Billionaire investor Stephen Jarislowsky will step aside as head of Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., the company announced late Monday. His exit will be accompanied by a shakeup of employees at the top of the firm he founded in 1955.
Mr. Jarislowsky, who recently turned 87, is nearing retirement but will continue to serve as chairman of the board for the time being.
President and director Len Racioppo, a 25-year-veteran of the firm, will also be leaving. He ran the day-to-day operations at the firm from downtown Toronto, while Mr. Jarislowsky maintained a home base in Montreal, in a plant-filled office with no computer.
Vice-president and director Marc Trottier is also resigning, according to the company's statement, which refers to the rejigging as part of Jarislowsky Fraser's "succession planning" process. The departure of the two senior executives, by Nov. 30, follows the recent high-level exit of Joe Sirdevan, the firm's head of research.
The investment firm had more than $37-billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30.
Milder in manner than the outspoken, German-born Mr. Jarislowsky, Mr. Racioppo regularly shared his strong views about events in Canadian capital markets and was not shy about criticizing companies in his portfolio for their management or mergers and acquisitions activities.
The firm's new structure will include appointments to the executive committee including company veteran Pierre Lapointe, who moves up from being an executive vice-president to a chairman of the executive committee. The committee is responsible for the overall management of the firm.
Three other employees have also been appointed to the committee, including one in the head of operations role.