Senior Vice President
BDO Canada Limited
Jasmin Brown craved variety, unpredictability and problems to solve.
She didn’t realize this until after she had graduated with a B.Comm. in Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan, and after she had earned her Chartered Accountant designation. It was only once she was three years into a career in audit at Deloitte Canada that she realized she wanted a change.
To figure out what kind of change, she gathered some information about all the services offered by her firm. “The insolvency practice immediately appealed to me,” Jasmin says. “I was encouraged to spend some time getting exposure to the industry prior to committing and making a decision. And I was fortunate to have the mentorship of Marla Adams, CIRP and LIT.”
Jasmin spent a few months observing, job shadowing, learning and assisting in the practice, and quickly realized it was a good fit. “It energized me and I genuinely enjoyed the work, and it was appealing that I would be able to help people.”
She enrolled in the CIRP qualification program, seizing every opportunity to build “the vast level of knowledge” required in areas such as law, tax and accounting. She worked hard to get ready for the Competency-Based National Insolvency Exam, adding CIRP to her designations in January 2015. She continued on the path to become a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT), achieved in May 2015, and gained experience in both personal and corporate restructuring services.
Now, as Senior Vice President in BDO Canada’s Financial Recovery Services practice in Saskatoon, she provides insolvency and debt restructuring services to consumers and businesses throughout Saskatchewan. She has worked on interim, private and court-appointed receiverships, Division I proposals, assignments into bankruptcy and bankruptcy orders. The position offers variety, challenge and reward.
“I had been warned that the work could be emotional at times, and it can be,” Jasmin says. “In my role, I meet with many different people, each with their own story to tell. Many people are struggling with difficult life circumstances, and it can be challenging to come up with the best course of action where the solution isn’t always obvious. And you need empathy, understanding and professionalism.”
And yet, each difficult situation presents an opportunity to solve a problem and to help people who are at a difficult place in their lives. “Solving problems for people in a time of need and hearing of their gratitude is very rewarding,” she says.
Joining the industry and becoming a CIRP and LIT herself has given Jasmin the opportunity to build a fulfilling career. Her network offers significant opportunity for professional development, both formal and informal, from working at a national firm, and through being involved in the industry. She’s able to interact with other professionals on different files.
She shares her good fortune by volunteering with CAIRP, sitting on the CAIRP Professional Conduct Committee and the CAIRP Consumer Committee as a Saskatchewan representative. The roles are also an opportunity to stay current on issues and hot topics, participate in discussions, and meet other professionals in the industry.
Jasmin wholeheartedly recommends pursuing the CIRP designation and a career in insolvency.
“I went from having very little knowledge of the industry to building a career in it,” she says. “It is never boring, and it has been extremely rewarding.”