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25 - 27 of the Bay St. Bull Power 50: Top Executives

The Power 50 is a collection of Canada’s top people, places and things of 2016. Our list is filled with game changers from all corners of the nation that are inspiring, innovating and influencing the way we live and work from the top. Giving you the best from every city, industry, office and home, The Bull’s Canadian Power 50 is not your typical list and instead is the definitive guide to who and what is changing the way Canada lives, works and plays. 

25. Julia Fournier: President and CEO, HCMWorks

Julia Fournier goes about her business, and she does a damn good job of it too.

Starting HCMWorks in 2005 out of her home office with nothing but four laptops and two twins to feed, Fournier set out to fill a gap in the payroll and procurement fields that she recognized at the time were completely inefficient. And that they were. Back then, large companies with large budgets were hemorrhaging money and time in these areas that were traditionally masked with a cloak of secrecy.

What Fournier did was implement great technology with an open-kimono philosophy that allowed her company to demonstrate to it’s clients how best to save money and manage the procurement and payroll processes more efficiently than ever before. These days, her clients are being won over by average savings of 8-10% on these costs but more amazingly, one of her clients, a major telecommunications firm, has saved upwards of $100 million dollars from their bottom line over the past eight years.

As a result of identifying these opportunities in an industry ready for change, Fournier has since grown her business to the tune of $100 million dollars in annual revenue, and received accolades on her way to the top.

26. Marie Henein: Partner, Henein Hutchinson LLP 

by Sabrina Maddeaux

Love her or hate her, there’s no denying defense lawyer Marie Henein is one of the most talked-about women in Canada. Her controversial defenses of Jian Ghomeshi and Michael Bryant will go down in history. But it’s not who her clients are or what they may or may not have (fine, probably) did that makes her noteworthy. It’s her astounding take-no-prisoners rise to not only success – but also supremacy – in a conservative, male-dominated field. She didn’t just ‘lean in’ to the law, she stomped all over it in leopard-print Louis Vuitton pumps.

The message she relays through that perfectly coiffed raven bob and unapologetically kohl-rimmed eyes is ‘don’t mess with me.’ “No Guts, No Glory,” reads a neon sign in Henein’s King East office. She’s positioned her law firm, Henein Hutchison LLP, like something straight from a gritty Netflix political drama. Her website’s photography is highly editorialized and perfectly styled; the photos wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy magazine. In her headshots she wears all black and stares down the camera looking completely and utterly unimpressed.  

She’s earned that right. When she’s not making headlines with famous clients, Henein also represents corporations in regulatory cases. Her peers voted her as one of Canada’s best criminal lawyers, and she’s a frequent lecturer at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Henein’s detractors paint her as a Disney villainess: a real-life Maleficent or Cruella de Vil. She offends some because, as a woman, she isn’t apologetic, or warm or guided by a stringent set of moral guidelines that never seem to apply to male attorneys. Some say she’s betrayed women, but really, she’s freed them from the confines of what nice, successful women are ‘supposed’ to be.

In reality, she’s less villain and more complex in the veins of Robin Wright, Carrie Mathison and Alicia Florrick. You don’t have to like Henein, but it’s hard not to tune in to see what she does next. 

27. Alexandra Horwood: Director of Wealth Management, Richardson GMP Limited 

by Brendan Louis

Walking into the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) convention in Toronto is like walking into a weird world where hard hats meet suits and booths line the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for a weeklong schmooze-fest unlike any other in the country. That PDAC has taken on a life of its own is hardly a surprise in a resource based economy like Canada’s but what’s more of a surprise is that a woman like Alexandra Horwood could make such a significant mark. 

Traditionally dominated by men, the world of Wealth Management, especially those focused on the mining sector, has historically been hard to crack for women. Don’t tell that to Horwood who has followed her family’s footsteps to become the youngest Driector, Wealth Management in Richardson GMP history. 

Her success was cemented even more in 2015 when she established Alexandra Horwood & Partners to better focus on her entrepreneurial path while locking in $40.1 million dollars in new assets under management, the second highest in the firm that year. 

Thankfully PDAC is over but if you go next year, expect to see Horwood holding court and building her business every step of the way.