André Desmarais is Deputy Chairman of Power Corporation of Canada, an international management and holding company that focuses on financial services in North America, Europe and Asia. He has held this position since 2008 and been a member of the board since 1988. Previously, he served as President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation from 1996 until his retirement in February 2020.
At Power Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada with interests in financial services and asset management businesses in Canada, the United States and Europe, he was also Executive Co-Chairman from 2015 until 2020, Co-Chairman from 2008 to 2015, and Deputy Chairman from 1996 to 2008. Prior to joining definitively Power Corporation in 1983, he served as Press Secretary and Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Subsequently, he became Institutional Salesman, Options, at Richardson Greenshields of Canada in Toronto.
Mr. Desmarais is a director of many Power Corporation group companies, including Power Financial, Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life, Empower, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, IG Wealth Management, Mackenzie, and Power Sustainable Capital. He has been a director of Rockefeller Capital Management General Partner L.L.C. since 2023. He was a director and Vice-Chairman of Pargesa in Europe until 2020; of Bellus Health Inc. until 2009; and of CITIC Pacific Ltd. in Asia until 2014.
Over the years, cultural, health, and other not-for-profit organizations have benefitted from his commitment, 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, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, Leucan, the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, Centraide of Greater Montreal and the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. He is Chairman 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 the Trilateral Commission and several China-based organizations.
Mr. Desmarais, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and of the Ordre national du Québec and has received honorary doctorates from Concordia University, the Université de Montréal and McGill University.