L. Jacques Ménard, C.C., O.Q., C.O.M., LLD.
Chairman, BMO Nesbitt Burns and President, BMO Financial Group, Quebec
L. Jacques Ménard is Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of the country’s leading investment firms. He is also President of BMO Financial Group, Quebec. He oversees the activities of Bank of Montreal and its subsidiaries, with more than 160 branches and 4,600 employees in Quebec.
The list of organizations that have drawn on Mr. Ménard’s abilities as a director is impressive. He is currently a director of WestJet, Claridge Inc., Stingray Digital, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, the Mobilys Foundation and FIRST Robotics Québec. He is also Chairman of Montreal International and Youth Fusion.
Mr. Ménard is a past Chairman of the Board of Hydro-Quebec, the Montreal Exchange, Trans-Canada Options Corporation and the Investment Dealers Association. He was also Vice-Chairman of Gaz Métro, a Director of Rona Inc., Bowater Incorporated and the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) and of several other industry organizations during his more than forty-year career in the investment banking industry.
He is Chancellor Emeritus of Concordia University, his alma mater, and is an ex-member of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Over the years, Mr. Ménard has also been active in various economic and civic organizations. Presently a Governor of the Conseil du patronat du Québec, he has also served as Chairman and President of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and as a member of the Economic Council of Canada. He was a committee member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (Quebec division), an associate member on the board of the Public Policy Research Institute and a founding member and director of the Canadian Council on Accountability.
Mr. Ménard chaired the Task Force on the Sustainability of the Québec Health Care and Social Services System, established by the Quebec Government in December 2004 to identify the funding needs for health and social services in Quebec in the coming years and decades and to propose appropriate measures. The Committee presented its report in July 2005.
He published his first book, “Si on s’y mettait…” in 2008, and in the wake of this book, he established the Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires. Mr. Ménard subsequently published a book on the topic of high school perseverance, “Beyond the Numbers… a Matter of the Heart” as well as the book “Réussir: Aller au bout de ses rêves.”
He also served as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Financial Literacy that presented its report “Canadians and Their Money: Building a Brighter Future” to the Federal Minister of Finance, the honorable Jim Flaherty in December 2010. In 2014, Mr. Ménard initiated a major study, in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group, “Building a New Momentum in Montreal” and a subsequent program “I see mtl” aimed at revitalizing Montreal.
Known for his community involvement, Mr. Ménard co-chaired the highly successful Growing up healthy fundraising campaign of the Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital Foundation and acts now as a Governor. He is currently Honorary Chairman of EPOC MONTREAL, an organization that gives underprivileged youth access to the training they need in order to integrate into the community. He also holds a seat on the International Advisory Board of HEC Montréal, the Advisory Board of the Glendon College at York University and the Board of Directors of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation. Mr. Ménard is a Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal on which he was the Co-chairman of its fundraising campaign in 1992. He was also President of the Ordre des jeux du Québec in 1994.
In 1993, in recognition of his deep social commitment, Concordia University’s Faculty of Commerce and Administration presented him with its Award of Distinction for his professional accomplishments and outstanding service to the community. In May 1995, the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University in Jerusalem bestowed its Scopus Award on Mr. Ménard in recognition of his leadership involvement in the community, the world of education and of business.
In February 2000, he received the McGill University Faculty of Management Achievement Award in acknowledgement of these same qualities. In June 2001, the Université de Sherbrooke’s Faculty of Administration awarded him an honorary doctorate. In April 2005, the Federation of Québec Chambers of Commerce underscored Mr. Ménard social commitments by presenting him with its Award of Merit in philanthropy. In June 2006, Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business awarded Mr Ménard an honorary doctorate in recognition of his involvement in the community and his exceptional contribution to the business world.
In 2009, Mr. Ménard received the Public Policy Forum Testimonial Award. In May 2010, he received an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal and in May 2011, he was awarded another one from Glendon College, a York University campus, in recognition of his contribution and commitment over the years.
In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Medal of Honour from the Montreal Heart Institute for his philanthropic involvement and his continued support.
In 2013, he was one of the eight initial inductees into the Canadian Investment Industry Association Hall of Fame, and in 2014 he was recognized as the most community involved CEO in Quebec at the CEO of the Year Awards organized by the prominent business publication Les Affaires.
In 2015, Mr. Ménard received an honorary doctorate from McGill University and was the initial recipient of the Marcel Côté Award for leadership in public policy presented by the Public Policy Forum of Canada. He was also recognized by the Gouvernance au féminin organization for his support of women in business. In April 2016, he was presented with an honorary doctorate from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the town where he was born, for his extensive philanthropic work.
Mr. Ménard became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995. He was elevated to the rank of an Officer in 2000. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Order of Canada from 2005 to 2008. In December 2012, he was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of the Order of Canada and this country’s highest public distinction. He has also been an Officer of the Order of Québec since 2010.
In December 2016, Mr. Ménard was made a commander of the Ordre de Montréal. As a legacy of the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding, the Ordre de Montréal is replacing the Academy of Great Montrealers, of which Mr. Ménard had been a member since 2009.
L. Jacques Ménard is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (MBA 1970), Loyola College of Montréal (B.Comm. Hon. Econ. 1967) and Collège Ste-Marie (BA 1966). He has received honorary doctorates from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, McGill University, York University, the Université de Montréal, Concordia University as well as the Université de Sherbrooke.
He is married to Marie-José Ratelle and they have two children, Louis-Simon and Anne-Valérie, as well as two grandchildren.