Paul Desmarais "is the son of a lawyer, Jean-Noel Desmarais, and Lébéa Laforest. He grew up in a prosperous family. He studied at the University of Ottawa where he obtained a B.A. in Commerce. When he finished university, he returned to Sudbury where, in 1951, he took control of a bus company. In 1959, he created the Transportation Management Corporation Limited; though this, he acquired Provincial Transport Ltd in 1960, and then obtained effective control of Gelco Entreprises Ltd in 1962. The following year, he bought the Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada. Two years later, it was the turn of the Corporations des valeurs trans-Canada, his first conglomerate.
"In 1967, Trans-Canada created Les Journaux Trans-Canada Ltée, a press company that acquired the great Montreal daily, La Presse. In 1968, Mr. Desmarais took control of the Power Corporation of Canada. Today, the Power Corporation consists of Gesca Ltée, which publishes La Presse and other dailies and weeklies, and Power Financial Corporation, which owns the Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Assurance Company, Investors Group Inc. and Pargesa Holding S.A., an international holding company headquartered in Geneva.
"Paul Desmarais is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Power Corporation of Canada. He is also Chairman of the Board and Deputy Director of Pargesa Holding S.A. (Switzerland). He is a director of the following companies: CLT-UFA (Luxembourg), the Power Financial Corporation, Power Broadcasting Inc.; Electrafina S.A. (Belgium), the London Assurance Group Inc., Group Investors Inc., London Life Assurance Company, Pargesa Holding S.A. (Switzerland), the Power Corporation of Canada, La Presse Ltée, the Telegraph Group Limited (England) and Total Pina (France). He is also a member of the international advisory committee of the Barrick Gold Corporation and Chase Manhattan Bank N.A., and a member of the Supervisory Council of AXA and the Compagnie Financière de Paribas (France).
"Mr. Desmarais is honorary president of the Canada-China Business Council. He is a member of the Privy Council, a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec and an Officer of the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur and Commander of the Ordre de Léopold II."  wiki
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- Paul Desmarais, franco.ca, accessed September 26, 2009.