Board of Directors

Antoine Bisson McLernon Antoine Bisson McLernon MBA, BCom, CFA

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

Antoine Bisson McLernon is Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Fiera Comox.

He chairs the firm’s Investment Committee and oversees its three strategies: Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit. Prior to establishing Fiera Comox in 2016, Antoine spent seven years with PSP Investments, where he last was Managing Director and head of Private Equity for the Americas and Asia. He ran both direct and fund investments, oversaw a $11.0 billion portfolio and a team of 25 people. In 2011, he started PSP Investments’ global Natural Resources group and led the group for five years, building a $3.0 billion portfolio of direct investments. Under his leadership, the group acquired over 2 million acres of timberland and farmland. During this period, Natural Resources was the top performing asset class at PSP. Antoine was a member of PSP Investments’ firm‑wide Investment Committee from 2011 until he left PSP Investments in July 2016.

Before joining PSP Investments in 2009, Antoine worked in private equity at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and in investment banking at National Bank of Canada. He currently sits on the boards of directors of Auvil Fruit Company (US), Golden Pear Funding (US), Rangitata Dairies (New Zealand), and Lassen Land Company (US). He has previously sat on the boards of directors of Telesat (Canada), AmWins Group Inc. (US), Haymarket Financial LLP (UK), TimberWest Forest Corp.(Canada), Kaingaroa Timberlands (New Zealand), YBY Agro (Brazil) and X2 Resources (UK). Antoine received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce (Great Distinction) from McGill University and is a CFA charterholder.

Jean-Guy Desjardins Jean-Guy Desjardins C.M., LSc Com, CFA

Executive Chairman of the Board, Fiera Capital

Jean-Guy Desjardins is Executive Chairman of the Board of Fiera Capital since January 1, 2022, and was formerly its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, from September 1, 2010 up to December 31, 2021. Mr. Desjardins founded Fiera Capital in 2003.

After working as a financial analyst and portfolio manager for a life insurance company, Mr. Desjardins co-founded TAL Global Asset Management in 1972 and was its principal shareholder until its purchase by a financial institution in 2001.

Mr. Desjardins is a member of the Board of Directors of the Société de Services Financiers Fonds FMOQ, HEC Montréal, DJM Capital Inc. and the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research.

Mr. Desjardins also supports a variety of community and social programs, in particular as a member of the Council of Governors of Centraide of Greater Montréal. Additionally, he sits on the Investment Committee of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Mr. Desjardins graduated from Collège Mont-Saint-Louis in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts. In 1969, he earned his L.Sc.Comm. (Finance) from HEC Montréal. Mr. Desjardins is also a CFA Charterholder. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2014 and, in 2015, received the CFA Institute Award for Excellence, the highest and most prestigious distinction bestowed by the CFA Institute.

Marc-André Desjardins Marc-André Desjardins EMBA

Chief Investment Officer, Fiera Private Markets

Marc-André is Chief Investment Officer, Fiera Private Markets. Marc-Andre is responsible for working closely with the Private Alternative platform leaders and teams to monitor the division’s investment performance, as well as support innovation and strategic planning. Marc-André is a member/observer of several Private Alternatives Investment Committees.

Marc-André began working in the financial industry across various roles in 2001. He has been involved in the private alternative sector since 2008, spending seven years at Fiera Private Debt, where he was part of all the platform activities, from investment initiatives to operations. As a member of the management team, he helped improve operations, achieve targeted yields for investors and build a successful investment platform. In 2015, Marc-André took that experience to New York and, with his team, started to research the US market and analyzed private lenders across North America with the objective to support the growth of the Fiera Diversified Lending strategy and the launch of Fiera Global Diversified Lending strategy. In 2019, Marc-André became Deputy CIO, Fiera Private Alternative Investments, and in 2020 he moved back to Montreal to take the role of Chief Investment Officer, Fiera Private Alternative Investments.

Marc-André holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from HEC Montréal, majoring in Finance/International Management, a Bachelor of Science (BS) from Université du Québec à Montreal, majoring in Biology, along with an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.  

Frédéric Despars Frédéric Despars MBA, LL.L, LL.B, B.B.A.

Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Frédéric Despars is Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Fiera Comox.

Prior to Fiera Comox, Frédéric spent six years with PSP Investments where he last was Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer overseeing a team of 35 people. Prior to his nomination as CLO, Frédéric led a team of transactional lawyers advising PSP’s natural resources, private equity, private debt, and infrastructure asset classes representing $24 billion of net assets. During his six years at PSP, Frédéric was directly involved with some of PSP’s most significant transactions, including leading the deal structuring and execution of the acquisition of a 50% interest in TimberWest ForestCorp. (Canada), the acquisition of a majority interest in Kaingaroa Timberlands (New Zealand) and the take private of Charter Hall Office REIT (Australia). Frédéric sat on the Boards of TimberWest Forest Corp. (Canada) and YBY Agro (Brazil).

Before joining PSP, Frédéric occupied the top legal position for a Montreal-based pharmaceutical company and held senior legal positions within the Quebecor group of companies. He started his career in private practice with Fasken Martineau (Montreal) and Clifford Chance (Paris). In 2005, he was recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” in-house counsel by Lexpert and the National Post. Over the years, Frédéric worked on transactions in more than twelve countries, including setting up joint ventures in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Egypt.

Frédéric holds an MBA from Laval University, law degrees in civil and common law from Ottawa University and a B.B.A. from HEC Montréal.

Jean-Philippe Lemay Jean-Philippe Lemay M.Sc., FCIA, FSA, CAIA

Global President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Capital

Jean-Philippe Lemay is Global President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Capital. In this role, Jean-Philippe ensures the planning and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and direction. Since he joined Fiera in 2012, Jean-Philippe has been instrumental in the successful realization of Fiera Capital’s global vision and truly embodies the firm’s core values.

Jean-Philippe previously held various executive roles of increasing responsibility at Fiera Capital, including that of Global President and Chief Operating Officer, during which time he successfully led Public Markets and Global Distribution activities, while also managing the operational side of the firm. He was previously responsible for Fiera Capital’s Canadian division.

Jean-Philippe has over 20 years of experience in the investment industry. Before joining Fiera Capital, he was Vice President, Liability-Driven Investment at Natcan, which was acquired by Fiera Capital in 2012. His previous experience also includes investment roles at Standard Life Investments and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. 

Jean-Philippe has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Laval University with a major in Actuarial Science and a Master in Financial Mathematics (M.Sc.) from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and also has been certified CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst).

Involved in the community, Jean-Philippe is co-chair of the fundraising campaign cabinet for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, as well as chairman of the board of directors of the Place des Arts Foundation.

John Valentini John Valentini CPA, CBV, ASA

President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Private Markets

Mr. John Valentini is President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Private Markets.

In his role, he oversees Fiera Capital's alternative strategies platform, which includes real estate core and value-add, real estate financing, infrastructure, agriculture, private equity and private debt.

Mr. Valentini has over 20 years of experience as a senior executive in managing both public and private organizations, including in the area of investment management. Prior to joining Fiera Capital, he held the positions of Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at PSP Investment Inc., Chief Financial Officer at BCE Emergis and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Cognicase Inc., as well as senior positions in Corporate Finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Caisse de depot and placement du Quebec and Ernst & Young.

Mr. Valentini holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Great Distinction) and Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University and is an Advanced Management Program Graduate of Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. He also holds the following professional designations: Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Business Valuator, and Accredited Senior Appraiser. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.