Paul Desmarais III is the Chairman and CEO of Sagard, a multi-strategy alternative asset management firm active in venture capital, private equity, private credit, real estate and royalties. Within Sagard’s ecosystem partners, Paul is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Portage and the Chairman and Co-Founder of Diagram. Within the investment portfolios, he is the Chairman of Wealthsimple and Dialogue and a director of Grayhawk and nesto.
Paul took the helm of Sagard in 2016, along with a handful of close partners bound by a common vision: partnering with entrepreneurs to catalyze transformation in our investments and communities. Sagard has experienced outstanding growth in six years, with assets under management increasing to over $14B, more than 250 professionals joining its ranks, and over 80 companies added to the portfolio.
Sagard has built a global network of expertise that helps companies lead, embrace, and stay ahead of disruptive trends in financial services, technology, and healthcare, among others. The team is behind some of Canada’s largest technology success stories, such as Wealthsimple and Dialogue.
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 board member of the Glenbow Museum and serves as Chair of the Next Canada Emeritus board of advisors. He is a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award for his work chairing the fundraising campaign for the Kenojuak Culture Center. He was formerly a board member of the Rideau Hall Foundation and Alpine Canada. 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. He has earned a B.A. in Economics from Harvard College and holds an MBA from INSEAD.