Jean St-Gelais has been La Capitale’s CEO for six months. Previously, as CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), he had front row seats when the Norbourg scandal erupted in 2005. Has he made peace with this event? He admitted in an interview with Le Journal de l’assurance, a sister publication of The Insurance and Investment Journal, that he has not been able to do so.
St-Gelais said he is aware that he will probably never change people's perception that he shares some of the blame for the buildup of this scandal. He adds that is not sure he can have any effect on the perceptions people have about him. However, he notes that when he thinks about Norbourg, the victims of this financial scandal are the ones who are first and foremost in his mind.
"Norbourg remains a tragedy, above all else for the victims. When this kind of event takes place, you try to do what is best. You come together and you take care of these people, otherwise you should step aside and do something else," he comments.
"Norbourg remains a tragedy"
St-Gelais also points out that the Norbourg scandal was widely publicized, to a much greater extent than is typical for this kind of event.
"What was difficult for me and the people at the AMF was the filing of class action lawsuit. It prevented us from doing as much for the victims as we would have liked to do. From that point on, the delays were longer. But I did not going into hiding during this period. What's more, I will never criticize a single one of the Norbourg victims. It was a tragedy in their lives and it must not happen again. Quebec is now well equipped to deal with these kinds situations," he said.
St-Gelais adds that one "never makes peace" with such an event. "You always wonder what might have been done to avoid it. When you think about the victims, you also wonder if people should have seen it coming. There are also things concerning Norbourg that I will not tell to anyone."