Andrée Bérard

Andrée Bérard

1997 Economic Economic

Born in 1940 in Bedford, André Bérard is a career banker who became chairman of the board and president and CEO of National Bank. He held a variety of positions in National Bank branches from 1958 to 1972, acting in turn as accountant, assistant branch manager and branch manager.

In March 1972, he was appointed assistant manager of international loans, and in February 1973 he was made superintendent of the international sector. Two years later, he became assistant general manager of the sector and its vice-president in August 1977. In August 1980, he was promoted to senior vice-president and general manager of the international sector. He took on the responsibility for all of the bank’s international activities, including putting in place a network of branches and subsidiaries abroad.
Over the years, André Bérard has built a reputation as a tireless worker and has lent his support to many entrepreneurs. In 1981, he became senior vice-president and general manager of the credit division. The following year, he became executive vice-president of national accounts. He put in place services to large corporations and the lease financing sector. His responsibilities included credit cards and the development of the Ontario network.

In July 1984, he was appointed executive vice-president of banking, leading him to head up all activities in the banking network, both in Canada and abroad. Two years later, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer. Beginning on July 1, 1989, he became president and CEO. On September 27, 1990, he was elected chairman of the board.

A man of action, André Bérard has been a member of many boards of directors, including for Noranda Inc., TVA Group Inc., Saputo Group Inc., Videotron Group Ltd., Société financière Bourgie Inc. and Donohue Inc. He is also a director of National Bank of Canada, Natcan International Trade Finance and Investment Co. Ltd., Natcan Finance (Asia) Ltd. and the Macdonald Stewart Foundation. Mr. Bérard also acts as an overseer for France’s Banque régionale d'escompte et de dépôt (BRED).

André Bérard is a man of compassion who is very involved in the community. In recent years, he has presided over many fundraising campaigns, including for the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.

Mr. Bérard is active in the Club de relations d'affaires Canada-France. He is also part of the Comité consultatif d'échanges de cadres auprès du premier ministre. He is a member of the Conseil des gouverneurs associés de l'Université de Montréal, as well as the board of governors of Junior Achievement of Canada, the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal and the Chambre de commerce du Québec. He sits on the policy committee of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. From 1986 to 1989, he chaired the executive committee of the Canadian Bankers Association. In 1995, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1996, he was awarded the Order of St. John. In 1997, Mr. Bérard was named a Great Montrealer.
Mr. Bérard holds two honorary doctorates awarded to him by the University of Ottawa in 1991 and HEC Montréal in 1999. André Bérard was honoured in 2005 as personality of the year by the Conseil du patronat du Québec.

Source: Ordre national du Québec

Photo Credit : Bombardier