Kylie Dickson was seven months into maternity leave with her third child when the company she co-founded, Anthem United Inc., became involved in a three-way merger with two other companies.
Cutting her leave short and hiring a nanny was one of the most difficult decisions of her career, she said, but there really was no one else at Anthem who could do the job.
“We’ve always just had so few people working in our office that it wasn’t something that I could not be involved in,” she said. “We ended up getting a nanny so I could come back to work. That whole mat leave was difficult because I had to work as a CFO as well from home.”
Dickson grew up in Maple Ridge and received a bachelor of administration from Simon Fraser University. She did some co-op stints with KPMG while still in university and then got a full-time job there in 2003 and gained her chartered accountant certification. She ended up specializing in the mining sector as a manager.
One of KPMG’s clients was Greg Smith, a mining entrepreneur who had started a company called Minefinders Corp. Smith hired Dickson as a financial controller, which led to a partnership in a number of successful mine mergers and acquisitions amounting to $2 billion.
In 2011, Pan American Silver Corp. (TSX:PAAS) bought Minefinders for $1.5 billion. Dickson was CFO for Esperanza Resources Corp., which was also acquired. After that exit, she co-founded Anthem United.
“That was the one where we didn’t take salaries for a year and helped to get it up off the ground,” Dickson said.
Through a series of transactions, including a three-way merger that included Luna Gold Corp. (TSX:LGC), Equinox Gold (TSX-V:EQX) was formed. Dickson is currently vice-president of business development.
“Although I am a chartered accountant, I wasn’t sitting here just doing financial statements,” Dickson said. “I’m managing a $60 million financing at the moment, in addition to the normal day-to-day things.”
In addition to her day job, Dickson is a busy mom; she and her husband have three young boys.
Birthplace: New Westminster
Where you live now: North Vancouver
Highest level of education: BA, business administration, CPA and CA
Currently reading: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Currently listening to: “Meant to Be” featuring Florida Georgia Line
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Cashier
Profession you would most like to try: General manager of a sports team or league
Toughest business or professional decision: Shortening maternity leave to facilitate a transaction
Advice you would give the younger you: Enjoy everything. The freedom to travel, the ability to work whenever needed, the schedule. Things get tougher as you get older managing life outside of work, so enjoy it now
What’s left to do: Can I say retire?
Join us to celebrate the 2018 Forty under under 40 Awards January 24, 2019, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40