corporate Growth British Columbia Dealmakers of the Year Awards will be hosted at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver on Wednesday, October 30th. Join us to celebrate the achievements of local M&A professionals and to network with industry leaders. This year’s event will be hosted by Canadian comedian, Erica Sigurdson. A special thank you to our 2019 Presenting Sponsors:

BDC Capital, EY and Lawson Lundell LLP.

Congratulations to our 2019 award Finalists and Winners!


The Deal of the Year Award celebrates a leading British Columbia sell-side transaction. This award recognizes the executive team and CEO, as well as British Columbia-based professional firms and other individuals whose excellence in executing on that transaction led to an exceptional outcome.

WINNER: PDFTron Systems Inc. 

Catherine Andersz (CEO & Co-Founder) and Ivan Nincic (CTO & Founder), PDFTron Systems Inc.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc. / Deloitte LLP

Founded in 1998 in Vancouver, BC, PDFTron Systems Inc. is a leading document processing technology provider, enabling digital transformation as part of enterprise and commercial applications by offering a full-fledged document processing, conversion, viewing and collaboration platform for PDF, MS Office, CAD and other digital documents. Additionally, PDFTron’s latest B2C offering, XODO, is one of the top-rated and fastest growing document productivity applications and is used by millions of users world-wide. PDFTron had not previously raised any third party debt or taken on outside investors to fuel growth. Led by the company’s two co-founders, PDFTron bootstrapped its way to one of the largest technology deals in Canada and received significant industry spotlight on its success.

PDFTron is a prime example of the high caliber companies Vancouver has in its growing technology hub. The deal showcases that Vancouver home-grown technology companies can compete on a global scale, attract international investor appetite from top tier-1 investors and shape the future of the technology industry in Canada and globally.

Fasken acted for PDFTron Systems Inc. as  M&A counsel with a team that included Blair Horn (M&A), Geoff Pedlow (M&A), Michael Coburn (Tax), KC Miu (Banking), Dierk Ullrich (Corporate), Gosia Piasecka (M&A), Matthew Larsen (Employment) and Laura Smith (Real Estate).

Deloitte acted as exclusive financial advisor, ran a competitive process and provided key transactional advice to PDFTron Systems Inc, with a M&A team led by Doug Beaton, Sandra Suh, David Lam, Louisa Yeung, Liza Akhvledziani, and Kevin Zhao, and a Tax team led by Philippe Montillaud.

FINALIST: Primex Technologies Inc. 

Bob Smart, President & CEO, Primex Technologies Inc.
Joe Lucke and Steve Hnatiuk, Managing Partners, Lighthouse Equity Partners
Greg Hollingsworth, Partner, Corporate, M&A and Private Equity, Lawson Lundell LLP
Jim Crooks, Managing Director & Partner, Consulting & Deals, PwC Corporate Finance

Primex Technologies Inc. was acquired by Lighthouse Equity Partners in late 2014 in partnership with Primex management.  Lighthouse and its management partners developed a focused growth strategy, and invested strategically, to put in place the resources that would build Langley-based Primex into North America’s leading innovator of “connectivity infrastructure” products. Within four years, Primex grew significantly, doubling the business that had taken the previous four decades to build. The Primex team expanded to nearly 150 and sales expanded aggressively into the US broadband carrier market.

Today, Primex is the category leader in connectivity infrastructure products. Primex sets the market standard for the most extensive, innovative, integrated suite of products utilized by the world’s leading broadband carriers as they seek efficiency in how their network components are installed, enclosed, connected, and managed to service the modern smart home needs of their subscribers. 

Exceptionally well positioned for continued growth, innovation, and market leadership, Primex was acquired in 2019 by Oldcastle Infrastructure, a division of European multi-national CRH Plc., the largest building materials company in North America.  


The Dealmaker of the Year Award recognizes the contribution of an outstanding Dealmaker who has driven the corporate growth strategy through a series of accretive acquisitions, mergers and/or divestitures.

WINNER: Amin Shivji, Founder & CEO

Dr. Amin Shivji spearheaded the launch of the 123Dentist National Platform in July 2017. The company is a majority dentist-owned, Canadian dental support organization with practices across the country and offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Dr. Shivji is the CEO and an experienced operator of dental practices, having opened his first practice in 1993. Supported by his executive team – Chris Fregren, Ali Bozorgzad, and Aaron Lipton – Dr. Shivji has led the development of the National Platform through leveraging a deep understanding of the BC market and expanding nationally. In their two short years since the foundation of the National Platform, 123Dentist has completed more than 60 deals to acquire close to 80 dental practices up to September 30, 2019, with over 30 acquisitions in the 2018 calendar year alone. To accelerate their growth strategy, 123Dentist successfully raised CA$425 million, including $300 million in committed growth capital and a further $125 million accessible from both equity and debt partners.


