Nov 27, 2019
As we reported in a recent news item, Osler National Co-Chair Shahir Guindi has been appointed Chair of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal for 2019-2020. One month into the job, Shahir sat down with Frédéric Tomesco from the Montreal Gazette for a Q&A to discuss his personal views about the position. In the article, Tomesco describes Shahir’s career path – from his days as a law student at McGill University, to his decision to turn down an offer from a Wall Street law firm, to his current role as an “influential business lawyer” and National Co-Chair at Osler. When asked what he wants to achieve as Chair of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Shahir talks about encouraging “members to measure their own businesses” against articulated principles.
“It could be climate impact, impact on the supply chain, impact on employment, impact on health and wellbeing or impact on social housing,” he elaborates. “So I’m hoping to have that as a touch point in all the conversations we have at the Chamber, including at the board level. That’s not to say financial returns don’t matter, but we need to measure more than that.”
Shahir then goes on to discuss some of the key issues that Montréal-based companies are facing, including the labour shortage, the need for innovation and digital transformation. The interview concludes with Shahir offering his opinion on how Montréal is currently perceived by foreign investors.
“It’s a good time to be in business in Montréal,” he says, “much better than it was in the past, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
“The fact the city is doing so well is an opportunity to innovate more, work harder, take a bit more risk, get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves to achieve even more on both financial and non-financial metrics. Simply enjoying the city’s success could be dangerous because we are in a cyclical economy and the cycle will turn. We need to sow the seeds now for sustained growth and, in my view, social impact irrespective of the economic climate.”
Read Frédéric Tomesco’s full interview with Shahir, “‘A good time to be in business in Montreal,’ says new Chamber chair,” in the Montreal Gazette from November 24, 2019.