Paul Desmarais was a renowned Canadian financier who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada, a company with interest in the fields of pulp and paper, financial services and mass media. He was also the founding Chairman of the Canada China Business Council. Desmarais died on October 8, 2013 at the age of 86, leaving his vast fortune of about $5 billion behind. His two sons, Paul Jr. and Andre serve as co-CEOs.
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The Desmarais family owns an expansive family estate in Sagard, Quebec, Canada. It is located between the villages of Petit-Saguenay and Saint-Simeon. The 75 square kilometers estate has an estimated value of over C$50 million. The Desmarais family also owns luxurious homes in New York and Palm Beach, Florida. This prominent family enjoys close connections to a number of powerful politicians and government officials worldwide. Critics cite that the family’s political affiliations provide it with unjust advantages in business.
Desmarais was married to Jacqueline Maranger with whom he had two sons named Andre and Paul Jr., and two daughters named Louise and Sophie. Andre is married to the former Canadian Prime Minister’s daughter. Sophie’s husband, on the other hand, is involved in a political financing scandal in France that has been widely covered by the French Media.