Aliana Tennison is COO and National Managing Partner, People & Partnership of PwC Canada. In her position, Alaina oversees the strategic direction of PwC’s assurance, consulting, deals, tax, and internal firm services practices. She holds responsibility for the Chief People Officer and teams, including Inclusion and Diversity, People Experience, and Partner Experience, which report to her. Additionally, Alaina remains an active assurance partner.
Alaina’s most recent academic degree is Honours Bachelor of Commerce, from McMaster University
Alaina joined PwC in 1996 after completing her BCom (Honours) degree from McMaster University. She achieved her CA designation in 1999, and was honored with the FCPA, FCA designation in 2021.
In her personal life, Alaina is proud to be a SickKids Leader and part of the SickKids Foundation Campaign Cabinet. She also serves as a Director of the Toronto Board of Trade and chairs the Finance and Audit Committee. When she’s not working, she enjoys golfing and traveling with her husband and three children.
Alaina Tennison serves as the Chief Operating Officer and National Managing Partner for People & Partnership at PwC Canada and is a member of the Canadian Leadership Team of the company. Before taking on her current position, Alaina served as the Chief Financial Officer for PwC Canada. Throughout her career at PwC, she has held a variety of roles, including being the assurance leader for the greater Toronto area, the partner in charge of regulatory affairs and public policy in Canada, and the Canadian representative on the PwC Global Regulatory Policy Board.
With over 25 years of experience, Alaina possesses a wealth of market expertise and has established strong relationships in the assurance, regulatory, and policy fields. She focuses primarily on serving multinational financial services and real estate clients.
She began her career as an Associate in 1997, working her way up as an auditor before transitioning to senior manager by 2007. She then became a partner in assurance between 2007-2014. From there, she moved onto becoming partner and Toronto audit leader. She became Chief Financial Officer in 2018 and held that position for just over four and a half years, ending in June 2022. She is now national managing partner, people and partnership, and COO.
In her new role, Alaina delivers strategic direction across the five lines of service at PwC: assurance, consulting, deals, tax, and internal firm services, to ensure that the company is equipped to meet current and future market demands. Additionally, she oversees the overall people experience at PwC Canada and leads the company’s Human Capital and Inclusion, Diversity, and Belonging initiatives. Alaina brings valuable expertise to her new role, thanks to her previous experience as Chief Financial Officer. With over 25 years of experience, she has a wealth of market knowledge and established connections in the assurance, regulatory, and policy fields.
Established in 1998, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) offers assurance, tax, and advisory services tailored to various industries to its clients and stakeholders. PwC provides consultancy on corporate finance, information technology, mergers & acquisitions, and organizational change to companies across various industries. PwC Canada markets to public, private, and government clients worldwide.
In the last podcast episode of 2021, Finance in 15 talks to Tennison about her role as then CFO. In the episode, Alaina gives listeners a glimpse into her role as CFO at PwC and shares her leadership strategies. Ahead of the release of PwC’s CFO Insights in January 2022, she offers her views for CFOs, highlighting the need for constant communication with finance teams, the significance of data and analytics, the integration of ESG into the CFO role, and the value of putting people first. This interview gives a glimpse into her business philosophies and the qualities that have led her to the top of the company, and as a well-known leader in her field.
After providing an overview of her role as CFO, she discusses the challenges she and her team have navigated during the global pandemic. Navigating the change in the landscape during the Covid-19 pandemic was a defining process for businesses all over the globe. It showed how companies and leadership teams had to adapt and overcome the unique challenges the pandemic presented.
Next, Alaina discusses her leadership strategy and tips for staying in close contact with her team. Then, she outlines the changes that have occurred within her team during the pandemic. She also discusses the increase in productivity she’s seen within her team. Many companies that had successful Covid policies have found an increase in productivity within their teams, and this is a great example of that in action.
Toward the end of the interview, Alaina discusses ESG data and reporting and shares her top tips for finance leaders. She then shares his closing thoughts and conclusions. This is a great interview to listen to if you want to get a feel for her leadership style, business philosophies, and gain a deeper insight into how she operates and why she has been so successful in her roles at PwC.
The exact net worth of Alaina Tennison is not publicly known.
Alaina Tennison has been recognized throughout her career for her many achievements. Some notable recognitions include:
Having recently marked her 25th year at PwC, Tennison has witnessed numerous financial changes. Although her most recent and major project was the implementation of the company’s in-house robotic process automation, a highly technical process, her colleagues believe that her greatest strength as a leader is her authenticity, a less quantifiable quality.
“People say, ‘You seem real, you make mistakes, and you talk about how you learned from them,’” says Tennison, who frequently mentors up-and-coming CPAs. “I’m never the smartest person in the room. And that’s okay, because we surround ourselves with people who bring different skill sets. We don’t do anything in isolation.”