Board of Directors

Marc A. Bibeau

Director since 2009

Mr. Bibeau has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Beauward Shopping Centres Ltd., a privately owned company that develops, leases, and operates real estate properties, since 1996.

He graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Mr. Bibeau is a director of IGM Financial, Investors Group, and Mackenzie. Prior to that, he held directorships at Great-West Lifeco and several of its subsidiaries, including Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life Financial, and Crown Life.

Mr. Bibeau is very involved and supportive of many local charities especially those related to cancer and children’s care. A lifelong tennis enthusiast, he joined the board of directors of Tennis Canada in 2010.

André Desmarais , O.C., O.Q.

Director since 1988

Mr. Desmarais is Deputy Chairman, President, and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation, and Co-Chairman of Power Financial. Prior to joining Power Corporation in 1983, he was Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Canada and an institutional investment counsellor at Richardson Greenshields Securities Ltd.

He is a director of many Power group companies in North America, including Power Financial, Great-West Lifeco, Great-West Life, Great-West Life & Annuity, London Life, Canada Life Financial, Canada Life, Crown Life, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, Investors Group, and Mackenzie Financial. He is also a director of Pargesa in Europe, and of CITIC Pacific Ltd. in Asia, in which Power Corporation holds a minority interest.

Over the years, cultural, health, and other not-for-profit organizations in Montréal have benefitted from his contributions, involvement, and dedication. He has played key roles in a number of fundraising campaigns, including those of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Heart Institute, Leucan, the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society (The Daffodil Ball), and Centraide of Greater Montreal. He is a director of the Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard, a member of the Chairman’s International Advisory Council of the Americas Society, Honorary Chairman of the Canada China Business Council, and a member of several China-based organizations.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and received honorary doctorates from Concordia University and Université de Montréal. In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and, in 2009, an Officer of the National Order of Québec.

Paul Desmarais, Jr. , O.C., O.Q.

Director since 1983

Mr. Desmarais is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation and Co-Chairman of Power Financial. Prior to joining Power Corporation in 1981, he was with S.G. Warburg & Co. in London, England, and with Standard Brands Incorporated in New York.

He is a director of many Power group companies in North America, including Power Financial, Great-West Lifeco, Great-West Life, Great-West Life & Annuity, London Life, Canada Life Financial, Canada Life, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, Investors Group, and Mackenzie Inc. In Europe, he is Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Pargesa Holding, Vice-Chairman and a director of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and a director of GDF Suez, Total, and Lafarge.

Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas, Founder and member of the International Advisory Board of l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), an Honourary Member of the Desautels Faculty of Management International Advisory Board, and a member of the Principal’s International Advisory Board of McGill University. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD), a Trustee of The Brookings Institution, a Co-Chair of the Brookings International Advisory Council (Washington), a member of the Global Board of Advisers of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York), a member of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University (Boston), and Chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

Mr. Desmarais is also involved in various charitable and community activities in Montréal. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and an MBA from INSEAD. He received honorary doctorates from Université Laval in 2006, from the Université de Montréal in 2008 and from McGill University in 2012. In 2005, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and, in 2009, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. In 2012, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France.

Gérald Frère

Director since 1990

Mr. Frère is the Managing Director of Frère-Bourgeois, a financial group based in Belgium, which he joined in 1972. He served as Managing Director of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a Belgium-based holding company with a portfolio of industrial investments, from 1993 until 2012, when he was appointed Chairman of the Board.

He is Vice-Chairman of Pargesa Holding and has been a director of the company since 1992. He is a director of Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille and was named as the company’s Chairman of the Board in 1998. Mr. Frère holds directorships of a number of companies including Lafarge, Electrabel, Pernod Ricard, and RTL Belgium.

He serves as Regent of the National Bank of Belgium and as an Honorary Consul for France. Mr. Frère was educated in Switzerland.

He is a director of the Fonds Charles-Albert Frère, an organization dedicated to helping children in difficulty as well as underprivileged adults. It comprises four non-profit organizations, which receive regular, substantial donations from the family to help fund their programs: Hippocrène, a centre that provides treatment for young people with physical, mental, or social disabilities through “equestrian therapy”; the Charles-Albert Frère Psychotherapy Hospital, a day-centre that welcomes young children with severe mental difficulties; Éclaircie (Ray of sunshine), which offers in-home treatment and assistance to children with serious or terminal conditions and provides support for their caregivers; and Echoline, an association that offers medical and psychological pre- and post-natal care at home for women from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds.

