Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Richard Fortin

Canada’s Richest People
Richard Fortin
(Photo: François Roy/CP)

Richard Fortin

Net Worth:
$1.1 billion
(▼4.3% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #96
Change in rank from 2017: ▼14
Major company holdings: Alimentation Couche-Tard
Location: Boucherville, Que.
Age: 69

One of four founders of Laval Que.-based convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard, Richard Fortin acted as executive vice-president and chief financial officer of the company until October 2008, before becoming chairman of the board—a position currently held by co-founder and former CEO Alain Bouchard—until 2011. Fortin, who founded Couche-Tard more than three decades ago, also holds a seat on the National Bank of Canada’s board of directors as chairman of the Risk Management Committee.

While the billionaire keeps a low profile typically, controversy over Couche-Tard’s share structure—which gives the founders greater voting power than other shareholders—had Fortin and his co-founders in the spotlight recently. The founders are poised to lose their special voting rights when each of them reaches 65 years old. And with Fortin and two other founders now past that age, they have been pushing to remove that sunset clause for fear of losing control of the company, which has a $33-billion market value. So far, investors are uninterested in modifying the terms.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017