Waypoint Insurance traces its roots back over one hundred years to several small family owned brokerages located in Northern Vancouver Island which subsequently merged into Vancouver Island Insurance Centres Ltd. The company was widely held by its employees and concentrated on the Vancouver Island market. Tony Hayes joined Waypoint Insurance Services as President in 2014 with the mandate to grow the company. Tony and the entire team undertook a number of initiatives including rebranding to the Waypoint name, completing a number of broker acquisitions on Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver and redefined their working relationships with both insurance markets and other suppliers. The net results were Waypoint was able to double revenues and profits over a four year period. 2019 marked the culmination of Waypoint’s entrepreneurial story in a sale to Navacord, a leading Canadian brokerage, which resulted in a financial payoff to the 30 employee shareholders that far surpassed their expectations.

ACG British Columbia congratulates all companies and individuals nominated and our wider M&A community in British Columbia generally for all of their contributions to a year full of exceptional transactions. We also wish to thank everyone who submitted nominations – we could not hold this event without you!

Don’t Miss the Celebration!

Join Master of Ceremonies, Erica Sigurdson  and business leaders in your community for a fun evening in celebration of local M&A achievements and industry excellence. Tickets now available.

October 30, 2019
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
900 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC

Cocktail Reception: 5:30pm
Dinner Program: 6:30pm
Dessert & Networking: 8:00pm

Member Price: $225 GST
Non Member Price: $280 GST
Tables of 8 are also available to purchase online

Tickets Now Available – Click Here to Purchase

What will it take to reach BC’s cleantech potential? Four diverse perspectives at BC Middle Market Growth Conference

Does BC’s future include realizing our cleantech potential?

Cleantech has become one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy. The innovation happening in BC is leading us toward a more sustainable economy and has become a major driver of growth.

The transition to a low carbon economy is just beginning. The shift represents enormous potential and also raises the question of whether BC has the right environment for continued growth.

At BC Middle Market Growth Conference on April 9, we’re bringing together diverse perspectives on BC’s cleantech industry in a discussion moderated by Paul Austin of Fort Capital Partners. Our panelists represent government, academia, private business and the financing side of the business — all of them playing a unique role in shaping the industry’s future.

We asked our panelists: What does BC’s cleantech future look like?

“BC continues to be a leader in cleantech and we have the opportunity to expand this. We’ve found that BC has a supportive government, great talent, good infrastructure and an international reputation as a desirable place to work. Cleantech is going to be one of the most important industries of the future – let’s build it here.”
– Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering

“BC has real economic opportunities in new clean technology companies that are capable of transforming the province’s traditional industrial sectors. Positioning these sectors for growth is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity in the next decade that will create new wealth, jobs and prosperity. Chrysalix will help BC lead the way through our support for homegrown companies and other new investments in resource productivity, while attracting more large industrial companies to invest here.”
– Wal Van Lierop, Executive Chairman, Chrysalix Venture Capital

“A vibrant cluster working at home to enable BC to meet its commitments to reduce emissions and working internationally to deploy cutting-edge technologies that move the world to less carbon-intensive energy use.”
– Stephen Brydon, BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund

“BC is already recognized as a global thought leader and start-up generator in the emerging cleantech sector. The potential for economic growth – particularly the latent potential represented by our university investors – is substantial.”
– Elicia Maine, Professor, SFU’s Beedie School of Business

More about our cleantech panelists:   

Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering

Steve Oldham has led Carbon Engineering (CE) since February 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. Steve brings an impressive track-record of technology commercialization to CE, with previous positions in technology, robotics, and aerospace sectors, and a succession of executive positions at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA) in Vancouver, BC. He has played a lead role in a number of ‘Canada firsts’ in technology commercialization, including the first robot performing brain surgery, the first commercial radar satellite, robots that clean the inside of nuclear reactors, and satellites that service and repair other satellites.

Wal Van Lierop, Executive Chairman, Chrysalix Venture Capital

Wal is an award-winning business leader and visionary in innovation, sustainability and cleantech, with unique industry insights gained through his experience as a venture capitalist, corporate executive, international consultant and university professor. Wal founded Crysalix Venture Capital, a private equity firm focused on industrial innovation, where he helped raise more than $250M and participated in more than $1B in venture capital financings. He has sourced, invested in and advised numerous startups, assisting them in building breakthrough solutions for the new world economy while working hand-in-hand with large multinational companies on their innovation strategies. Wal is a member of the Board of Directors at Chrysalix portfolio companies General Fusion, Inventys and Axine Water Technologies. He is a founder of New Ventures BC, a founding member of the BC CEO Alliance and Evok Innovations, Advisory Board member of the Cleantech Group and judge of the Cleantech 100. He has been an adjunct professor at both SFU and UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and frequently speaks at industry events.

