Canada's Jarislowsky winds down 57-year fund career

Tue Nov 6, 2012 3:42pm EST
 

TORONTO (Reuters) - Stephen Jarislowsky, a giant of the Canadian business community, is stepping down as chief executive of asset management firm Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd, 57 years after he founded it.

German-born Jarislowsky, 87, will remain as chairman, the company said in announcing a management shuffle it called "part of the succession planning process as Mr. Jarislowsky nears retirement."

Len Racioppo, president and chair of the firm's investment strategy committee, and Marc Trottier, a member of the executive committee, also will step down, the company said.

Jarislowsky, one of Canada's richest people with net worth estimated around C$1.5 billion, is well known for both his conservative investing and for his outspoken criticism of corporate governance practices.

In 2002, he co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, a group of prominent pension and mutual funds that lobbied for governance changes, such as its push in 2004 for the Toronto Stock Exchange to begin using special stock symbols to identify companies with multiple-class voting shares.

"Jarislowsky Fraser and its entire team of portfolio managers and research analysts remain committed to the disciplined, low-risk, bottom-up approach that the firm has taken throughout our 57-year history," Jarislowsky said in the statement.

He said the company will announce additions to its investment team in the coming months.

Jarislowsky was born in Berlin in 1925 and moved to the United States in 1941, graduating from Harvard Business School in 1949 and shortly afterward moving to Canada.

Jarislowsky Fraser, which he founded in 1955, had assets under management of C$37 billion at the end of September.

The company did not name a successor as CEO, but said its executive committee is empowered with the overall management of the firm.

(Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Andrew Hay and Tim Dobbyn)