Our Leadership

We are a diverse group of experienced professionals who don’t mind digging into the details and getting our hands dirty.

Hiba Abdou

Hiba Abdou

Head of Technology and Automation

Hiba is an accomplished business transformation leader with 25 years’ global experience successfully delivering large, strategic and complex change initiatives. She brings a demonstrated history of shaping, leading and implementing enterprise transformation strategies powered by technology to deliver differentiated customer and employee experiences for Fortune 500 clients and governments. She places a strategic focus on innovations that have a meaningful impact.

Prior to joining The Burnie Group, Hiba helmed her own consulting firm, specializing in advising top tier clients in Financial Services on digital transformation and technology modernization. Before that, she was Managing Director with Accenture over a career spanning two decades, during which time she had accountability for global client relationships.

Hiba’s experience includes: leading large enterprise transformation initiatives, solving long-standing business problems through technology modernization strategies, and helping clients implement technology innovations that have a meaningful impact and simplify business and technology.

Hiba earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Science from York University. In her time away from work, Hiba is a hiking, yoga, skiing, reading, travel and wine enthusiast.

David Burnie

David Burnie

Principal & Founder

David founded The Burnie Group in 2011 to help organizations dramatically improve their operations. It has since become one of the fastest-growing management consulting firms in Canada. Prior to founding The Burnie Group David spent eight years at McKinsey & Company where he was a leader in McKinsey’s North American Operations and Retail practices. He also served as Director of Marketing and Sales at Grocery Gateway.com and was an Account Executive at Proctor & Gamble.

David’s experience includes: Corporate strategy, lean process redesign, performance management, post-merger integration, workforce management and leading transformational change. David has worked extensively in banking, insurance, telecommunications and retail in areas including back office, contact centre, branch/store operations and shared services.

David received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the London Business School, where he graduated with distinction, and earned his Honours Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University with Dean’s List honours. David is a supporter of the Fort York Food Bank, and an avid athlete. He was an All Canadian and Academic All Canadian while playing football for the National Championship winning Western Mustangs, and was later drafted by the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Eli Federman

Eli Federman

Practice Leader, Omnichannel & Contact Centres

Eli is a strategic, customer service and sales leader with 25 years of management and consulting experience across various channels. Eli has worked with global clients from various industries to optimize customer operations, generate revenue opportunities and build a differentiated customer experience.

Prior to his appointment as a Practice Leader, Eli was an independent customer service consultant. During this time Eli consulted for The Burnie Group as a Strategy & Contact Centre Expert.  Prior to embarking on his consulting career, Eli worked in several strategic leadership positions, including Senior Consultant at Desjardins, Director of Customer Care at OfficeMax Grand & Toy and Site Director at Whirlpool Corporation.

Eli’s experience includes: Delivering multichannel customer experiences via the phone, live chat, automated self-serve and social media. He also has deep expertise in the deployment and management of contact centres, including insourcing, outsourcing as well as start-up and consolidation.

Eli earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Concordia University. Outside of work, Eli enjoys practicing martial arts, world travel, and staying fashion forward.

Graeme Hartlen

Graeme Hartlen

Practice Leader, Strategy & Operations

Graeme is a results-driven, highly adaptable and strategic senior executive with a strong track record over 20 years of delivering growth, solving complex challenges, and driving customer satisfaction. He has defined his diverse career as a collaborative leader across multiple industries, roles, and companies. His background includes a unique mix of omnichannel retail, media, management consulting, and B2B sales. He served as General Manager at DoorDash Technologies, and as an executive at Rogers Media, Sears Canada and HBC. Graeme was a case team leader at Bain & Company, leading consulting teams on engagements in industries that include private equity, retail, telecommunications and healthcare.

Graeme’s experience includes: Corporate strategy, due diligence, customer segmentation, organizational design, operational effectivenes, M&A, digital innovation, customer experience, performance marketing, supply chain, operations, and profit and loss (P&L) management.

Graeme earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, where he graduated on the Dean’s List as a Bregman Scholar. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Management from McGill University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (P. Eng) in Ontario.

Outside of work Graeme loves spending time with family. He enjoys skiing in the winter and cottaging in the summer. He is also very passionate about music and is the bass player in Toronto cover band Big Racket.

Alexey Saltykov

Alexey Saltykov

Practice Leader, Digital Transformation

Alexey is a strategy and operations expert, with unique, hands-on experience building and running online businesses. He’s been consulting for over 10 years, helping clients to develop target operating models, re-design their processes and inform their strategies through benchmarking and performance management.

