Louis Vachon, president and CEO of Montreal-based National Bank of Canada, has been named the 2012 Financial Person of the Year by Montreal-based financial newspaper Finance et Investissement.

The award was presented Tuesday evening in Montreal at an event unveiling the Top 25 most influential financial personalities in the Quebec financial services industry. Vachon ranked first.

The awards jury acknowledged Vachon’s contribution to the economic development of Quebec. Vachon played a key role in the acquisition of TMX Group, the operator of the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges, by Maple Group. In addition, National Bank doubled its net profits between the 2008 and 2012 fiscal years, and the bank’s sales reached a record level last year.

Vachon intends to bring the issue of entrepreneurial succession to the forefront. In the February issue of Finance et Investissement, Vachon states: “We have estimated that 40% of our commercial clients will transfer ownership of their company within the next ten years.”

Monique Leroux, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, and Jean-Guy Desjardins, chairman of the board, CEO, and chief investment officer of Fiera Capital, took second and third place, respectively.

François Desjardins, president and CEO of B2B Bank, ranked fourth, while Luc Bertrand, vice chairman of National Bank Financial Group and a member of the board of directors of TMX Group, took the fifth spot.

To see the complete list of Top 25 nominees, please visit: www.finance-investissement.com/templedelarenommee.

The Top 25 nominees were selected by a seven-person jury of prominent individuals from the Quebec financial industry: Bernard Dorval, corporate director; Danielle Ferron, vice president, Association des femmes en finance du Québec (AFFQ) and partner at Langlois Kronström Desjardins; François Joly, corporate director and 2005 Financial Personality of the Year; Richard Joly, president of Leaders International; Christian Benoit-Lapointe, editor-in-chief, Finance et Investissement; Sylvain Bédard, publisher, Finance et Investissement; and Jean-Paul Gagné, editor emeritus, Les Affaires.

Two advisors honoured

Finance et Investissement also acknowledged the outstanding work and commitment of two advisors who are active in the Quebec financial industry.

Charline Gilbert, portfolio manager with Groupe Bouchard Gilbert, received the Advisor Emeritus Award, crowning a career in the financial services industry that has spanned nearly three decades. Gilbert provides private management services for a clientele that is dispersed throughout Quebec, France and the United States. She also serves as chairwomanman of the board for the Fondation de l’Université Laval.

François Langlois, investment advisor at Manulife Investments, received the award for the advisor most involved in his community. In recent years, Langlois, who is passionate about mountain climbing, has conquered the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, raising close to $5 million, to the benefit of charities for sick children.