Paul Desmarais III ‘00
Paul Desmarais III is the Chairman and CEO of Sagard, an alternative asset management firm active in venture capital, private equity, private credit, real estate, healthcare royalties and private wealth.
Sagard has built a global network of expertise that helps companies lead, embrace, and stay ahead of disruptive trends in the financial services, technology, and healthcare spaces, amongst others. The team is behind some of the largest technology success stories in Canada such as Wealthsimple and Dialogue.
Within the Sagard ecosystem, Paul is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Portage, the Chairman and Co-Founder of Diagram and a director of EverWest. Within the investment portfolios, he is the Chairman of Wealthsimple, Dialogue, and Novisto and a director of nesto.
Paul is dedicated to helping build a better business world. He is Co-Founder of the Black Wealth Club, where emerging Black leaders go to learn about creating wealth and reinvesting it in their communities. Under Paul’s leadership, Sagard has committed to a more sustainable financial system by becoming a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, enlisting as a CREO participant, and embarking on its journey to carbon neutrality. Paul will also co-chair the Centraide (United Way) campaign in 2022.
Paul is a member of the Board of Directors of The BlackNorth Initiative. He is a former board member of the Glenbow Museum, Rideau Hall Foundation and Alpine Canada. He serves as Chair of the Next Canada Emeritus board of advisors and is a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award for his work chairing the fundraising campaign for the Kenojuak Culture Center. Paul also co-founded Young Canadians in Finance and co-chaired the True Patriot Love Expedition to the magnetic North Pole.
Prior to his current role, Paul worked at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking Division, Investment Strategy Group and Special Situations Group, Imerys S.A. in supply chain management and strategy and Great-West Lifeco Inc. in risk management. Paul graduated from Lakefield College School (LCS) in 2000. He has earned a B.A. in Economics from Harvard College and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Paul is a deeply committed alumnus of LCS and speaks often about his transformational experience. Paul and his wife Mary Dailey have four children, Paul, Henry, Veronique and Authur, and reside in Montreal, Quebec.