Stephen Brydon, Director, BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund

Stephen Brydon is a Director of the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. The ICE Fund is a Special Account, funded through a levy on certain energy sales, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and to advance BC’s clean energy sector. Stephen joined the Ministry in 2016 from BC Transit where he was Manager, Environment & Climate Action responsible for environmental risk management and compliance. Stephen has worked in the BC Public Service in a number of provincial government ministries and crown agencies (including BC Hydro) with a focus on clean energy innovation and economic development; and began his career in the UK civil service, working in regional trade and investment promotion, including postings in Hong Kong and Europe.

Elicia Maine, Professor, SFU’s Beedie School ofBusiness

Specializing in technological innovation and science entrepreneurship, Professor Elicia Maine uses her expertise to guide innovation policy and commercialization strategy and to mentor emerging innovators. Founder and Academic Director of Invention to Innovation (i2l), a novel graduate program in Science & Technology Commercialization, Prof. Maine has been awarded the TD / Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award and was a finalist of BC TECH’s “Person of the Year” award. She holds a PhD in Technology Management & Materials Engineering from Cambridge University and Master’s degrees in Technology & Policy Materials Engineering from MIT. She teaches “Managing Technological Innovation” and “Lab to Market” at SFU’s Beedie School of Business and has published research on innovation management. She is active as a keynote speaker, judge, and advisor for conferences, competitions, and ventures enabling cleantech innovation and health innovation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator and of New Ventures BC.

Keynote Nancy MacKay tells Business in Vancouver about today’s biggest leadership challenge

In today’s world, we’re all struggling to process an increasingly-high volume of content that’s coming at us very quickly. According to Dr. Nancy MacKay, this year’s BC Middle Market Growth Conference keynote, this proliferation of content puts more demands on our time and requires a faster decision-making process.

In a recent interview with Business in Vancouver, MacKay said: “Time mastery is a fundamental leadership skill in today’s world of exponential change.” She adds that most business leaders and owners don’t have the much-needed time management skills – a challenge that can often get in the way of their success.

On April 9, at the BC Middle Market Growth Conference, Dr. Nancy MacKay will share the tools and techniques of time mastery and why it’s key to effective and inspiring leadership. You can get a preview of her upcoming session in this month’s Business in Vancouver.

Last week for early-bird pricing. Register before Friday March 15.

Click here to register.

About Dr. Nancy MacKay

Nancy is a CEO coach, dynamic keynote speaker, published author and former university professor. She founded MacKay CEO Forums – a high-impact, intensive peer group for more than 1,000 CEOs, executives and business owners across Canada. She’s also host of The CEO EDGE podcast and co-author of The Talent Advantage. Nancy holds a B. Math and a Master’s degree in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Ph.D. in Business from Canterbury University in New Zealand.

Fueling BC’s tech engine: what industry leaders are saying

Technology in BC is more than an industry – it’s become a vital engine for growth, fuelling other industries and providing a key source of innovation, GDP, job growth and economic diversity. However, this strong performance may have created a false sense that improvements aren’t necessary for the industry’s continued growth.

The BC Tech Association just released its latest policy recommendations for addressing the industry’s top challenges and realizing its potential.

“BC has an estimated $25 billion opportunity, if we can address the struggles companies are having when it comes to recruiting talent and bringing their businesses to scale,” said Jill Tipping, President and CEO of BC Tech Association. “In other words, the future of technology in BC is limitless, but only if we stop limiting it.”

Join us at the BC Middle Market Growth Conference on Tuesday, April 9 as we talk about the future of tech in BC and how to fuel the growth engine. Hear from our panel of industry leaders on how we can shape BC’s tech future with new tools, tactics and ideas, in a discussion moderated by BC Tech Association President & CEO, Jill Tipping. Register now by visiting our website.

Our BC tech panel:

Moderator: Jill Tipping, BC Tech President & CEO
Jill is President and CEO of BC Tech, a non-profit dedicated to making BC the best place to grow and scale a tech company. Previously, Jill was VP Operations and CFO with Schneider Electric Solar and started her career as a director in Deloitte’s telecoms, technology and media group in the UK. Jill holds an MA in Economic History from St. Andrews University and an MSc in Management from Stanford. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Economic Commission, the Digital Technology Supercluster, the Emerging Economy Task Force and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Matt Switzer, Partner, Northwest Capital Partners
Matt has 16 years’ experience buying and building companies. He helped grow software company, Hootsuite, from 30 people to more than 1,000 and was an early employee at Workbrain, which grew to 700 people and IPO’d in 2003. During his career, Matt has led successful acquisitions of 10 companies and participated in over $5Bn worth of M&A as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch. He holds a BSc. from Western University and an MBA from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2017. He currently runs Northwest Capital Partners, which he’s focused on acquiring and growing BC-based businesses.