Alexey is the CEO and Co-Founder of InsurEye and CondoEssentials.com. He spent 5+ years as Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group and worked as Internal Consultant for Process and Project Management for Daimler Chrysler.

Alexey’s experience includes: Developing business and operations strategies, re-designing processes across different industries, identifying and driving efficiencies, creating performance management solutions for Operations space, creating and executing benchmarks (Contact Centres, Multi-Channel), developing B2B and B2C online monetization models, assessing and evaluating global megatrends.

Alexey received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Collège des Ingénieurs, where he focused on ‘Strategy and Management of Technology,’ and earned his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. Alexey speaks five languages and spends his time away from work travelling, playing table tennis and braving the slopes Alpine skiing.

Alexey is a frequent contributor to numerous media outlets such as National Post, Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail as well as multiple online publications. His topics focus on Financial Services, Insurance and Personal Finance.

Andrew Wolch

Andrew Wolch

Practice Leader, Insurance

Andrew is an accomplished problem solver who helps his clients by combining thoughtful structure with industry expertise. Over his 18-year consulting career, Andrew has helped some of North America’s foremost financial institutions crystallize and resolve their most important issues through a pragmatic approach to develop and implement enterprise, business unit and operational strategies. He has built an expertise and affinity for the insurance sector broadly, with a particular interest in Property & Casualty Insurance.

Prior to joining The Burnie Group, Andrew’s extensive consulting career spanned from strategy consulting at Monitor Deloitte to organization effectiveness consulting at a boutique Canadian-based consultancy. Most recently, he advised senior executives as an independent consultant at organizations such as TD Insurance, Aviva Canada, RBC Insurance and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).

Andrew’s experience includes: Corporate and business-unit strategy, strategic planning, initiative portfolio prioritization, operational / organization effectiveness, target operating model design, organization design, new market entry, business transformation, customer/client experience design, change management.

Andrew received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University.

In his time away from work, Andrew spends most of his time chasing after his two kids, wishing he was playing more golf and watching almost every Raptors game.

Our Experts

With a network of more than 100 top-tier consultants, we guarantee a hands-on team with industry-specific knowledge. Here’s an example of one of our experts who works with us on a regular basis.

Jeff Holland

Jeff Holland

Strategy & Operations Expert

Jeff has spent over 30 years working in and around operations. He excels at identifying and driving operational changes that help organizations to meet the ever-changing demands on their business and their people. By focusing on organizational and individual behaviours, he designs and implements strategies that create a culture where both the business and their employees can thrive.

Jeff’s experience includes: Jeff has held operational roles with Toyota and Honda in their manufacturing operations in the UK, and more recently with JD Irving in Canada. Prior to this, Jeff spent 10 years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, holding leadership roles in the Operations Practice and Advanced Operations Group. As a result, Jeff has developed deep experience and expertise in leading and supporting wide-ranging business transformations in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Jeff focuses not just on improving operations but also linking operational change to the overall business strategy, mission and vision. An important part of that alignment is understanding and overcoming broader organizational issues affecting performance, health and agility such as culture, organizational design and leadership development.

His collaborative, engaging and adaptive style enables Jeff to build trust-based relationships with clients at all levels from the CEO to the front-line workers, ultimately helping both businesses and individuals realize their goals.

Our Team

The Burnie Group prides itself on hiring exceptional talent with the goal of delivering the highest value to you, our customer. Here’s one of our team members who works on our client engagements.

Bret McCaffrey

Bret McCaffrey

Senior Engagement Manager, Strategy and Operations

Bret is a dynamic strategy and operations consultant with over five years of experience helping clients develop bold new strategies and redesign operating models to drive higher performance. Throughout his time with The Burnie Group, Bret has worked across numerous industries, including financial services and insurance, private equity, software, healthcare and retail. Bret is highly regarded by our clients for his adaptability as well as his strong communication, project management and leadership skills. Prior to joining the team, Bret worked for TD Bank in Toronto, leading operations and technology projects for the Financial Planning line of business.

Bret’s experience includes: Strategy and operations consulting, business analysis, project management, product design, operational process improvement and leadership.

Bret in a PMP certified project manager. He earned his education in Business Analysis from the University of Toronto, his post-graduate diploma in Financial Planning from Sheridan College (CFP, CSC, CPH), and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph, where he graduated with distinction.

In his time away from work, Bret spends his time writing songs and playing guitar in his band Madame Psychosis.

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