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At the Heart of Québec Entrepreneurship for 75 Years

From its inception to today, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has remained a witness of and an active player in Quebec’s economic evolution.

The Firm was founded in 1948, in the post-war period, when the province was undergoing a wave of industrialization and urbanization. Family businesses and commercial enterprises were booming, profiting from the economic growth that was affecting all of North America. Demand for accounting services was growing rapidly, providing fertile ground for the Firm’s rapid expansion.

The 1960s and ‘70s marked another major turning point for the Québec economy. The government assumed an active role in fostering the creation and development of businesses by Francophones, notably by founding the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and setting up the stock savings plan. This period saw the emergence of Québec inc., with the birth of major companies in sectors as varied as energy, transport and communications.

In this fast-paced environment, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is well-positioned across the territory. “The Firm flourished thanks to the vision of its leaders, who have helped it grow through a series of acquisitions throughout Quebec, as well as in Ontario and New Brunswick,” says Marc Bergeron, Partner and Vice-President of the Recovery and Reorganization Group from 2009 to 2021.

Opening up to the world

From the 1980s onwards, the globalization of markets became unavoidable. As in the rest of the world, Quebec businesses had to adapt to an increasingly open and competitive environment. This created new business opportunities, but also presented significant challenges. The Firm responded by diversifying its range of services and adding specialties such as recovery and reorganization, human resources management, financing and management consulting services. This diversification strategy has become “a key element in its resilience”, says Gérald Daly, Advisory Partner and expert in information technology and internal audit.

It was also at this time, in 1981, that the Firm joined forces with Grant Thornton International, a major network of consultants established in over a hundred countries. “Several clients were fulfilling their ambition to build global businesses from Quebec. The Firm needed to increase its presence outside our borders. This alliance has enabled us to extend our reach,” explains Gérald Daly.

As the economic environment becomes more complex, the Firm continues to evolve, adding to its portfolio areas such as ESG (environmental, social and governance) management, sustainable finance, emerging technologies and cybersecurity.” In an increasingly complex business environment, entrepreneurs need a multidisciplinary team that includes accountants, tax specialists, strategic advisers and analysts. This is what allows us to serve our clients well,” concludes Marc Bergeron.

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