Francis Steiner, Director, Hatch, UBC
Francis manages HATCH, UBC’s Accelerator program, which provides early-stage companies with business advice to accelerate their growth. Francis has worked for Deloitte’s Strategy arm in London and PWC, where he led various due diligence projects. Since 2002, Francis has been Principal at Godfrey, Graseby and Reeves, launching four different start-ups. In 2007, he arrived in Vancouver, where he took on a consulting role at KPMG and became Director of Strategy, Analytics and Implementation at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Kristine Steuart, Co-Founder, Allocadia
Kristine and her twin sister Katherine Berry co-founded Allocadia in 2010, after experiencing first-hand the difficulty in gaining insight into marketing investments and measuring performance. Kristine has led Allocadia from a bootstrapped start-up with a handful of customers, to a global organization with hundreds of enterprise customers worldwide and partnerships with marketing cloud leaders like Oracle, IBM and Marketo. Kristine was named among the Top Forty Under 40 in Business in Vancouver, The Top 10 Women in Tech to Watch in 2015 by inc. magazine, and one of BC’s top 35 Most influential Women in Business.

Tech by the numbers:
BC has more than 10,600 tech companies employing more than 106,000 peopleThe province also employs another 50,000 tech workers in non-tech companiesAn estimated 40 percent of downtown Vancouver’s commercial real estate is occupied by high-tech business and workersData provided by BC Tech Association

What does BC’s future look like?

What does BC’s future look like?

Find out at the 2019 BC Middle Market Growth Conference!

Save the date for the 2019 BC Middle Market Growth Conference

Monday, April 8: President’s Reception (Sponsored by Blakes) – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (location to be announced)

Tuesday, April 9: BC Middle Market Growth Conference  – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

Tickets on sale now! Click here to register – Earlybird rates apply until March 15

Get the scoop on what’s happening at this year’s event from BC Middle Market Growth Conference Co-Chairs Aleem Jinnah and Arik Broadbent.

What’s new at the 2019 BC Middle Market Growth Conference?

Arik: This year we’re focusing on the future of BC’s economy. Our province’s economic drivers are shifting, with traditional resource-based industries making way for increasingly diverse segments like technology, cannabis, cleantech and new models of real estate. Understanding the future drivers of growth in an increasingly diverse marketplace is essential for middle market entrepreneurs and professionals.

Aleem: Agreed. A lot of people think we’re at the top of a cycle. So, we thought it was important to centre our discussions around what’s on the horizon, in terms of both risks and opportunities. That’s how we chose our themeThe Future of Business in BC.

What’s on this year’s agenda?

Arik: We’re finalizing our full lineup of expert speakers and panels moderated by some well-known industry leaders. We’ll be announcing those details soon, so stay tuned – and make sure to register before March 15 to secure the earlybird rate.

Aleem: Our survey from last year’s event told us that diverse speakers, panel variety and networking are the most valuable aspects of this event. So, this year, attendees will be getting more of what they want, with a focus on helping them stay a step ahead. 

What makes this event stand out?

Arik: The fact that our participants return every year and tell us its the best event for making valuable connections with the broader deal-making community.

Aleem: And we’ve got a really unique format, where attendees aren’t just sitting through sessions. The day is broken up with networking and our trade show that’s become very popular over the years.

Aleem Jinnah, Co-Chair – BCMMGC2019

Aleem Jinnah is an Investment Banker with Fort Capital Partners focusing on mergers & acquisitions, divestitures and capital raising for both public and private companies in Canada. Aleem is also a Director of the Association for Corporate Growth BC.

Arik Broadbent, Co-Chair – BCMMGC2019

Arik Broadbent is a corporate lawyer at Farris Vaughan & Murphy LLP, who advises business owners and executives of companies of all sizes and stages (private and public). His primary areas of practice are: corporate finance (debt and equity), securities compliance, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions (domestic and cross border).

Showcase your brand at our biggest event of the year

ACG BC is excited to welcome back Nicola Wealth Management as our Official Event Sponsor. For details on sponsorship levels and opportunities, contact Sherryl Parsons.

About BC Middle Market Growth Conference

Now in its 18th year, the BC Middle Market Growth Conference has become the leading M&A Conference in Western Canada, with close to 350 attendees, a popular exhibitor trade show and valuable networking opportunities.

@ACG_BC Twitter

Flickr Photos

    Skip to toolbar