Mazars expands Canadian presence with new office, new hire

The advisory firm has hired industry veteran John Casola to head the infrastructure finance division at its new Toronto office.

Advisory firm Mazars is opening an office in Toronto, its second in the country, which will include an infrastructure finance team led by industry veteran John Casola.

“Given the importance of the Canadian infrastructure market, and the client base there, we felt we needed to get closer to them,” Bob Green, head of the firm’s Global Infrastructure Finance group, told Infrastructure Investor. Mazars sees an opportunity in Canada’s public-private partnership market to advise on new and secondary transactions as well as refinancings, he said.

To lead this effort, the Paris-based firm hired Casola as its head of advisory and valuations for the Americas GIF team. Green said Casola was hired in part because of his “tremendous” track record establishing infrastructure advisories at financial services company PwC and investment bank Investec.

“When we came looking for someone to head our Toronto team who has that experience, we found John,” he added. “He’s bought into the vision we have of creating this team.”

The plan over the next two years is for Casola to build out and manage a team of 10 employees who are dedicated to infrastructure advising, Green said. Casola and the Toronto office will work closely with Mazars’ New York team and Haydn Palliser, a partner at the firm specialising in energy and infrastructure services in the Americas.

The new Toronto office will allow Mazars to expand its services to include transaction advising on new and existing infrastructure projects, Green said. The firm already has an office in Montréal that focuses more on tax audits and accounting.