Who’s going to Davos? The unofficial list of Canadian World Economic Forum participants for 2019

A picture shows a view of the Davos ski resort during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. Photograph: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

The world’s leaders will descend on the Swiss Alps next week for the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The event will bring together leading global intellectuals, economists, financiers and politicians. One person who won’t be in attendance is U.S. President Donald Trump, who cancelled his scheduled appearance last week over the ongoing government shutdown.

The Logic obtained an unofficial early list of scheduled attendees, and has broken out participants with a Canadian connection. To make the cut, these individuals must be employed by a Canadian company or institution, or they must have lived, worked or studied in Canada for an extended period of time. Canadian employees of the World Economic Forum were not included.

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Sixty-seven Canadians will be heading to Davos for the January 22 to 25 conference, including senior cabinet ministers, several billionaires and leading executives. Almost a third of them are employed in the banking, finance and investing sector, with 10 from the resource and energy sector and nine with ties to government. Although the prime minister won’t attend this year’s proceedings, four of his ministers will.

Talking Point

Sixty-seven Canadians are scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum, according to a list obtained by The Logic. About half of those going to the conference in Davos—one of the most exclusive networking events in the world—work in the banking and energy industries. Canada’s tech sector is sparsely represented, with only five attendees. On the government side, four cabinet ministers are scheduled to attend, but not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who spoke at the event in 2016 and 2018.

Davos is one of the most exclusive networking events in the world. The 2,500-plus attendees are preparing to meet against the backdrop of critical China-U.S. trade negotiations, a U.S. government shutdown, Brexit, a volatile global stock market and—perhaps most importantly for this group—the threat of disruption to the global status quo from far-right politicians like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and far-left politicians like Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Some attendees are old hands, like Mark Wiseman, BlackRock’s senior managing director; Dominic Barton, former McKinsey managing director; and Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister and Plutocrats author. Others like François Legault, Quebec’s premier, are relative newcomers.

Presented in alphabetical order below are the 67 Canadians heading to Davos. You can also click on the category name to jump to the sector of your choice.

Finance & investment (20) | Energy & resources (10) | Academia & non-profit (10) | Government (9) | Technology & data (5) | Media (5) | Consumer goods (2) | Agriculture (2) | Legal (1) | Other notables (3)

Finance & Investment (20)

Alain Carrier
Senior Managing Director and Head of International and Europe
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
A lawyer by training, the Canadian has spent much of his career in New York and London.

Ignacio Deschamps
Group Head of International Banking and Digital Transformation
Before Scotiabank, Deschamps was an executive in Mexico for a major Spanish bank.

Victor Dodig
President and CEO
Under Dodig, CIBC acquired Wellington Financial in January 2018 to set up a tech banking division.

Robert Dorrance
Chairman, CEO and President of TD Securities
TD Bank Group
TD led Canadian banks in stock sales and M&A in 2018.

J. Michael Evans
President and Director
Alibaba Group
Evans was appointed by the e-commerce giant in 2015 to lead its expansion outside China.

Don Lam
Co-Founder and CEO
The Canadian’s Vietnam-based investment firm, one of the country’s largest, has a $100-million venture capital fund.

Michael Latimer
Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
Latimer was previously head of OMERS-owned Oxford Properties Group, a real-estate holding and management firm.

Mark Machin
President and CEO
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
The CPPIB is planning to invest between $500 million and $1 billion in venture capital funds, The Logic reported in December 2018. Davos is often a forum for high-value deals.

Kevin G. Lynch
BMO Financial Group
Lynch joined the company in 2010, a year after he retired from being clerk of the Privy Council, the top job in the federal civil service.

Bharat Masrani
Group President and Chief Executive Officer
TD Bank Group
Before taking the CEO’s chair, Masrani led TD’s expansion in the U.S.

David I. McKay
President and CEO
McKay has embraced financial technology since his days as head of Canadian banking, when he made numerous trips to Silicon Valley looking for partnerships.

Brian J. Porter
President and Chief Executive Officer
Porter was the first of the current CEOs of the Big Five banks appointed in November 2013.

Jean Raby
Natixis Investment Manager
Raby is a dual Canadian and French citizen, and joined the Paris-headquartered investment and corporate bank in 2017.

Michael Sabia
President and CEO
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
The province’s biggest public-sector fund is a major tech investor, putting hundreds of millions into point-of-sale software company Lightspeed and travel tech startups Hopper and Plusgrade over the last three years.

