Paul DESMARAIS 1927-2013

1984 Economic Economic

Born January 4, 1927, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Desmarais obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa. He holds several honorary degrees and distinctions from Canadian universities.

After his studies, Mr. Desmarais returned to Sudbury where, in 1951, he purchased control of Sudbury and Copper Cliff Suburban Electric Railway. ln 1959, he formed Transportation Management Corporation Limited which, in 1960, purchased Provincial Transport Limited. In 1962, through Transportation Management, he obtained effective control of Gelco Enterprises Limited and, in 1963, purchased The Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada. In 1965, he bought his first conglomerate, Trans-Canada Corporation Fund. In 1967, Trans-Canada Corporation Fund formed Les Journaux Trans-Canada Ltd. which, in 1967, purchased the major French-language newspaper La Presse (Montréal). In 1968, he acquired control of Power Corporation of Canada.

Today, Power Corporation includes Gesca ltée, which publishes La Presse and other daily and weekly newspapers; and Power Financial Corporation, which indirectly owns The Great-West Life Assurance Company; London Life Insurance Company; The Canada Life Assurance Company; Putnam Investments; Investors Group Inc., Mackenzie Financial Corporation; and Pargesa Holding SA, an international investment group based in Geneva. The Pargesa Group controls Imerys, is the largest single shareholder in Total and also has important investments in GDF Suez, Suez Environnement, Lafarge and Pernod Ricard.

Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Executive Committee of Power Corporation of Canada. He is also Executive Director of Pargesa Holding SA (Switzerland). He is Director Emeritus of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and lGM Financial Inc., and holds directorships in the following corporations: Gesca ltée, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, Pargesa Holding SA, Power Corporation of Canada, Power Financial Corporation and La Presse, ltée.

Mr. Desmarais is Founding Chairman of the Canada-China Business Council. He is a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, as well as Grand'Croix of the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (France) and Commandeur of the Ordre de Léopold II (Belgium). In 1984, Mr. Desmarais was named to the academy of Great Montrealers.