Less than three months after leaving the presidency of the National Bank to retire, Louis Vachon is returning to the finance sector.
Posted at 7:00 a.m.
He joins JC Flowers & Co., a private New York investment firm specializing in financial services. His mandate officially begins this Monday with the title ofoperating partner, a position for which he will not have to move.
“This offer had several advantages in my eyes,” says Louis Vachon in a telephone interview.
“First, it’s in financial services. Second, it is an international firm. It’s almost everywhere on the planet, which interests me. And third, it will take up about 50% of my time, which gives me flexibility to do other things. I will be able to have at least one other part-time job, ”says the one who turns 60 in July.
JC Flowers & Co. was founded in 1998. This American firm is headed by Christopher Flowers, former senior executive of Goldman Sachs. Louis Vachon has had a relationship with Christopher Flowers for many years.
“Christopher was head of mergers and acquisitions for banks and financial institutions at Goldman Sachs. He was a very well-known figure in the financial sector. When I became CEO of National Bank in 2007, he was on my list of people to meet and I went to see him in New York. We’ve known each other for 15 years,” says Louis Vachon.
The former number one of the National Bank will be involved in the investment committee and in governance. He will be called upon to sit on the board of directors of JC Flowers’ portfolio companies and will thus actively oversee operations.
Louis Vachon will help JC Flowers discern potential transactions and close them without geographical limitations. Louis Vachon’s international experience is well known. Under his leadership, the National Bank made numerous investments abroad, particularly in Asia and Africa. In particular, the National Bank has become the 100% owner of a bank in Cambodia in recent years.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs in Beauce, Louis Vachon is – if it needs to be recalled – the great-grandson of the creators of the “vachon small cakes”. Those who know him will therefore not be surprised to learn that his new professional challenge is oriented towards entrepreneurship. He’s not starting a business, but he’s definitely going to be called upon to talk to entrepreneurs and think like an entrepreneur.
Louis Vachon does not hide the fact that he has received “a few” offers and that he continues to be approached. “For jobs and boards,” he says.
He will also continue to sit on the boards of directors of Alimentation Couche-Tard, Molson Coors and Groupe CH.
National Bank and JC Flowers have worked together on several transactions and investments over time. Five years ago, a group of investors led by JC Flowers purchased CitiFinancial Canada, which later became Fairstone Financial. National Bank had advised JC Flowers and financed this acquisition.
“This is a time of disruption and opportunity in the financial services industry and we believe Louis’ experience will serve many of the businesses we have invested in and will invest in,” said Christopher Flowers. , in an electronic communication.
Assets under management at JC Flowers are approximately US$5 billion. The firm of about twenty employees has offices in New York and London. JC Flowers’ investments are mainly made in banks, insurers, reinsurers or asset managers.