Paul Desmarais Jr. OC, OQ, is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation and Executive Co-Chairman of Power Financial. He is a director of many Power group companies in North America, including Power Financial, Great-West Lifeco, Great-West Life, Great-West Life & Annuity, London Life, Canada Life Financial, Canada Life, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, Investors Group and Mackenzie. In Europe, he has been Director of Pargesa since 1992 and its Executive Chairman since 2013. He is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and a director of LafargeHolcim and SGS.
Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas (Canada), a Trustee of The Brookings Institution, Co-Chair of the Brookings International Advisory Council and a member of the Brookings Executive Committee (Washington), a member of The Business Council (United States) and Past Chairman and a member of The Business Council of Canada. He is also active on several philanthropic advisory councils.
In 1994, he received the Insigne d'Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne of Belgium. In 2005, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and he received the Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of International Business. In 2009, he was named an Officer of the Ordre national du Quebec and in 2012, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur in France.