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Senior Fellow

Director, Santander Bank, N.A. and Santander Holdings USA, Inc.


PhD, University of Western Ontario
BA, BEc, Université de Sherbrooke


Mr. Rousseau obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Economics at the Université de Sherbrooke.  He continued his education at the University of Western Ontario, where he received the T.M. Brown Thesis Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in economics.

On his return to Québec, he began his career in academia, joining the Université du Québec in Montréal and then moving in 1975 to Université Laval, where he was Head of the Economics Department.  During that period, Mr. Rousseau was also an adviser to the governments of Canada and Quebec on various matters.  He was Research Director and Co-author of the Report on Savings in Quebec, published in 1980, and an adviser to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs, which looked into bank profits in 1982. He is also the co-author of an economic-impact analysis published in 1985 in conjunction with the White Paper on the Personal Tax and Transfer Systems.

In 1986, he joined National Bank of Canada, where he held various strategic positions, including Senior Vice-President, Treasury and Financial Markets.  From 1992 until 1994 he headed Boreal Insurance, and then became President and Chief Executive Officer of Laurentian Bank of Canada. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec from 2002 to May, 2008. 

From 2009 to 2017, he held the position of Vice-Chairman of Power Corporation of Canada and of Power Financial Corporation. He was a Director of several Power group companies, including Great-West Lifeco Inc., The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Great‑West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, London Life Insurance Company, Canada Life Financial Corporation, The Canada Life Assurance Company, IGM Financial Inc., Investors Group Inc., Mackenzie Inc. and Putnam Investments, LLC.  As well, he was a member of the Board of GFMA (Global Financial Markets Association) from October, 2010 to July, 2014.

He is a Director of Santander Bank, N.A. and Santander Holdings USA, Inc.

Mr. Rousseau is a visiting professor at the Paris School of Economics for the academic year 2018–2019.

In recognition for his contributions as an economist, accomplished manager, and involved citizen, he was awarded honorary doctorates from Concordia University, Université Lumière Lyon 2, Université Laval, and Université de Sherbrooke. In 2006, he was named a “Great Montrealer” by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal’s Academy of Great Montrealers. He was awarded the Ordre de Montréal with the rank of Commander on December 17, 2016. He is Chairman of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and is active in a number of community and not-for-profit organizations in the sectors of health and education.