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Private Banking 1859: A conversation with Éric Bujold, President

Private Banking 1859 opened its doors in 2009, the year National Bank celebrated its 150th anniversary. Éric Bujold, a team player whose passion and vision helped to establish this landmark institution, became its president. This Gaspé native knows a thing or two about success. Before joining the top ranks of National Bank Financial (NBF) in 2006, Bujold and his team made NBF’s Rimouski branch the number-one brokerage firm in the Bas-Saint-Laurent. With Private Banking 1859, the businessman and his team of experienced specialists offer National Bank clients a one-stop-shop for all of their wealth management needs. Meet the man behind the vision.

What was the goal of Private Banking 1859 when it was established in 2009?

National Bank has always worked with businesses. For our 150th anniversary, we wanted to offer our clients wealth management solutions that would round out our services. Our target clients are business owners and CEOs, as well as wealthy people in general—professional athletes, business executives, and more.

What makes Private Banking 1859’s services stand out in the financial market?

We offer completely integrated services and our team of multidisciplinary experts is able to meet all client needs: financing (loans, banking services), estate and financial planning, insurance, philanthropy, business transfers, and more. Private Banking 1859 is one of the rare industry players that can offer all these services.

Describe your typical clients.

They are people who have had successful careers and/or have accumulated a fortune. They are looking for a trustworthy expert to manage all aspects of their wealth. Quite often, our clients are well-versed in wealth management, but they just don’t have the time to take care of it themselves. When you’ve built up a significant amount of wealth, you need to be able to rely on expert counsellors, because a single mistake can have major repercussions.

What are the advantages of doing business with Private Banking 1859?

We build a close relationship with each of our clients, and we are wholly devoted to their needs. Our senior counsellors are available day and night, even on weekends, and they are supported by financial experts, a bit like a family doctor working with a team of medical specialists. Whether their careers are in full swing or they’re retired, our clients can count on us to make the most of their wealth.

How does the advice from Private Banking 1859 experts go beyond the financial?

We are very close to our clients. They come to us with their challenges and their ideas, seeking advice for big moves like transferring their business or organizing their estate. They need to bounce ideas off someone, to get a second opinion and come up with a winning solution. Our specialists do more than manage finances, they are our clients’ close confidants.

What can Private Banking 1859’s concierge services do for clients?

Our clients are busy people. We want to make life easier for them. Our concierge services can help them plan a trip, reserve a restaurant, buy concert tickets, access exclusive events and much more.

You are Chairman of the Board for the Fondation Jeunes en Tête. Why is this role important for you?

I have a very privileged life and it feels good to give back to the community. I’m especially drawn to helping young people, because they are our future. The Fondation Jeunes en Tête is particularly dear to my heart because it works to prevent psychological distress among youth. A lot of our work is with schools and our program makes a big difference where it matters most.

You are also a board member for the Fondation du Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Toronto-based organization Business for the arts. Are you an art lover? Is there a connection between a love of the arts and private banking?

For me, art is a beautiful way for us to express ourselves. In addition to being on National Bank’s acquisition committee, I’m a passionate art collector myself. National Bank has one of the largest private art collections in Canada. This supports artists, and it also opens up more personal discussions between me and my clients. The artwork in my office stimulates deep conversations that strengthen our relationships.


Text: Diane Stehle

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