Walter Global Asset Management is a North American private equity platform providing development capital and expertise to growth-oriented boutique asset management leaders and to strategic service providers in the industry.
We’re acting as a true, active business partner for asset management companies with an entrepreneurial mindset, in order to facilitate, accelerate and sustain their growth. We are committed to being a permanent and reliable institutional partner for our portfolio companies and to supporting them in key strategic areas: operational efficiency, human capital development, innovation and distribution.
With the asset management industry being highly fragmented, we believe that its future growth will be based on some sort of consolidation. By investing in a diversity of managers and providing them with capital, increased distribution capacity and an upgraded operational platform, we’re helping them deliver their very best and reach new heights. Together.
Our core principles
asset management is not about money
It’s about people
Our capital is patient
Because growth is a long-term endeavour
Operational independence is the key to innovation
We are engaged, not controlling
Best-in-class should lead to world-class
We have the track record to prove it
Why we partner with boutique asset management firms
Industry metrics show that, while asset management firms have enviable track records regardless of their size, boutique firms that are focused on precise strategies often outperform over the longer term. Because of their approach, they have a capacity to add significant value for clients and consistently outperform the indices.
However, such outperformers may not be able to optimize their growth because of various factors, notably some challenges in terms of new capital, distribution and business resources. We think that by gaining access to capital and business support to increase their distribution in growth markets, these boutique firms will be able to increase their AUM with minimal impact on their overhead.
A business ecosystem
Walter Global Asset Management is part of the Walter Group of Companies, a business ecosystem inspired by a family tradition of entrepreneurship.
Guided by a multi-generational entrepreneurial spirit, the Walter Group of Companies has been flourishing for more than 60 years. Leveraging its unique position, the Walter Group has evolved into an ecosystem of businesses comprising a portfolio of public investments managed by Walter Financial, and two private equity firms: Walter Capital Partners and Walter Global Asset Management.
At the helm of it all is a team of seasoned operators with strong business acumen and extensive financial insight. This model provides a robust, sustainable framework underpinning each of the businesses within the Group.
Mr. Johnson is a former Prime Minister of the Province of Québec.
He was admitted to the Québec Bar after earning a law degree at the Université de Montréal, and also holds LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of London (UK), as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School.
After practicing law as an executive in a Canadian investment and management company, Mr. Johnson was elected to the Québec National Assembly where he was a member for 17 years, while he held important positions as Minister of Industry and Commerce, Chairman of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Montreal Region, and later as Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
Upon retiring from politics in 1998, Mr. Johnson joined the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault LLP for over twenty years, providing business and strategic advice to clients. During that period, he also acted as a director of publicly-listed corporations (Bombardier inc., The Great-West Life Assurance Company, The Investors Group, Bell Mobility, Ecopia BioSciences), engineering consulting firm EXP Global inc., and manufacturer Ezeflow inc. He also acted as a negotiator for the Québec government, was co-Chair with the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney on the Commission on the siting of Montreal’s university hospitals (CHUM and MUHC) in 2004, chaired the Judges Remuneration Committee from 2007 to 2010, and was a director of the Bank of Canada from 2008 to 2013.
In 2008, Mr. Johnson was appointed Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, Québec’s highest distinction. He has been Honorary Consul for Sweden in Montreal since 2002.
Sylvain Brosseau has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Walter Global Asset Management since the company was founded in 2018. His proven expertise in generating growth allows him to support independent asset management firms in reaching new heights.
Mr. Brosseau has over 25 years of experience in the investment management industry, including his tenure as Global President and Chief Operating Officer of Fiera Capital from 2003 to 2017. Under his leadership, the company grew its assets under management from $5 billion to $120 billion and its market capitalization from $20 million to over $1 billion. He also spearheaded the firm’s international expansion, overseeing more than 15 acquisitions across Canada, the United States and Europe and the opening of new offices throughout North America and Europe.
Before joining Fiera Capital, Mr. Brosseau served as Executive Vice-President, Institutional Markets at TAL Global Asset Management Inc. and as Executive Vice-President at TAL International, where he oversaw worldwide distribution and operations. His experience also includes terms as Vice-President of Marketing and Vice-President of Technology and Operations at Talvest Mutual Funds.
Mr. Brosseau is a current member of the board of directors for several organizations, including Fiera Capital Corporation, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Equisoft Inc. He has also sat on the board for numerous other organizations in the past, such as Centria Commerce, Fiera Properties, Bel Air Investment Advisors, Charlemagne Capital, Fiera-Axium Infrastructure and Fundserv.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science from McGill University. A member of YPO, he also regularly participates in numerous fundraising campaigns in support of Montréal charities.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walter Group of Companies
Pierre Somers is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walter Group of Companies headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The Walter Group is mainly active in the financial sector, especially through the operations of Walter Financial, a prominent investment firm and keystone of the Group. The firm itself comprises two private equity firms: Walter Capital Partners and Walter Global Asset Management.
