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BMO donates $1.5 million to the HEC Montréal Foundation for the Hélène Desmarais Building downtown

Montreal, November 8th, 2022 – BMO and the HEC Montréal Foundation today announced a $1.5 million donation toward the Hélène Desmarais Building in downtown Montreal which will foster collaboration among the academic, business, and entrepreneurial communities. This major gift reflects the value BMO places on educating future generations and on professional development, in keeping with the School’s mission to turn out responsible managers.

“Higher education is a priority for BMO,” said Grégoire Baillargeon, President, BMO Financial Group, Quebec. “Located downtown, the building will bring HEC Montréal closer to the business community and create opportunities and synergies between students and businesses. Education is the cornerstone of a prosperous society. It is the foundation of our future and fosters social progress. With this gift, we hope to contribute in a concrete way to making management and financial education more accessible.”

Provencher Roy Associés Architectes Inc.

In recognition, the Atrium near the De La Gauchetière West entrance, will be called "Espace BMO".

“We are deeply grateful for this gift from BMO, a long-time partner,” said Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation. “BMO has shown tremendous generosity in supporting the construction of HEC Montréal’s Hélène Desmarais Building, which will now occupy a central place in the vast ecosystem of innovation and collaboration between the academic and business worlds. With this gesture, BMO recognizes and supports the outstanding education our institution provides the leaders of today and tomorrow.”

Fostering collaboration among the academic, business, and entrepreneurial communities

Being more accessible to the professionals and executives who work in Montreal’s downtown business district will help HEC Montréal transfer knowledge to organizations and improve the skills of the businesspeople who power the Quebec economy.

As a financial leader, BMO is keeping a close eye on business challenges like sustainable finance and the labour shortage. Supporting continuing education is one way to help address these issues. BMO’s goal is to be an agent for progress and positive change by rallying partners around a common goal: building a more sustainable society and environment.

Meeting the fundraising goal for the new building
To date, the HEC Montréal Foundation has reached 75% of its goal to construct the new downtown building. The HEC Montréal community and the public can still support the fundraising campaign by having a space named after them or signing a seat in the amphitheater or a locker in the building.

About HEC Montréal’s Hélène Desmarais Building
The new building is already under construction on the site adjacent to St. Patrick’s Basilica in downtown Montreal. In addition to programs for executives and practising professionals, the Hélène Desmarais Building will house branches of several research and knowledge transfer centres and the School’s entrepreneurship and innovation facility, along with a conference centre and other community services. To learn more:

About the HEC Montréal Foundation
The mission of the HEC Montréal Foundation is to engage donors and raise funds to support the School’s initiatives. In so doing, we are contributing to the development of the next generation of world-class business professionals who will play an active role in fostering social and economic prosperity in Quebec and in further strengthening the province’s visibility and reputation worldwide.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for more than 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider and the 8th largest bank in North America, by assets. With total assets of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Business Banking, BMO Wealth Management, and BMO Capital Markets.


For more information

HEC Montréal
Émilie Novales, APR, Senior Media Relations Advisor, 438-520-3536,

BMO Financial Group
Marie-Catherine Noël, Manager, Media Relations, 514-877-8224,