Anthony R. Graham , LL.D.

Director since 2001

Mr. Graham is President and a director of Wittington Investments, Limited, an investment management company and the principal holding company of the Weston-Loblaw Group. Prior to joining Wittington, he held senior positions in Canada and the U.K. with National Bank Financial Inc. (formerly Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion Inc.), a Montréal-based investment dealer.

Mr. Graham is Chairman and a director of President’s Choice Bank. He also serves on the boards of Power Corporation as well as George Weston Limited, Loblaw Companies Limited, Graymont Limited, Brown Thomas Group Limited, De Bijenkorf B.V., Holt Renfrew & Co., Limited, and Selfridges & Co. Ltd.

Mr. Graham is Chairman of the Ontario Arts Foundation, Vice-Chairman of the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada, and Chairman of the Shaw Festival Foundation. He is also currently a Board Member of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, the Trans Canada Trail Foundation and Luminato.

Mr. Graham is a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO). He is also Honorary Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Canada. In 1995, he was recognized by the Financial Post as one of “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40,” and, in 1998, he was awarded the Government of Ontario Volunteer Service Award. In June 2007, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University. 

Robert Gratton

Director since 1986

Mr. Gratton is currently Deputy Chairman of Power Corporation and a director of Power Financial.  He joined Power Financial as President in 1989 and was named Chief Executive Officer in 1990. He served in these capacities until 2005, when he was appointed Chairman of the Board, a position he held until 2008.

He served as Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Executive Committee, and a director of several Power group companies until 2008 and was also a director of Pargesa Holding until 2010.

Mr. Gratton began his career in 1966, as Assistant to the former Minister of Education and Deputy Premier of Québec, the Honourable Paul Gérin-Lajoie. In 1971, he joined Crédit Foncier Franco-Canadien. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 1975, and President and Chief Executive Officer in 1979. In 1982, he became Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montreal Trust.

Mr. Gratton is a member of the Harvard Business School Canadian Advisory Board. He served as a member of The Conference Board of Canada, The Conference Board, Inc., the C.D. Howe Institute, and The Trilateral Commission. He has been a director of a number of other companies, community organizations, and foundations.

Mr. Gratton holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Université de Montréal.

V. Peter Harder

Director since 2009

Mr. Harder is Senior Policy Advisor to the law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain and President of the Canada China Business Council, an association that seeks to facilitate and to promote trade and investment between Canada and China. He has previously served as Canada’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and additionally served as Deputy Minister in a number of other federal departments, including Treasury Board, Solicitor General, Citizenship and Immigration, and Industry Canada. At Foreign Affairs, Mr. Harder assumed the responsibilities of Personal Representative of the Prime Minister at three G8 Summits.

Mr. Harder is a director of IGM Financial, Investors Group, and Mackenzie. He is also a director of TimberWest, Telesat Canada, Energizer Resources, Northland Power and Magna International Inc. Mr. Harder also volunteers his time serving The United Church Foundation, Genome Canada, and chairs The National Police Services Advisory Council (RCMP). Since 2008, he also serves as an independent advisor to the Auditor General of Canada.

Mr. Harder holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Arts from Queen’s University.

J. David A. Jackson

Director since 2013

Mr. Jackson is Senior Counsel at the Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He joined Blake, Cassels and Graydon in 1972, became a partner in 1980 and was Chairman of the firm from 1995 to 2001.

Mr. Jackson is also a director of Power Corporation of Canada and of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and of several of its subsidiaries. He has also served as a director of a number of public and private corporations including Investors Group Inc. from 1991 to 2001. He is recognized as a leading practitioner in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance by numerous independent assessment organizations.

R. Jeffrey Orr

Director since 2005

Mr. Orr was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Financial in 2005. He also serves as a Director of Power Corporation and is a Director and Chairman of a number of Power Financial subsidiaries, including Great-West Lifeco, London Life, Canada Life, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, Investors Group, and Mackenzie Financial. 