For over 30 years, Pierre Somers helmed the Walter Group’s founding company, Walter Surface Technologies, which was founded by his father in 1952 and owned by the Group until 2018. As head of the company, he was the driver behind its expansion to international markets. Walter Surface Technologies now operates in nine countries across the Americas and Europe. He also innovated with the creation of the Bio-Circle division, which offers environmentally safe solutions for industrial cleaning applications through bioremediation. On the financial side of the Group’s operations, he contributed to the establishment of Walter Financial as a credible investment firm within the financial community. More recently, Pierre Somers initiated the creation of Walter Capital Partners, a private equity firm dedicated to supporting small- and medium-sized companies, as well as Walter Global Asset Management, a North American private equity platform focused on asset management.
Before taking the lead at Walter Group, Mr. Somers held various positions within Walter Surface Technologies in Canada and the U.S., where he garnered in-depth knowledge of various sectors of the company, on his way to becoming Chairman & CEO. At the beginning of his career, he worked as a mechanical engineer at Metabo AG, in Germany.
Pierre Somers holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, in Potsdam, NY, which he obtained in 1976. In 2005, he was appointed Alumni of the YPO/MBA program at the Harvard Business School, an institution he has been active with for over 20 years. He is fluent in English, French and German.
Mr. Somers is a strong supporter of education. He has been honorary president for numerous fundraising campaigns held by organizations such as Madeli-Aide and the ITHQ (Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec), from which he has received an honoris causa degree. Through the Walter J. Somers Foundation, he supports the HEC Montréal Walter J. Somers Foundation Centre for Productivity and Prosperity, where he sits on the steering committee. Mr. Somers is a founding member of the Business Families Foundation, and is a member of the Presidents Club of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the World Presidents Organization and the CEO Organization.
Head of Corporate Development, Walter Group of Companies
Isabelle Somers joined the Walter Group of companies in 2016 as Head of Corporate Development. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction of the Walter Group and its affiliates. She is a member of the boards of Walter Group of companies, Walter Financial, Bio Circle GmbH (a specialist in state-of-the-art biological cleaning solutions) and SPUD Inc. (an online organic food distributor and wholesaler).
From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Somers started in the Group Strategy at Bombardier Transportation in Berlin, Germany, where she developed PRIMOVE pure electric bus business models and market entry strategies. She later joined the Corporate Audit Service and Risk Assessment department of Bombardier Inc., where she assessed operational and financial risks within its Transportation operations and delivered onsite risk mitigation roadmaps to senior management teams in 12 different countries.
In 2016, Ms. Somers completed her MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, during which, she worked in a smart wearable technology start-up focused on non-medical maternity devices to validate the market need, attract potential investors and secure strategic partnerships. She studied Visual Arts, followed by a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance at Concordia University, in Montreal.
Ms. Somers is an art enthusiast and passionate about culture, food, health and wellness, and is devoted to promoting environmental and agricultural sustainability initiatives.
Her favourite motivational quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Chairman, Walter Financial
François Beaudoin is a member of several corporate boards and provides advisory services to national and international organizations in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, human resources management and financial planning.
Mr. Beaudoin is a career banker who was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada where he worked from 1990 to 1999. Prior to that, over a 16-year period, Mr. Beaudoin held several executive positions in Quebec and Ontario at Bank of Montreal, including the position of Vice-President in the Quebec Region. From 1999 to 2012, Mr. Beaudoin acted as Senior Advisor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Montreal.
Mr. Beaudoin is a member of the following boards: Walter Financial (Chairman), Walter Surface Technologies, Peak Financial Group, Britton Electric, and Benson Group.
Mr. Beaudoin is past chairman of the Quebec Chapter of the World Presidents Organization. Mr. Beaudoin holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York (1973) and a BBA from the HEC in Montreal.
President and Chief Investment Officer, Walter Financial
René Fournier is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Walter Financial. In this role, Mr. Fournier leads the investment team and is responsible for the company’s investment strategies, including asset allocation. He is also a member of the Board of Walter Capital Partners in addition to being the Lead Director of its Investment Committee. Furthermore, Mr. Fournier is a member of the board of directors of Mayrand and Alimplus, both private companies in the food sector.
Before joining the Walter Group, Mr. Fournier was responsible for the Canadian equities team at a large Canadian pension fund. His responsibilities included leading the team of analysts in addition to leading the research strategy. Earlier, he worked at EDC as a director of structured project finance and as a project manager at J.D. Irving.
Mr. Fournier received an MBA from McGill University. He holds a CFA title and a professional engineer title in addition to a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Moncton University.
Board member, Walter Group of Companies
Pascal Duquette was President and CEO of Natcan Investment Management Subsidiary of National Bank for 8 years before becoming President of the HEC Foundation in 2012. He had previously been Head of Global Equities for the Canadian National Railway Pension Fund, where he worked for almost two decades.
Among his other professional activities, Mr. Duquette sits on the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra Foundation Board, the Governor Council Hautes Études Commerciales, the Canadian Advocacy Council CFA Institute, the Imperial Manufacturing Group Advisory Board, the Young Presidents Organisation and CFA Montreal. He is President of Placements Pasjo and Consultants Jopasc, and is a guest lecturer at the HEC, Concordia University, CFA societies and various investment groups.
Pascal Duquette holds a Master’s degree in Science, Economics and Finance and a BAA from HEC in Montreal. He a recipient of the Prix Relève d’excellence - Grande entreprise HEC award for the under 35.