Collage of three images during the 2020 John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar.

Annual John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar

“Unleashing the Entrepreneur within the Engineer”

Our objectives are to inspire Faculty of Engineering students to think about entrepreneurship and to think entrepreneurially, whether they go on to start their own company in the future or be part of start-up or small/medium enterprise, or a large firm. In addition, we want to grow the entrepreneurial mindset and culture across McGill.

The Annual John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar is offered thanks to the generosity of Engineering alumnus Mr. John D. Thompson (B.Eng. 1957).

John D. Thompson, born in Montreal in 1934, graduated from McGill University in mining engineering in 1957 and received an MBA degree in 1960 from the Ivy School of Business.

He began his business career with the FBDB prior to joining Roynat Capital shortly after it was founded in 1962. Roynat capital was created to provide term financing and various forms of equity capital to small and medium size businesses across Canada. He began as an investment officer, became a supervisor in 1965, the general manager in 1968, a director in 1970 and president and chief executive officer in 1973.

In 1989, when ownership changed, he became chairman of Roynat and president and CEO of Montreal Trust, one of the five original shareholders of Roynat Capital.

He is currently the president of the Macdonald Stewart foundation, and former director of Transat A.T. Inc. , Domtar Corporation, AXA insurances, BCE mobile, CP Hotels, and SHERMAG, as well as a number of corporations of the Scotiabank group including the Montreal Trust Company of Canada, the Bank of Nova Scotia trust company, national trust company, scotia life insurance company, scotia general insurance company, Scotia Mortgage Corporation, The Mortgage Insurance Company of Canada, Maple Trust company, and Dundee Bank of Canada. He was very active in the Montreal business community and served as chairman of the Mount-Royal Club, the Royal Montreal Golf Club, and the Forest & Stream Club. He also served as chairman of the Salvation Army Montreal advisory board.

Active in his community, he served as president of St. Mary’s Hospital center and its foundation. He is married to Jocelyne Vanasse and has five children, 10 grand-children, and one great granddaughter.


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