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.
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-Guy Desjardins C.M., LSc Com, CFA
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Capital
Jean-Guy Desjardins is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Capital Corporation, an independent investment management firm that he created in 2003. The firm has since continued its expansion by way of several acquisitions across North America, Europe and Asia.
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.
John Valentini CPA, CBV, ASA
President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Private Alternative Investments
Mr. John Valentini is President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Private Alternative Investments.
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.