Canada's Jarislowsky winds down 57-year fund career

Tue Nov 6, 2012 2:29pm EST
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TORONTO Nov 6 (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, calling the announcement "part of the succession planning process as Mr. Jarislowsky nears retirement".

One of Canada's richest people with net worth estimated around C$1.5 billion, Jarislowsky 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.

He 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.