Chief Executive Officer
With an extensive background in investment banking and capital markets, Paul has been a principal in over $2.0 billion in transactions in energy, construction, financial services, and hospitality over his 30-year career. Career highlights include building and successfully selling 2 upstream oil and gas companies, founder partner of a mid-market mezzanine fund, co-founder of Canada’s first national equity-based shared ownership real-estate company, and most recently CEO of Backwoods Energy Services (100% owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation).
Under his leadership, Backwoods achieved a compounded annual growth rate of 111% transforming it into one of the largest, Indigenous-owned companies in Canada. In the same time frame, economic benefits to the Alexis Nation grew by 614 percent, employment of Alexis Nation members has increased by 235 percent and annual revenues approaching $200 million.
In 2020 Paul was also one of the primary architects in structuring, negotiating, and financing the transaction that saw 6 First Nations acquire a significant ownership position in the $1.5 billion Cascade Power Project.
Paul believes in the restorative power of capitalism to maximize value to all stakeholders and rights holders to harness the power of good for strategic advantage. He speaks frequently on issues of responsible energy, Indigenous business, and purpose. He is regularly featured in national media like the Globe and Mail, the National Post, BNN Bloomberg, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
CPA, CA, CBV, ICD.D, CFM
Scott is the founding partner of Axxcelus Capital Advisory. Axxcelus is a natural culmination of Scott's career as a key executive and Chief Financial Officer across various companies and industries where business and mergers and acquisitions continually intersected.
Starting with a national accounting firm and then moving to industry Scott was instrumental in several significant transactions including the privatization of Ember Resources by Brookfield Asset Management and the start-up, capitalization, growth, and eventual plan of arrangement by Point Loma Resources with Madalena Energy and First Mountain Exploration. Scott was the Chief Financial Officer for an Alberta-based Mortgage Investment Corporation, Exempt Market Dealer, and Private Equity Fund deploying in excess of $100 million in capital each year. Most recently Scott was one of the principal architects of the $1.5 billion Cascade Power project in which 6 First Nations successfully acquired a significant equity stake in this project.
As a big believer in giving back to the community Scott volunteers as an Advisory Committee member for Junior Achievement Northern Alberta and is currently serving as a Director for the Sherwood Park Kings Athletic Club.
Scott is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant), Chartered Business Valuator, Chartered Financial Modeler and holds the ICD.D designation.
Rakesh Saraf is a senior private equity and infrastructure investments professional. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Chennai, India; a Master of Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai, India; a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation; and is an ICD.D Charterholder since 2008.
Rakesh has over 30 years’ experience in investment management, governance, strategy, growth/scaling up, audit/risk management and HR/compensation. Draws from a diverse set of experiences rooted in hands-on principal investing across multiple strategies, industries and numerous direct equity situations. General management techniques are grounded by strong quantitative analytical investment skills. International experience in all facets of investment management, spanning both Private and Public Market investments.
Rakesh was a Senior executive at Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board and Alberta Investment Management Corp., where he represented both organizations at the Board of Directors of investee companies that included RTL-Westcan, Klemke Mining Corporation, and NCSG Ltd, and was a Director of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
He is currently a Board member of UBC Investment Management Trust Inc., a company that has been entrusted with the responsibility of investing UBC’s Endowment Fund and the Staff Pension Plan; BeneSys, Inc., a provider of Taft-Hartley Trust Fund Administration and Information Technology services; Skyline Renewable LLC, an independent wind power producer; and POI Business Interiors a Workspace Interiors and Office Furniture Company
He also serves his community as Member, Board of Governors and Senator at University of Alberta and, serves on the Investment Committee of Edmonton Community Foundation.
Mr. deJong is a lawyer in the Business Law Group in the Calgary office of the global law firm DLA Piper LLP, practicing law primarily in the areas of securities regulation, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. deJong also has both business and legal practical knowledge and expertise serving industry and Indigenous communities, companies, and entrepreneurs. Mr. deJong sits as a director and officer of a number of public, private, and not-for-profit corporations.