Paul Desmarais, Jr.

Paul Desmarais, Jr.

o.c., o.q.

Director since 1988

Mr. Desmarais has been Chairman of Power Corporation since 1996. He also served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation from 1996 until his retirement in February 2020, previously having assumed various positions since he joined Power Corporation in 1981. He is Chairman of Power Financial and also served as Executive Co-Chairman of from 2015 to March 2020, Co‑Chairman from 2008 to 2015, Chairman of the Executive Committee from 2005 to 2008, Chairman from 1990 to 2005, Vice-Chairman from 1989 to 1990, President and Chief Operating Officer from 1986 to 1989 and Vice-President from 1984 to 1985.

After Power Financial and the Frère Group of Belgium took control of Pargesa in 1990, Mr. Desmarais moved to Europe from 1991 to 1994, to develop the partnership with the Frère Group and to restructure the Pargesa group. From 1982 to 1990, he was a member of the Management Committee of Pargesa, in 1991, Executive Vice-Chairman and then Executive Chairman of the Management Committee, and, from 2003 to 2019, he was Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Pargesa from 2013 until November 2020, when Pargesa’s reorganization was completed. Mr. Desmarais is a director of Pargesa SA since April 2021.  

He is a director of many Power Corporation group companies in North America, including Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life, IGM Financial, IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie. In Europe, he is Chairman of the Board of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. He was a director of Putnam Investments until January 2024, of Empower and of SGS SA until 2023, of LafargeHolcim Ltd. until 2020, of Total SA until 2017, of GDF Suez from 2001 to 2014, and of Imerys S.A. from 1998 to 2008.

Mr. Desmarais is a Senior Trustee (non-fiduciary status) of The Brookings Institution (Washington) and a member of Brookings International Advisory Council. He is also Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas (Canada), a member of the Global Board of Advisors of the Council on Foreign Relations (United States), a member of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard (United States), a member of The Business Council (United States) and of the Business Council of Canada. He serves as Honorary Co-Chair of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation’s Tomorrows Are Made Here campaign. He is also active on a number of philanthropic advisory councils.

In 1994, he received the Insigne d’Officier de l’Ordre de la Couronne of Belgium. In 2005, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and he received the Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of International Business. In 2009, he was named an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec and in 2012, Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France. Mr. Desmarais was inducted into the Order of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in May 2022. He holds a number of Honorary Doctorates.

He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD), France.

Mr. Desmarais is a member of the following committee:

Governance and Sustainability Committee