About Us

Recognized experts delivering tailored solutions

Too often, consultants and advisors deliver generic solutions to unique problems.  And too often, they leave behind a stack of recommendations while heading off to their next assignment.

Crystalus is different.

We spend time understanding your particular needs and objectives, roll up our sleeves, and work shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve exceptional results.

We don’t need to go away and seek others’ opinions on how to solve your problem – as recognized experts in our field, people seek out our opinions.

And we won’t leave you with a list of recommendations as we head off for our next assignment.  We’ll work with you and your staff to make sure our solutions take root and flourish.

Our Managing Directors and network of senior advisors deliver decades of hands-on, practical experience and technical expertise.

That’s why our clients keep asking us back again and again, helping support their growth and success.


Risk Management clients tell us that Crystalus brought great expertise to the table, including credit and risk management, financial management and change management; that our contribution was highly valuable, allowing the entity to grow its capacity and deliver its mandate in a more effective and efficient way.

Advisory clients tell us that Crystalus helps establish clear and rapid paths to achieving objectives, by quickly grasping the essential issues at hand.

Learning and Knowledge clients have consistently told us that Crystalus’ workshops provide better training than any they’ve had in their professional lives; all delivered in a engaging and meaningful way.

Deborah Brean

Managing Director


  • Extensive experience in development finance and risk management
  • Broad range of international advisory assignments
  • Formerly held senior positions with EDC, IFC, and FCM

Deborah understands that exceptional results don’t just happen. They rely on two key tactics.  First, wrap your arms around the unique challenges of the situation – essentially a detailed, ground-up view.  Then, step back and put everything in perspective and context – essentially a 10,000-ft view – so informed decisions can be made and intelligent action can be taken.  The results are game-changing and enduring. Invariably, clients are amazed at Deborah’s ability to quickly uncover, grasp and articulate the critical aspects of an issue, build awareness and understanding, and move forward with the best solutions. Deborah has extensive experience in all areas of development and international finance, with more than two decades of practical, hands-on experience spanning deal execution, management, and advisory. Deborah has held senior management positions with leading international financial institutions including International Finance Corporation, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.  She has led advisory assignments for clients including Canadian International Development Agency, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Green Municipal Fund, and EDC. Her expertise comprises a wide range of funding instruments including grants, technical assistance, trust funds, structured and project financing, parallel lending, syndicated lending, equity, mezzanine finance, brownfield financing, leveraged leasing, asset-based lending, carbon financing, mid market lending, second lien structures, and Islamic financing. In her career, Deborah has closed more than $1 billion in funding transactions around the globe spanning multiple industry sectors.

Patrick Brean

Managing Director


  • Hands-on experience both providing funding and raising capital
  • Has closed over $2 billion in funding transactions
  • International network of senior funding relationships

Patrick is a big believer in keeping things simple. Helping clients achieve their goals isn’t possible unless everyone has a basic, common understanding of the issues and solutions, and is pulling in the same direction. Patrick helps clients achieve extraordinary results through clarity of purpose, critical insights, and rapid progress toward objectives.  He is especially adept at demystifying complex financial issues, and presenting concepts in a concise, compelling way that fosters understanding and achieves results. Having worked in the public and private sectors for both investors and borrowers, he is uniquely positioned to bring together and facilitate complex financing assignments involving funding initiatives and capital raising.   Over the course of his career, Patrick has closed over $2 billion in funding transactions, including private equity, structured lending, and capital markets. Patrick delivers an extensive international network of senior relationships with leading private and public sector loan, equity, and grant providers, including export credit agencies, SME development banks, multilateral development banks, municipal finance institutions, emerging market investment funds, commercial and investment banks, and angels/VCs.

Technical Advisors

Various Positions


  • Risk Management
  • Treasury and Capital Markets
  • Legal and Governance
  • Project Finance
  • Change Management

Our extensive network of senior advisors and technical specialists include recognized experts and thought leaders in the above areas.

In each case, we marshal the technical expertise necessary to deal with unique client challenges. These experts help resolve issues and overcome challenges based on decades of practical, hands-on experience. We draw upon their expertise and advice only when needed, helping ensure exceptional results while saving clients time and money.

We Are…



We take pride in delivering exceptional results quickly and effectively, saving you time, money, and resources.



We don’t believe in generic, one-size-fits-all approaches. Your unique challenges deserve tailored solutions.



Our extensive international network of relationships and contacts help ensure our solutions are leading the pack, not following it.

News and Resources

The Alchemy of Blended Finance

A few months ago in Addis Ababa, at the UN’s Third Conference on Financing for Development, the world came together to chart the course of development finance for a generation. Nations agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and address social inequalities by 2030.

The Addis conference sharpened global focus not only on the highest-priority development needs, but also on the challenging new funding targets to meet these needs, thought to be some
$4 trillion annually across sectors such as infrastructure, climate, food, education, and health.

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Living in Interesting Times

The world of development finance is changing in leaps and bounds.

Witness the growing presence of major foundations and super-NGOs; massive inflows and outflows of private capital into developing and frontier markets; innovative financial structures such as development impact bonds, multi-donor trust funds, and public-private investment funds. This unprecedented confluence of activity is striking in both pace and scope.

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The Canadian Development Finance Initiative

Canada has long debated establishing some kind of development finance entity, as a means of advancing the country’s international assistance efforts while supporting Canadian firms and projects in developing countries. The recent announcement in 2015’s Federal Budget, that a new Development Finance Initiative will be housed within Export Development Canada (EDC), is a welcome addition to Canada’s international funding toolkit.

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