James Shea
CEO of Commercial Insurance
Zurich Insurance Group
The alumnus of McGill University was poached from AIG to run the the new unit—which combined Zurich’s corporate and commercial businesses—in 2016.

Frank C. Sobey
Crombie REIT
The company’s main tenant is the Empire Company, which runs the Sobey’s grocery chain.

John Stackhouse
Senior Vice-President
Stackhouse is a former editor of The Globe and Mail.

Bill Thomas
Global Chairman
KPMG International
Vancouver-raised Thomas came up through the firm’s Canadian branch, and was elected to his current role in 2017.

Darryl White
BMO Financial Group
White is a former investment banker, and was the last of the current CEOs of the Big Five to take the job, in November 2017.

Mark D. Wiseman
Chairman of BlackRock Alternative Investors and Global Head of Active Equities
Wiseman was given charge of BlackRock’s international operations and corporate strategy this month; he was previously CEO of CPPIB.

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Energy & Resources (10)

Eric Axford
Executive Vice-President, Chief Sustainability Officer
Suncor Energy
Suncor was one of the first oil sands giants to publicly back carbon pricing in Alberta.

Ross J. Beaty
Director and Chairman
Pan American Silver
The mining magnate has donated millions to environmental causes, and is a major clean-energy investor.

John M. Beck
Executive Chairman
Aecon Group
Last year, the federal government blocked the takeover of Aecon by CCCI, a division of a state-owned Chinese firm, on the grounds of national security.

Brent Bergeron
Executive Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability
Bergeron is in charge of government relations for the Vancouver-based mining giant. On Monday, U.S. rival Newmont announced it was acquiring Goldcorp in a $10 billion deal.

David Garofalo
President and CEO
Goldcorp lost its position as the world’s most valuable gold company during Garofolo’s tenure due to production decreases and cost increases. On Monday, U.S. rival Newmont announced it was acquiring Goldcorp in a $10 billion deal.

Don Lindsay
President and CEO
Teck Resources
The mining company has interests in everything from Chilean copper to the Alberta oil sands.

Mark Little
President and CEO
Little will take over as CEO of Suncor in May, when incumbent Steve Williams retires.

Jesse Moore
CEO and Co-Founder
M-KOPA Solar
The Canadian started the solar power-systems company in 2011 after moving to Nairobi.

Marcia M. Smith
Senior Vice-President of Sustainability and External Affairs
Teck Resources
The public relations executive ran one of Teck’s B.C. coal mines for four months in 2013.

David Isenegger
Group Chief of Staff
The University of Alberta law grad has spent much of his career in Europe, including the last eight years at Centrica, the British power company.

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Academia & non-profit (10)

Asheesh Advani
President and CEO
JA Worldwide
The Boston-based non-profit runs financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs around the world.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou
Dean and Professor of Finance at the Desautels Faculty of Management
McGill University
Bajeux-Besnainou spent two decades at George Washington University before taking over McGill’s business school in 2015.

Suzanne Fortier
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
McGill University
Fortier is on Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth.

Feridun Hamdullahpur
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Waterloo
The mechanical-engineering professor has run Canada’s most famous source of tech workers since 2010.

Goldy Hyder
President and CEO
Business Council of Canada
Hyder, a longtime government-relations executive and Conservative insider, took over as head of the corporate lobby group from former Liberal finance minister John Manley in October 2018.

Janet Longmore
Founder and CEO
Digital Opportunity Trust
The Ottawa-based non-profit runs social entrepreneurship programs for young adults in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

Robert Muggah
Research Director
Igarapé Institute
Toronto-born Muggah co-founded the Rio de Janeiro-based think tank, which focuses on drug policy and violence reduction.

Kim Samuel
Chair and President of the Samuel Family Foundation; Director
Samuel Group
Samuel, Son & Co. is now in its 163rd year, and its namesake family is one of Canada’s one of Canada’s richest.

Maximillian Seunik
Deputy Executive Director
Young Diplomats of Canada
Seunik’s day job is at Grand Challenges Canada, a federal government-backed non-profit that funds healthcare innovation for the developing world.

Stephen J. Toope
University of Cambridge
The former University of British Columbia president became the first non-Briton to hold Cambridge University’s top administrative and academic job in 2017.

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Government (9)

Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Government of Canada
Last year at Davos, Bains announced Nova Chemicals would receive $35 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund toward its $2.2-billion investment in new facilities in Ontario and Alberta.

