At 92 years old, Stephen Jarislowsky seems more occupied with giving his money away than making more of it. In the last couple years, his foundation offered up $2 million to establish a chair at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, $2 million for a chief curator at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, and yet another $2 million to help endow a chair in central banking at Western University.
Like many successful entrepreneurs, Jarislowsky’s path to success wasn’t a straight one. In his early 20s, he served in the U.S. army working in counterintelligence in Japan after the Second World War. He even spent a few years as an engineer with Alcan Aluminum in Montreal before he founded Jarislowsky Fraser. It’s been 60 years since he started his investment-counselling firm, which now manages more than $36 billion in pensions and endowment funds, as well as corporate and private portfolios. Jarislowsky gave up the CEO position three years ago, but he remains active as chairman.
Jarislowsky is an outspoken shareholder advocate too, having co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance along with former Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan CEO Claude Lamoureux in 2001. Among his biggest grievances are dual-class share structures.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017