Anita Dusevic Oliva, C-Suite Energy Executive Awards Chief Legal Officer of the Year
As a senior legal officer at Inter Pipeline, Anita Dusevic Oliva has helped bring both law and order to her growing company’s operations
When Anita Dusevic Oliva was exploring new career opportunities almost a decade ago, she wasn’t exactly lacking for prospective employers. A number of businesses were courting the lawyer, who had been named in 2000 by Maclean’s as one of the 100 young Canadians to watch. But one company stood out from the rest. “Inter Pipeline felt like it was a great organization, with some opportunities to see how a board works and to see a company grow,” she says. “I kind of went with my gut feeling.”
Dusevic Oliva’s gut feelings were right. Since starting as legal counsel and corporate secretary in June 2006, she’s been a key part of that growth at Inter Pipeline – growth that, in 2014, included a $300 million share offering. “It’s just been amazing to be part of an organization that’s seen the kind of growth rates that it has,” she says.
But Inter Pipeline’s rise to success hasn’t come without a few growing pains. In 2013, Dusevic Oliva was responsible for managing one of the most complex transactions that she’s ever been a part of: internalizing Inter Pipeline’s general partner. “It was a fairly complicated transaction, but effectively what happened was the limited partnership bought out the shareholder of it’s general partner,” she says. “There were a lot of moving parts that had to be constantly assessed and evaluated, so the complexity of it was a bit of a challenge.” The internalization process allowed Inter Pipeline to convert to a corporation, and was just one of many major corporate governance changes that would later take place.
As Dusevic Oliva looks forward to 2015, she says her work will be focused on keeping promises to shareholders, including developing the policies, procedures and frameworks necessary to keep pace with the company’s evolution. Nearly a decade after going with her gut, watching the company’s transformation over the last two years has reaffirmed the wisdom in Dusevic Oliva’s decision to join Inter Pipeline. “Inter Pipeline is a really strong organization. It was excellent seeing the ability of folks around here to embrace some of the changes and move forward,” she says. But it’s not just the company that has experienced growth and change, she says. “It’s been a good place to learn and to grow with an organization. It’s got great entrepreneurial spirit.”
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