The fintech industry is in constant evolution, and innovation is key to staying ahead. No one knows this better than William Breton, vice president and COO of Iceberg Finance and iFinance Canada. With his visionary leadership, William has played a pivotal role in the remarkable growth of Iceberg and iFinance, earning recognition as a Canadian industry leader.
In 2012, Iceberg started as a regional lender in Quebec offering loans to finance insurance products and extended warranties through automobile dealerships. In 2015, the company launched an automobile financing program for consumers who couldn’t qualify for financing through traditional banks. In 2018, Iceberg launched an additional program called IF Xpress, offering unsecured loans up to $7,500. William's role has evolved alongside the company, which has grown from a team of 6 to over 150 people with offices in Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver, serving customers nationwide.
For the past year, William has spent most of his time in Toronto and Vancouver, focusing on the integration of iFinance, a Canadian leader in elective medical financing, that was acquired by Iceberg in April 2022. “iFinance is a great company that fits perfectly in our growth strategy. The acquisition allowed to diversify our offering and solidify our position across Canada. We doubled in size and are now offering loans in multiple verticals, making us an even more competitive organization,” William says.
Today, Iceberg and iFinance together have over 10,000 service providers and are about to hit the $1 billion mark in originated loans, and William sees the next billion coming much faster! To learn more about Iceberg, iFinance, and the immense opportunities that lie ahead, we sat down with William for an exclusive interview.
Iceberg is growing considerably. Tell us a bit more about what the iFinance acquisition means for the company.
Over the years, we've experienced significant growth expanding into Ontario, all Atlantic provinces, and most recently entering British Columbia and Alberta. While we've achieved an impressive 58% annual organic growth rate, we've also been actively seeking M&A opportunities. This is where iFinance came into the picture. iFinance was founded in 1996 and is specialized in unsecured lending for medical and healthcare procedures through its Medicard, Dentalcard and Petcard brands. The company operates across Canada and offers loans up to $25,000, which gave us the opportunity to enter new verticals with higher ticket items. The acquisition of iFinance also brought with it cutting-edge technology in the form of iFinancePay, enabling ecommerce financing. With personalized financing options we are empowering Canadians to access the funds they need, making a meaningful difference in their lives.
iFinance is also unique in that women comprise the majority of its leadership roles. Tell us about this.
Operating in the medical and healthcare space, our clients are predominantly women. Naturally, we want to make sure we offer solutions that are appealing to our clients. At iFinance, more than 60% of our workforce are women and more than 55% of our leadership roles are held by women. Having women in the majority of our leadership roles is not only a point of pride, but also a testament to our advanced thinking to creating a workplace that promotes equality and diversity. It sets a new standard where diverse representation is the norm, reflecting our core value of inclusivity that propels us as a forward-thinking company.
With this constant evolution, how does your company maintain its consistent culture?
Maintaining a consistent culture is a priority. We don’t believe in micromanaging. As leaders of the company, our role is to make sure we share the vision and the strategy. When it comes to the execution, we can certainly help, but we can’t do it all. We need to trust our team and know that they’re rallying behind the company to help it reach its objectives. We value teamwork, integrity and innovation, and we make decisions based on what’s best for both Iceberg and iFinance.
We like to use the analogy of a speed boat versus a cruise ship. We’re a speedboat: we’re much more agile, we take quick decisions. You’ll certainly feel some waves and you might get wet, but it will be one hell of a ride! Traditional banks are cruise ships where there is a hierarchy to follow and they move more slowly. Our agility is a significant advantage that motivates us. For the next years, our focus is on growth as we continue our journey to become a Canadian leader in all verticals we serve. You’ll certainly hear more about us!
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer — Iceberg Finance, iFinance Canada
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