Financial Leaders Louis-Charles Genest: the way to the top

Spend a few years in a large firm to gain a good base of experience and start building your network of contacts, and then jump to a young growing company.

Published at 11:00

John Gagnon
special cooperation

This is the path of Louis-Charles Genest, CFO of Sharethrough, to achieve his ambitions to be at the heart of the company’s financial decisions. The formula has served him so well that he recommends it to anyone looking to take a position in financial management in the company.

With a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in public accounting from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Louis-Charles Genest is a member of the Order of Certified Professional Accountants of Quebec (CPA).

From June 2021, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Sharethrough, an advertising technology company in Montreal, which he joined in 2015 after several years with the state audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). where he acquired a solid education.

At the time, the Montreal company was called District M, and Louis-Charles Genest’s feat was to participate in its merger with Sharethrough, a San Francisco-based firm that was very complementary to County M.

Although management has chosen the name Sharethrough, the CEO of the M district remains Jean-François Cote, who founded the company in 2013 and is still headquartered in Montreal.


PHOTO BY DAVID BOYL, PRESS

Louis-Charles Genest, CFO of Sharethrough

My participation in concluding this agreement was, of course, my greatest achievement to date. This has doubled the size of the organization, dramatically changing the size of the platform and its profitability.

Louis-Charles Genest, CFO of Sharethrough

Pitfall

Despite a busy track record, the 35-year-old manager admits that he made several mistakes, the main one being not hiring more staff quickly.

He wanted to get more people up, but the fear of acting too fast slowed him down a bit. But it was a good opportunity for him to hone his ability to drive growth. “It simply came to our notice then. So you have to dispel your fears and make sure you hire the right resources, ”he says.

Stock market or not?

The M district has come a long way since it was joined by Louis-Charles Genest seven years ago. And it’s not over. “The advertising technology sector offers great opportunities for consolidation, and we want to continue to make transformational acquisitions,” he said. And to take advantage of this, the company planned an IPO last November to give itself an additional tool to finance future acquisitions.

“All the work has been done, but we preferred to postpone the project, believing that this is not the time when the whole technology sector seemed to be starting to correct the stock market,” explains Mr. Genest. This was a wise decision, as there are no indications that this fix is ​​still complete.

This will not prevent the company from taking over if there are good opportunities, says the CFO. “We have other ways, and funding in the private market remains abundant,” he said.

Tip … surround yourself well

The advice he likes to give to young people looking to work in the financial sector is to develop their network of contacts, explains Louis-Charles Genest, CFO of Sharethrough. “It’s important to surround yourself with the right people to solve all of life’s difficulties,” he says. “And it’s important to start doing it as soon as possible,” he said.