FAIR Canada Message Celebrating Stephen Jarislowsky
The Board and staff of FAIR Canada and I wish Stephen Jarislowsky much health and happiness today (September 9) on his 94th birthday. We wish to thank him for agreeing to be a founding director of FAIR Canada in 2008 and for his service as a director for over 11 years. Finally, we thank Stephen for being a major donor to FAIR Canada and also a fundraiser.
Stephen has been Canada's champion for investor rights for longer than many readers have been alive. He fought the great shareholder rights battles of the 1980s including Canadian Tire, Southam, St. Lawrence Cement and many others.
With Claude Lamoureux (also a founding director of FAIR Canada) he founded the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. He also founded IGOPP (The Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations). As recently as a couple of months ago he waded in on the SNC case objecting to its governance and the sale of its Crown Jewel.
Mr. Jarislowsky was the Founder, Director and CEO Chairman Emeritus of the investment firm Jarislowsky Fraser. He built it into one of the most successful money management firms in Canada. Stephen has served on the board of many listed companies over the years. Other than his own foundation, FAIR Canada is the last board that he has served on.
Stephen has been one of Canada's leading philanthropists for many years. The Jarislowsky Foundation has endowed 35 Chairs in Canadian universities and other organizations in a variety of fields including; democracy, public sector management, the arts, humanities, business, the environment and medicine to name a few.
Mr. Jarislowsky and I have been on the same side fighting for investor rights since the 1980s. To paraphrase another Montreal legend, in 1985 when Stephen and I first met, he was "60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream" of fair and efficient financial markets in Canada. Recently while "de-cluttering" my life I came across an exchange of letters between us from a time when I was Executive Director of the OSC. Please click here to see Mr. Jarislowsky's letter to me of December 9, 1985 in which he shares some of his thoughts on directors and lawyers and my response of January 2, 1986.
I also found a Canadian Business story on Mr. Jarislowsky from May 1987 entitled "Mr. Right". Since this is pre-the world wide web, it is not available online. For the curious, here is a link to a PDF of the article. In the story you will learn that Stephen is a European aristocrat, fluent in several languages, a scholar and a former spy.
Thank you Stephen and best wishes on your birthday!