OUR TEAM

Isabelle Gagnon

Chief Executive Officer

Isabelle Gagnon has over 15 years’ experience in governance, sustainable development and risk management.

After working for more than a decade in consulting at Deloitte and on the sustainability and climate change team at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Isabelle joined Desjardins Capital as SME Governance Manager. In this role, which she held for a little over five years, Isabelle successfully positioned governance as a distinct component of Desjardins Capital’s offering in the market. Under her leadership, various innovative initiatives have been launched, including one aimed at board diversity in Desjardins Capital’s partner companies. She also oversaw the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in Desjardins Capital’s investment processes.

Ms. Gagnon has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Finance specialization from McGill University in Montreal, in addition to a Master’s in International Development from Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She also earned a C.Dir. title from Université Laval’s Collège des administrateurs de sociétés.

She is a member of the board of Axia Services, a social economy company whose mission is to offer quality jobs to people living with limitations (physical or psychological), while creating and developing commercial activities.

Daniel Simard

Special Adviser to the General Management

Daniel Simard has been a member of Æquo’s Board of Directors since its launch in 2016. He also acted as interim CEO from March to August 2022. Daniel was CEO of Bâtirente from 1995 to October 2021, when he became Strategic Advisor to the Executive team until his retirement in June 2022.

Just as Bâtirente was one of the first PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) signatories, Daniel has been a pioneer of responsible investment in Québec and Canada. Among others, he was one of the Asset Owner representatives elected to PRI Association’s first board of directors in 2006, where he served until 2015. He also set up PRI’s Québec Network as well as its Francophone Network.
With over 35 years’ experience in the field of finance, Daniel has also held positions as a pension fund trustee and as an insurance company director.

He was a member of Fondaction’s startup team for the first five years of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) labour fund. Daniel served for 15 years in various capacities within the CSN, primarily as a negotiator and an attorney.

François Meloche

Partner and Head of Corporate Engagement

François is the Director of Corporate Engagement and a founding partner at Æquo. He is in charge of the shareholder engagement process and priorities. Before joining Æquo, he was Extra-financial Risks Manager at Bâtirente for nearly 10 years. François also worked several years in firms specializing in social and environmental rating of companies, including Sustainalytics, the Groupe Investissement Responsable and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). During his career, he has participated in several filed visits in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe to analyse how extractive companies approach social and environmental impacts.

As a co-founder of different organisations and initiatives, François is a pioneer in the area of sustainable development in Québec and a regular speaker at conferences and events in responsible investment.

Arnaud Celka

Partner and Head of Research

Arnaud joined Æquo as a collaborator in research and dialogue.

Arnaud is an expert in ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He has gained his expertise as a consultant in this field, through advisory, training as well as research activities. His area of research includes business and ethics in private and public organizations, as well as risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).

Arnaud holds a PhD in Sociology from the Université de Montréal (UdeM) as well as a Masters degree (M.Sc) in Political Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Josée Cavalancia is a business law lawyer specializing in civil and commercial litigation. She also has solid experience in the field of class actions. She now practices law at Belleau Lapointe after having acquired more than fifteen years of experience in the Norton Rose Fulbright and BCF Avocats law firms, representing SMEs and multinationals from diversified industries within the framework of cases brought before the courts or negotiations and mediation.

Additionally passionate about management, strategy and governance, Josée is actively involved in various boards of directors. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of La Cordée Plein Air Inc., the La Cordée Scout Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal. She also has experience as an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry in Montreal.

Holding a Law degree from the Université de Montréal, Josée also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from HEC Montréal.

Josée Cavalancia

President of the Board of Directors

Caroline is a lawyer and a specialist in business development and client management. She joined Innocap in 2008 as a lawyer and in 2014 she chose to pursue her career in business development and investor relations. As Director of Business Development and Investor Relations, Caroline has been responsible for developing Innocap’s clientele in Europe and the United States and now manages the firm’s relations with sophisticated institutional clients in Canada, United States and Europe. Caroline has a keen interest in responsible investment and promotes its adoption with her colleagues, clients and various partners in the financial industry.

Caroline is actively involved in her community. She has served on the Board of Directors of FEM International and was a member of the Young Leaders Circle of the Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation. Since 2011 she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Groupe de la Veillée, a theater troupe affiliated with the Prospero Theater.

A law graduate from the University of Sherbrooke, Caroline also holds a Master’s degree in International Trade Law (LL.M.) from Cape Town University (South Africa), and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and a Sustainable Investment Professional (SIPC) Certification.

Caroline Bergeron

Secretary of the Board of Directors

Éric Filion has served as Bâtirente’s Chief Executive Officer since October 2021. He joined the organization in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. Éric’s career includes over 25 years’ experience in the financial field, 20 of which at one of Québec’s largest financial institutions, where he held several strategic roles in personal insurance as well as in the pensions sector.

He has a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Mathematics and Statistics from Université de Montréal and is a Fellow of both the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries.

Éric Filion

Member of the Board of Directors

Colette Harvey has been President of the Regroupement pour la Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises (RRSE) since 2019.

Colette has more than 25 years of experience in the financial sector as a financial planner, senior advisor in responsible investment, and director of strategic development at the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins.

Involved for more than 15 years in responsible finance, Colette has always been interested in the democratization of knowledge in this field. She produced a “Guide on Responsible Finance” for financial advisors in 2006 and, in 2017, led the development of the first educational game for responsible finance in Quebec Le Responsable. This game is deployed in several educational institutions and is available to the general public.

She is still very involved with the Desjardins Group in training facilitators and disseminating this educational tool.

Colette Harvey holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Université Laval and a certificate in financial planning.

Colette Harvey

Member of the Board of Directors

Jocelyne Morin worked in several African countries from 1975 to 2013. She worked alongside women in community development, especially in the DRC, Tanzania and Kenya. In addition, she was Provincial Superior for Africa within her community (Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa). This community is divided into three provinces, namely those of Africa, Europe and America and is actively working in 28 countries, including 15 on the African continent.

In 2015, she became a member of the investment committee, located in Rome, which helps in the assets’ management of the three provinces.

Being sensitive to the children’s situation in the South (work in mines, child soldiers, etc.) and faced with the opacity of supply chains in the North, she discovers the RRSE through the Responsible Supply Chain Committee which meets her concerns. In 2019, she joined the Board of the RRSE.

Jocelyne holds a Bachelor of Education (UQAC), a Masters in Social Work (McGill) and a Certificate in Financial Management (HEC).

Jocelyne Morin

Member of the Board of Directors

Daniel Simard has been a member of Æquo’s Board of Directors since its launch in 2016. He has been acting as interim CEO since March 2022. Daniel was CEO of Bâtirente from 1995 to October 2021, when he became Strategic Advisor to the Executive team until his retirement in June 2022.

Just as Bâtirente was one of the first PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) signatories, Daniel has been a pioneer of responsible investment in Québec and Canada. Among others, he was one of the Asset Owner representatives elected to PRI Association’s first board of directors in 2006, where he served until 2015. He also set up PRI’s Québec Network as well as its Francophone Network.
With over 35 years’ experience in the field of finance, Daniel has also held positions as a pension fund trustee and as an insurance company director.

He was a member of Fondaction’s startup team for the first five years of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) labour fund. Daniel served for 15 years in various capacities within the CSN, primarily as a negotiator and an attorney.

Daniel Simard

Member of the Board of Directors