HomeMiningIntegra’s Andrée St-Germain on overcoming self-doubt and 'paying your dues': Mining Legends...


St-Germain holds an MBA in Finance from York College and started in funding banking at Dundee Capital markets, running with mining corporations on M&A advisory and financing. In 2013 she joined Golden Queen Mining as CFO, after which moved to Integra Gold as CFO in early 2017 and helped oversee its sale to Eldorado Gold that very same 12 months for $590 million. She could also be a director of Osisko Metals and an consultant at Wyloo Metals, which took over Ontario-focused Noront Sources (now Ring of Hearth Metals) previous this 12 months after profitable a bidding conflict with BHP.

St-Germain sat down in September with Anthony Vaccaro, president of The Northern Miner Staff, to talk about her profession thus far. 

Vaccaro: What are you playing about this section of your profession, and what are one of the vital demanding situations?

St-Germain: I’ve been on forums for the previous 5 years – it’s a perfect revel in since you are uncovered to different corporations – different control groups. You all the time be informed out of your revel in with corporations. It makes me a greater CFO for Integra since you are attached within the trade. Each and every corporate has demanding situations – I believe it’s the secret whilst you’re in mining. With the entire trends – I believe it is going to be thrilling years.

Vaccaro:  When it got here to Wyloo, what made you are taking on that exact problem?

St-Germain: I believe it was once the crew. It was once an overly younger, dynamic crew, and their imaginative and prescient fascinated about inexperienced metals. And that’s the massive push to advertise the trade.

Vaccaro: Why did you wish to have to do an MBA in capital markets, and what made you concentrate on mining?

St-Germain: All the way through my MBA there have been banking [recruiters] who got here to the college — and I believe that’s why outreach is so essential to the trade. And I believe it was once extra following my guts.

Vaccaro: You began at Dundee [Precious Metals] with the past due Ned Dundee, some other Canadian Mining Corridor of Status member. Do you could have any reviews with Ned you must proportion?

St-Germain: Over time, I’d stumble upon Ned within the hallways. He was once at the best flooring. I used to be on the backside flooring. He was once all the time very type. What I be mindful probably the most is my remaining day at Dundee — I used to be in Vancouver and flew again to Toronto only for the day and Ned mentioned, “come see me in my place of work” and we sat down. He was once very mining and shared some recommendation concerning the trade. I used to be very touched. It was once simply part an hour of his time, nevertheless it made a giant affect on me.

Vaccaro: What was once the transition like, popping out of the funding banking global to Golden Queen? What had been one of the vital key demanding situations?

St-Germain: It was once more than likely some of the scariest choices of my existence. I nearly mentioned no. I don’t wish to generalize, however continuously ladies, we take into consideration our credentials greater than our possible. I’m now not a CA, so I didn’t suppose I is usually a CFO. I considered it, and known as my boss, and he mentioned “Andree, you’re silly in case you say no. Do exactly it.” It was once surely a large transfer. It got here with demanding situations, the primary one was once my very own insecurities. I believe it’s standard to have insecurities, however they need to be short-lived.

Vaccaro: How did you triumph over the ones?

St-Germain: Running laborious. I’m a large believer in paying your dues. I stored my identical banking hours at Golden Queen. Additionally, all the way through my profession I’ve had numerous nice champions who’ve supported me. On the subject of Golden Queen, I had numerous beef up from the board and from the CEO. In order that will provide you with self assurance as neatly. At Golden Queen it was once a sexy lean crew, so that you put on numerous hats — now not simply budgeting and accounting, however challenge financing, HR and IT compliance all falls on you. I believe something that is helping is you want to be humble and needless to say you’ll’t do the whole lot. You’ll be able to’t be knowledgeable at the whole lot. You’re now not anticipated to. I’ve my explicit talent set, and the talents that I want lend a hand with — that’s the place the crew is available in. It’s about leveraging the ones assets.

Vaccaro: What about leaving Golden Queen? How did the Integra alternative come about and why was once it interesting?

St-Germain: George Salamis, the CEO approached me, and it was once on the degree the place the challenge was once able to be financed. The challenge was once in Quebec, so it was once absolute best. They introduced me in, and I didn’t have a time without work in between — it was once from one place of work to the opposite. We had been a couple of week from signing a time period sheet at the challenge financing when the bid from Eldorado got here in. To be concerned with an M&A (deal) from that point of view, the corporate facet, was once in point of fact just right.  A large number of the paintings comes ahead of the announcement — from the theory to the negotiation.

Vaccaro: Communicate to us about one of the vital best possible recommendation you’ve gained over your profession?

St-Germain: One of the best possible was once to benefit from the highs since the lows are somewhat brutal. Professionally, one of the vital best possible recommendation I were given was once from a guide by way of Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In, [Women, Work, and the Will to Lead] the place she refers to how up to now, you needed to climb the company ladder if you wish to make it to the highest. However now, it’s important to see the place of business extra as a jungle health club, the place you’ll do lateral strikes. For those who glance again at my profession – that’s in point of fact what took place.

Vaccaro: For the reason that the trade has been grappling with variety in its historical past, how a lot growth has been made within the remaining 5 years? Has the tempo modified rapid sufficient?

St-Germain: I’m very inspired with the trade, truly. In my funding banking days, I didn’t meet too many ladies CEOs. CFOs, possibly. I went to numerous board conferences and didn’t recall seeing many ladies. I’d say the previous 5 years had been an enormous shift. Just about all forums I’m concerned with have no less than two ladies. Many corporations are transferring previous the ‘only one girl’ at the board. And you notice extra ladies within the C-suite, which is excellent.

Those adjustments take time. You want to have just right retention plans in position, and coaching, and needless to say ladies desire a other form of mentorship every now and then, so have techniques extra adapted for girls.

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