Mr. Orr was President and Chief Executive Officer of IGM Financial Inc. from 2001 until 2005. Prior to joining IGM Financial, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BMO Nesbitt Burns and Vice-Chair, Investment Banking Group, Bank of Montreal. Mr. Orr had been with BMO Nesbitt Burns since 1981.

Mr. Orr is active in a number of community and business organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts - Honors Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario.

Louise Roy , O.C., O.Q.

Director since 2010

Since 2003, Mrs. Roy has been an invited Fellow at CIRANO, the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organizations and was nominated Chair of the Board in 2012. She was the President of the Conseil des arts de Montréal from 2006 to 2012. She serves as a director of Intact Financial Corporation, Montréal International, and the Université de Montréal, where she has acted as Chancellor and Chair of the Board since 2007.

Over the course of her career, she has held a number of senior executive positions, including Senior Vice-President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), President and Chief Executive Officer of Télémedia Communications Inc., Executive Vice-President of Air France, Senior Vice-President of the Laurentian Group, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Urban Community Transport Commission (MUCTC). She has worked in various capacities with the Québec Department of Transport.

Mrs. Roy earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Université de Montréal. She holds a master’s degree (M.Sc.) and has completed doctoral studies in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She has participated in several fundraising campaigns, notably for the Université de Montréal and diverse cultural organizations. For her outstanding achievements in the economic, social, and political fields, she has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Concordia University’s Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration Award of Distinction in 1988, the Université de Montreal’s Edouard Montpetit Medal in 1992, the Public Policy Forum’s Award of Distinction in 1994, and the Federated Press award of Excellence in 2003. In 2009, she was named Officer of the National Order of Québec and in 2012, Officer of the Order of Canada.

Raymond Royer , O.C., O.Q., FCA

Director since 1986

Mr. Royer is a director of several Power group companies in North America, including Great-West Lifeco, Great-West Life, Great-West Life & Annuity, London Life, Canada Life Financial, Canada Life, Crown Life, and Putnam Investments.

From 1996 to 2008, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar Corporation, a Montréal-based pulp and paper company. His vision and leadership helped instil renewed vigour into the company. He also played a key role in the development of Bombardier Inc. during his tenure as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer from 1986 to 1996, transforming it into a Canadian centre of excellence in the transportation equipment industry. Mr. Royer currently serves as a member of the board of The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and of the International Advisory Board of École des hautes études commerciales (HEC) of Montréal.

Mr. Royer holds a Bachelor of Civil Law, a Master of Commerce, and a Master of Accountancy from Université de Sherbrooke. He also received honorary doctorates from Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Montréal (École Polytechnique), and Université Laval. He is a member of the Québec Bar and a Fellow of the Québec Order of Professional Chartered Accountants. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Commandeur de l’Ordre de Léopold II (Belgium), and an Officer of the National Order of Québec.

Emőke J.E. Szathmáry , C.M., O.M., Ph.D., FRSC

Director since 1999

Dr. Szathmáry is President Emeritus and a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics at the University of Manitoba. She was President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1996 to 2008, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) of McMaster University in Hamilton from 1994 to 1996, and, before that, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science of the University of Western Ontario in London. Dr. Szathmáry is a director of Power Corporation and Power Financial as well as of several Power group companies in North America, including Great-West Lifeco, Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life Financial, Canada Life, and Crown Life.

Dr. Szathmáry is a distinguished scholar, teacher, scientist, and administrator. She is a director of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. As well, she is a member of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Board of Governors of McMaster University. Dr. Szathmáry has also served as a director of numerous educational, research, and philanthropic not-for-profit organizations, including the St. Boniface General Hospital, the Manitoba Museum Foundation, the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation, the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on Science and Technology, and the Board of Governors of the University of the Arctic.

Dr. Szathmáry received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. In addition to receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration in Manitoba, she has been awarded five honorary doctorates in recognition of her research and contribution to higher education. Dr. Szathmáry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba.

The Corporation believes in the importance of good corporate governance and the central role played by directors in the governance process.

Power Financial’s Board of Directors is composed of seasoned professionals who bring their diverse experience to the table. This balance of skills and competencies results in the prudent, conservative oversight that has enabled the Corporation to deliver attractive long-term shareholder returns.

To learn more about our Board of Directors, click on the names to the left to view each director’s biography.