BlackNorth Initiative

BlackNorth Initiative

The BlackNorth Initiative was created In the summer of 2020 in the wake of worldwide protests to combat anti-Black systemic racism and the murder of George Floyd; founded by Bay Street entrepreneur and philanthropist Wes Hall to counter anti-Black racism in corporate Canada by setting measurable targets to track progress.
As a first step, the BNI challenged senior leaders from all Canadian companies and organizations–both from the public and private sector–to sign a CEO Pledge. Leaders are encouraged to commit their companies to specific actions and targets designed to end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for all of those in the underrepresented BIPOC community.
The BlackNorth is passionate about creating opportunities for more diversity, equity and inclusion for Black Canadians throughout society.

Raymond M. Williams

Raymond M. Williams

Ray Williams is committed to community engagement, in particular in the area of diversity and inclusion efforts. He serves on leadership boards for various organizations, including 100Strong Foundation.

He is an outspoken champion of workplace diversity and is a Past & Founding President (2000) and continuing member of The Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP) the pre-eminent professional trade organization for minorities in the financial services industry. He has been actively involved at all levels since its inception in 1997, and in that capacity acts as a mentor to a number of individuals.

From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Williams was an advisor to the federal government as part of an External Advisory Group (EAG) on Embracing Change, a program designed to reconcile the evident disparities of visible minorities within the federal public service and federally-regulated industries, advising specifically though not exclusively, the President of the Public Service Commission (PSC), the President of the Publics Service Human Resource Management Canada (PSHRMAC), and the Clerk of the Privy Council ( at the time Alex Himmelfarb).

Between 2005 and 2008, Mr. Williams was instrumental in engaging the National Bank’s participation in The BankSETA International Development Program, which each year brought to Canada up to 16 senior South African banking executives from previously disadvantaged groups. The six-week development program (part of the South African Financial Services Charter) combined academic learning with on-site workplace days at leading Canadian financial institutions including National Bank Financial.

A firm believer in inspiring change within his community, Mr. Williams volunteers in various capacities as a mentor and has sat on the Board of numerous organizations, including the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR 2007-2012). Mr. Williams was also Co-Chair of CANFAR’s Investment Committee and was an Advisory Board Member. He was also member of the Pension Investment Committee of the United Way of Greater Toronto (2008 -2013).

Mr. Williams is a Co-Founder & Chair of the Black Opportunity Fund, established in 2020 and designed to be the largest fund in Canada addressing anti-black racism through social & economic empowerment.

He is also a member of Centennial College’s Financial Services Program Advisory Committee and has been a past Guest Lecturer at both Centennial and McMaster University, De Groote School of Business. He also sat on the Pension Investment Management Committee (PIMC) of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada.

He is currently an Executive-in-Residence (EiR) at Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, sits on the George Brown College Foundation (GBCF) as Board & Investment Committee Member & is a Board Member and Audit Committee member of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), one of Canada’s top think-tanks as well as Canadian Ditchley.

He has been the recipient of various awards from Community, including the Planet Africa Award for Professional Excellence in Dec 2012. In October of 2013 Mr. Williams was nominated by the Canadian Diversity Business Council (CDBC) as part of the second cohort of 50 individuals deemed Board ready. In June 2021 He was nominated as a Champion of Change by Women in Capital markets (WCM). In 2018 Mr. Williams was awarded The Ontario Black History’s Society (OBHS) Rev Addie Aylestock Award –“Paving the way for others to follow” as the organisation celebrated its 40th year In 2019 he was presented with the President’s Award at the Annual Harry Jerome Awards.

Mr. Kevin Hibbert

Mr. Kevin Hibbert

Kevin was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada and grew up in Toronto’s Jane and Finch community. Upon graduating high school, Kevin attended the University of Toronto where he graduated with high distinction, receiving an honours degree in Business and then went on to pursue his chartered accountancy designation.

In 2015, Kevin, then 38 years old at the time, was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Sprott Inc., making him the youngest CFO of a publicly traded asset management firm in Canada. Today, Sprott has grown to become one of the largest alternative investment management firms in the world, managing over $30 billion in gold, precious metals and energy transition assets on behalf of 250,000 retail and institutional clients around the world. Kevin’s role has expanded even further since 2015. Today, Kevin services as Senior Managing Partner, CFO and Co-head, Enterprise Shared Services. In this expanded role, Kevin co-lead’s Sprott's Enterprise Shared Services Group with specific responsibility for external financial reporting, investment operations, tax, treasury, financial planning and analysis, investor relations and corporate communications, information technology, office facilities and administration. In addition to his duties at Sprott, Mr. Hibbert serves as a board member of UHN Foundation, one of the largest hospital foundations in North America and previously served as Vice-chairman and treasurer of Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services.

In 2019, Kevin was elected by his peers as a Fellow of CPA Ontario. Less than 5% of accountants in North America carry the distinguished designation of ‘Fellow’, making it the highest honour an accountant can achieve from a professional accountancy body in North America.

In 2022, Kevin was recognized by Report on Business Magazine and the Globe & Mail as one of Canada's 50 Best Executives.

Kevin lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife of 22 years, Ann-Marie Hibbert and their 16 year old son, Caleb Hibbert.

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