Finance Team Building

Glen Bryan, CPA, CA, is the VP of Finance & Accounting at Compass Datacenters. We caught up with him recently to talk about building finance teams and fast growth.

We’ve had the opportunity to help build finance teams for Canada’s fastest-growing start-ups and scale-ups. Along the way, we’ve met some incredible people in finance who are paving the way to success for these growth companies. Read on to hear what’s in store for Compass Datacenters, the challenge of building strong finance teams and his advice for those aspiring for growth in their finance careers.

You have been building the finance function at Compass Datacenters for several years working your way through various roles and overseeing everything from process improvements to managing capital projects. What are you working on now that excites you? And what’s next for Compass Datacenters?

Compass Datacenters is experiencing a period of rapid growth in which we are deploying a ton of capital. I have the challenge of building a Construction Finance team from the ground up including people, processes and tools. The team will be tasked with continuously building and improving processes that will scale with our exponential growth.

In this evolving hiring market, companies are competing for strong talent like never before. What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of finding and retaining talent these days?

Compass has a very unique and powerful corporate culture. Not only is it difficult to find qualified candidates from a hard skills perspective, but when you layer on the soft skills needed to be a Compass Culture Fit it becomes like finding a needle in a haystack.

Clarity recently helped you hire a Senior Financial Analyst. Can you tell us about your experience working with Clarity?

Our recent Senior Financial Analyst hire was our third finance team member added using Clarity. My experience working with Court and his team is unmatched in the industry. They truly dig deep to understand the needs of both your company and you as a people leader. Combine this understanding with the insights provided by their in-house technology and it makes finding that needle a whole lot easier.

You’ve had an interesting career path with roles spanning from Public Accountant to Professional Lacrosse Player. What advice would you give to aspiring finance leaders?

I think a lot of my success has to be attributed to a few core convictions that I have tried to live by. Try to be grounded in humility, learn, acknowledge mistakes and learn from those mistakes going forward. Constantly challenge the status quo and continuously improve yourself/others, processes and systems. Pair those two convictions with some good old-fashioned hard work and the sky is the limit!

Inquiring minds want to know, what are you watching/listening to right now?

With the world starting to go back to normal, and commutes getting longer, I’ve leaned into listening to audio books in the car. My go-to genre is historical fiction and since I’m through most of the mainstream book series I’ve moved on to Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, which has been great. And I have a 2-year-old at home, so when Encanto isn’t on I’ve been watching Winning Time. It’s a docu-series on Magic Johnson, Jerry Buss, and the Lakers, which I highly recommend.

Clarity has worked with Compass Datacenters and numerous hyper-growth companies investing in their finance function. If you’re trying to find the high-performing talent you need to build your finance team, we’re ready to help!

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