Brian Hunt, a former president of PHH Canada, passed away on Feb. 9, 2021, from cancer. He was 69.
Hunt joined Peterson, Howell & Heather (PHH) in 1982, a fleet management company headquartered in Hunt Valley, Md., which is now part of Element Fleet Management. He began as vice president of finance in PHH’s Canadian subsidiary in Toronto, Canada. In this role, Hunt developed and implemented a business plan that reduced cost while improving productivity and service levels to clients across Canada. In 1985, Hunt relocated to the U.S. and assumed the role of senior VP client relations. He had responsibility for over 1,000 clients, which included 47% of the Fortune 1000 companies. He restructured the national organization and developed a strategic plan that improved client retention and satisfaction. Hunt and his team successfully implemented the first online ordering system (Fleetline) in the industry, which was considered revolutionary for its time.
In 1988, Hunt relocated back to Canada as president of PHH Canada, where he established new business segments in fleet card services and asset management. Under his leadership and strategic business plan, productivity and revenue doubled in Canada.
Born in Toronto and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Hunt attended the University of Windsor graduating in 1974. As an undergraduate business student, he worked in Ottawa with the government of Canada Anti-Inflation Board. Upon graduation, he worked in Business Assurance at Coopers and Lybrand in Toronto. He then joined the auto parts manufacturer Magna International and then Brinco Mining, where he oversaw accounting, financial, and management reporting.
Following his tenure at PHH Canada, Hunt accepted the position as president of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in Ottawa. During the six years he was president of CAA and established the largest public memberships in Canada. He worked with Elizabeth May (Federal leader of the Green Party) with a call to action for all Canadian motorists to help take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put fuel tax back into the national highway system. As president of CAA, he collaborated with the president of Chrysler Canada to develop safety information for children with Bill Nye the Science Guy to drive home the message that kids belong in the back seat. The video was distributed to 9,000 elementary schools in Canada.
Committed to the integrity of Canadian capital markets, Hunt was a founding director of the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB), Canada’s audit regulator, and then was appointed CEO to CPAB in 2009. Under his stewardship, CPAB changed its inspection approach to incorporate additional operational reviews of the effectiveness of firm structure, accountabilities, quality processes, and culture.
In addition, Hunt represented CPAB on the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) Advisory Committee, and was chair of its Global Public Policy Committee Working Group. Hunt was nominated and served as the chair of IFIAR from 2017 to 2019. Hunt was instrumental in establishing the organization’s first board, three-year strategic plan, and permanent staffing operation in Tokyo, Japan.
Hunt is survived by his wife Cindy and three adult children.