L. Jacques Ménard, C.C., G.O.Q., C.O.M., LLD.
President Emeritus, BMO Financial Group, Quebec
In April 2018, L. Jacques Ménard was appointed President Emeritus, BMO Financial Group, Quebec. In a career that can only be described as extraordinary, this appointment recognizes the very significant contribution Jacques has made representing BMO in Quebec and more broadly.
In this role, Jacques will continue making contributions to the bank and its clients, the civic community, and the province. As a member of many boards and public-private task force bodies, Jacques is a highly esteemed business leader, a committed champion of the arts and culture, and a deeply respected commentator and author on key social policy issues.
From 2001 to 2018, Jacques was President of BMO Financial Group, Quebec. In that role, he oversaw the activities of Bank of Montreal and its subsidiaries, as well as its 144 branches and nearly 4,500 employees in Quebec.
The list of organizations that have drawn on Jacques’ abilities as a director is impressive. He is currently a director of WestJet, Claridge Inc., 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.
Jacques 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, Stingray Digital and the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB), and of several other industry organizations during his career of more than forty years 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, Jacques 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.
Jacques 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. Jacques 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.”
Jacques 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, he initiated a major study, “Building a New Momentum in Montreal,” in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group, and a subsequent program, “I see mtl,” aimed at revitalizing Montreal.
Known for his community involvement, Jacques co-chaired the highly successful Growing up healthy fundraising campaign of the Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital Foundation, and now acts 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. Jacques is a director of Centraide of Greater Montreal and 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 Jacques in recognition of his leadership involvement in the community and the worlds of education and 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 Jacques’ social commitments by presenting him with its award of merit in philanthropy. In June 2006, Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business awarded Jacques an honorary doctorate in recognition of his involvement in the community and his exceptional contribution to the business world.
In 2009, Jacques 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 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, Jacques 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.
Jacques 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 was named Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2010. In June 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Grand Officer, the highest honour of the National Order of Quebec, for his exceptional contribution to Quebec’s prosperity and wealth of expertise.
In December 2016, Jacques was also made a commander of the Ordre de Montréal. As a legacy of the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding, the Ordre de Montréal replaced the Academy of Great Montrealers, of which Jacques had been a member since 2009.
Jacques 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 is married to Marie-José Ratelle, and they have two children, Louis-Simon and Anne-Valérie, as well as two grandchildren.