Maxim Atanassov, Finance Expert in Calgary, AB, Canada
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Maxim Atanassov

Verified Expert  in Finance

Management Consulting Expert

Calgary, AB, Canada
Toptal Member Since
November 22, 2022

Maxim is a business and technology professional with over 20 years of experience in business transformations, audit, risk, and control-related roles across diverse industries. While working at EY and Deloitte, he has led numerous risk and digital transformations for startups and Fortune 500 corporations. Serving on a board of directors for multiple companies, Maxim is recognized as a respected leader who engages people to drive and sustain changes effectively.

Career Highlights

Chief Audit Executive
Pembina Pipeline

Certification Highlights

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)

Case Studies

Work Experience


2021 - PRESENT
  • Secured a multi-million dollar digital transformation engagement with a large enterprise client.
  • Signed a business cooperation agreement with the largest energy software company in the world.
  • Formed a business alliance with a global consultancy firm.
Focus areas: Innovation, Innovation Strategy, Innovation Management, Digital Transformation, Agile Transformation, Process Transformation, Risk, Projects, Project Rescue, Advisory, Project Management, Consulting, ESG, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Strategy, Management Consulting, Microsoft PowerPoint, Business Consulting, Company Strategy, Excel 365

Director of Internal Audit

2019 - 2021
Husky Energy
  • Led a cross-industry innovation study that culminated in an innovation transformation program.
  • Conducted the enterprise risk management (ERM) transformation program to drive integrated risk assurance and move from five to one platform encompassing governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) and integrated risk management (IRM) solutions.
  • Built and rolled out an agile internal audit methodology and internal audit manual, tools, and enablers. The quality assurance and improvement (QAIP) program ensured their adoption and sustainment.
  • Led the transformation and maturation of the internal audit function and appointed a quality champion. I elevated the performance to 4.1 out of 5, measured throughout a 12-question client satisfaction survey (CSS) for every engagement.
  • Developed and rolled out a new competency framework. I was proactively focused on aligning interests and strengths and developing the competencies needed to execute the audit mandate. The CSS consistently ranked the quality of the team at 4+.
  • Led the ethics and compliance program encompassing all investigations.
  • Oversaw the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assurance program.
  • Drove insights on projects and programs with the highest impact and handled commodity trading and risk management (CTRM). Did health checks on the Allegro implementation project and commodity trading and hedging to realign risk, costs, and value.
Focus areas: Internal Audits, Consulting, IT Consulting, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Innovation, Process Transformation, Commodity Trading & Risk Management (CTRM)

Chief Audit Executive

2015 - 2018
Pembina Pipeline
  • Led the formation of the internal audit and compliance practice, from methodology and execution to team development. Achieved top decile performance based on an internal quality assessment.
  • Transformed the SOX and C-SOX compliance program to one of the highest ranked in Alberta and among Pembina's peers based on feedback from an external audit partner, KPMG.
  • Reduced over 50% of the compliance's overall costs across the company by optimizing the internal control environment, driving close alignment with the external audit, and leveraging technology to secure real-time assurance.
  • Implemented a leading GRC system to drive IRM. The platform enabled the efficient execution of the methodology, a real-time dynamic visualization, and the relationship between risks and controls.
  • Transformed the ethics program, implemented a whistleblower hotline, and established a steering committee and a framework to govern the management of the program. Investigated 70+ allegations and led the largest investigation in Pembina's history.
  • Established vendor audit and joint venture audit programs, covering more than 20% of the company's annual spending. The programs generated between two and five times the annual IA budget.
  • Optimized existing processes, such as revenue process assessment, recommendations to reduce resource load, bottlenecks and late hours during invoicing elimination, and automating controls to drive a higher level of assurance significantly.
  • Built real-time assurance and continuous control assurance programs by piloting a series of analytics and robotic process automation (RPA) via Alteryx.
  • Developed and rolled out a new competency framework, training strategy, and rotational program, achieving a 4+ score on the CSS for all engagements.
Focus areas: Internal Audits, Internal Control, Consulting, IT Consulting, Digital Transformation, Process Transformation, Analytics, Process Automation, Risk, Ethics, Fraud Prevention, Fraud Investigation, GRC, Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Audits, Joint Ventures

Senior Manager

2012 - 2015
  • Led the formation of contract risk and compliance (CRC) practice, including methodology, team development, and business development. I supported the lead CRC partner in growing the practice nationally.
  • Developed an operations practice focused on integrity, liability, health, and safety through effective operational risk and procedures management.
  • Acted as a lead risk advisory partner for 3 of 20 priority accounts, in charge of $4 million in sales annually. Recognized for business acumen, relationship development skills, and as a top-selling senior manager in Canada.
  • Attracted talents to build high-performing teams. Within a year, I created a team of 12 professionals who were leaving competing firms.
Focus areas: Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Risk, Audits, Internal Audits, Internal Audit Function, Internal Control, Internal Control Evaluation, Implementation, System Implementation, Risk Systems, Operational Risk, Strategy

Senior Manager

2002 - 2012
  • Led the largest internal audit for the Canadian member firm, including compliance controls and advisory engagement.
  • Held various leadership roles for the local office, including third-party assurance and quality and risk management leadership.
  • Maintained client relationships and managed service expectations. Recognized as the top-selling senior manager in the Canadian member firm.
  • Collaborated with the team and the client to create a strategy for accomplishing engagement objectives and addressing risks inherent in the engagement. Managed the engagement delivery and inspired teamwork and responsibility among team members.
Focus areas: Internal Audits, Internal Audit Function, Internal Control, Internal Control Evaluation, Operational Risk, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Risk, Risk Systems, Consulting, IT Consulting, Implementation, Digital Transformation, Process Transformation, Finance Transformation, Controls, Fraud Investigation, Strategy
1997 - 2001

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration

University of New Brunswick - Saint John, NB, Canada


Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)


Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)


Risk, Internal Audits, Fraud Investigation, Accounting, Valuation

Output Software

Microsoft PowerPoint


GRC, Consulting, Advisory, IT Consulting, Process Improvement, Business Process Improvement (BPI), Audits, Fraud Prevention, Innovation, Innovation Strategy, Digital Transformation, Process Transformation, Project Management, Internal Control, Ethics, Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Internal Audit Function, Internal Control Evaluation, Strategy, Management Consulting, Business Consulting, Company Strategy, Excel 365, Projects, Project Rescue, ESG, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Risk Systems, Operational Risk, IT, Lean, Six Sigma, Implementation, System Implementation, System Improvements, Process Design, Continuous Improvement, Productivity Improvement, Performance Improvement, Innovation Management, Agile Transformation, Analytics, Process Automation, Joint Ventures, Finance Transformation, Controls, Digital, Business Transformation, Commodity Trading & Risk Management (CTRM)

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