Mark Carney
Bank of England
The former top Canadian central banker is now a British citizen, and has been caught in the British Conservative Party’s internal war over Brexit for backing Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals.

James Carr
Minister of International Trade Diversification
Global Affairs Canada
On Carr’s agenda in Davos is a second meeting of countries trying to reform the World Trade Organization in the face of President Trump’s hostility to it.

Yi Hsin Cathy Chen
Senior Policy Adviser
Natural Resources Canada
The civil servant works on Mission Innovation, a multi-nation program to increase government investment in clean energy.

Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada
Last year, Freeland’s time in Davos was dominated by meetings with her U.S. and Mexican counterparts as the renegotiation of NAFTA dragged on.

François Legault
Premier of Quebec
Government of Quebec
Legault is in Davos courting foreign investors as his first-time Coalition Avenir Québec government positions itself as more business-friendly than previous ministries.

Ian G. McKay
Invest in Canada
McKay was credited with saving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and was appointed head of the the arm’s-length agency, which is supposed to bring in foreign investment, in March 2018.

Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
Government of Canada
Morneau has delivered his budgets in February or March, so he will likely head to Davos as his department is deep in preparation for his final financial plan for the country before this year’s federal election.

Stephen S. Poloz
Bank of Canada
The central bank chose to hold interest rates steady for the second consecutive time last week, and cut its 2019 forecast for GDP growth from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

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Technology and data (5)

Gordon A. Davies
Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Development
OpenText Corporation
Davies spent 16 years at Nortel before moving to OpenText.

Patrick Dodd
President of Global Markets Group
Dodd ran AC Nielsen Company of Canada from 2000 to 2005, but has spent much of the last decade and a half in Geneva.

Tom Jenkins
Chair of the Board
OpenText Corporation
Jenkins was CEO of OpenText from 1994 to 2005, and is an innovation policy expert, chairing the 2011 Review of Federal Support to Research and Development under the Stephen Harper Conservative government.

Jian Pei
Vice-President of Big Data and Smart Supply Chain
Pei taught at Simon Fraser University for over a decade and was appointed the Canada Research Chair in Big Data Science in 2014.

Lance Uggla
Chairman of the Board and CEO
IHS Markit
Burnaby, B.C.-born Uggla merged Markit, his financial information company, with U.S. industrial data company IHS in 2016.

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Media (5)

Heba Aly
Geneva-based IRIN reports on humanitarian crises.

Elena Cherney
Canada Bureau Chief and Global Resources Editor
Wall Street Journal
The former Globe and Mail managing editor started her current stint at The Wall Street Journal in 2014 as Canadian bureau chief.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
SOC Films
A Canadian citizen, the filmmaker has won an Oscar for her documentary work, and also made Pakistan’s first animated movie, 3 Bahadur.

Ali Velshi
NBC News
The Toronto-raised business journalist was recently in Ottawa to talk about U.S.-Canada relations at an event put on by the Public Policy Forum.

David Walmsley
Globe and Mail
The British-born Walmsley moderated a 2015 federal election leaders’ debate focused on the economy.

Consumer goods (2)

Nando Cesarone
President of UPS International
Cesarone took his current job at Atlanta-headquartered UPS in March 2018, having started as a package loader in Canada in 1990.

Carolyn Tastad
Group President of North America
Procter & Gamble
The University of Saskatchewan alumna is in charge of the consumer packaged goods giant’s biggest market.

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Agriculture (2)

Jennifer Blanke
Vice-President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development
African Development Bank Group
The former World Economic Forum chief economist is a member of Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth.

Chuck Magro
President and CEO
Saskatoon-headquartered Nutrient was created from the merger of Canadian fertilizer companies Agrium and PotashCorp in January 2018.

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Legal (1)

Hugh Verrier
Chairman and Partner
White & Case
A graduate of law at the University of Ottawa, Verrier worked in Indonesia, Turkey and Russia before taking the top job at the New York-based firm in 2007.

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Other notables (3)

Dominic Barton
Global Managing Partner Emeritus
McKinsey & Company
The Canadian and his firm have been key advisors to the Liberal government—Barton chaired Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, while McKinsey did research and analysis for the Economic Strategy Tables set up by Bains.

Brandt C. Louie
President and CEO
H.Y. Louie Co.
The Vancouver billionaire’s family firm is in the grocery and pharmacy business.

John H. McCall MacBain
Pamoja Capital SA
MacBain made his money in classified advertising, but now focuses on philanthropy through his foundation.

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