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Isabelle Côté, CPA - Senior Vice-President – Finance

Isabelle Côté, CPA

Senior Vice-President – Finance


The expression number juggling usually refers to the ability to handle accounting data with skill and ease. But for Promutuel Insurance’s Senior Vice-President, Finance, it applies much more literally. But we’ll get to that. Let’s first review the career of this woman of action. 

Isabelle Côté’s career as a certified accountant has been atypical. For instance, in a field where nothing is ever left to chance, Isabelle started her working life in improv. “In school,” she says, “we put together a league, modelled on the National Improvisation League.” She did just fine at it, but quickly realized the role she really liked to play was that of organizer. “I like bringing good ideas to life, doing whatever it takes to make them happen,” she says.

Isabelle has devoted a good part of her career to the arts, “but on the left-brain side,” she notes with a smile. For eight years she was the senior director of accounting and financial reporting with Québec artistic and economic icon Cirque du Soleil. “I really had to juggle . . . to manage that massive expansion. It takes preparation to support growth like that, and especially to get your creatives and financials on the same page,” she says, being the one who came up with the right accounting structures, processes, and system as Cirque was doubling its sales.

Managing future growth is among the challenges she’ll face at Promutuel Insurance, and she admits that’s nothing new for her, given the ten years she just spent with TC Transcontinental, where change and its related challenges came fast and furious. “It all starts with reliable, high-value information,” she says. “So you surround yourself with outstanding people and know where you’re going. Then you can make the right call, and everything falls into place at the right time.”

She believes she’s landed in the right place at the right time, with the opportunity to contribute to the success of a mutual that has the wind in its sails.

More about Isabelle...


Why did you choose promutuel insurance?

The mutualist values of course resonate with me on a human level, but I was also drawn to the challenges ahead, which got my inner accountant all excited. It was that kind of open-ended, sustainable, profitable growth that spoke to me.


How do you define being THERE?

I see it as a logical lining up of our priorities: acting on the right things at the right time. That’s what defines a mutual like ours.


A quote you live by?

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” The way I read it is that if you try to do everything, you’ll accomplish nothing. You need to lay the groundwork to fulfil your goals. But with the right planning, you’re unstoppable.


Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m an expert at versatility, a jill-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none who’s not bad at all kinds of things—cross-country skiing, cycling, etc. I’m crazy about the outdoors. There’s the improv I did in school. I liked acting fine, but I have to admit that I shine most in the audience.


Sweet or salty?

I’m such a fan of both. Sea salt caramel is my kryptonite—I have a tough time resisting it.


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