National Bank of Canada unveils The Family Advantage Spring 2022 Report

Montreal, June 20, 2022

The performance of publicly traded Canadian family-controlled companies consistently exceeds that of widely held companies

National Bank of Canada released today its Family Advantage - Spring 2022 report, which helps to better understand the distinctive characteristics of family-owned companies through an analysis of 44 Canadian corporations under family or founder control. The report demonstrates superior long-term performance of publicly traded Canadian family businesses.

This year, the publication features the perspectives of three business leaders of flagship Canadian companies on the global stage: Dani Reiss (Canada Goose), Karinne Bouchard (Alimentation Couche-Tard) and Jean, Antoine and Frédéric Chagnon (Lallemand). The publication also includes two international perspectives on family-controlled businesses, a global investor’s perspective from Arjun Khullar (GIC) and European insights from Charles Paris de Bollardière (TotalEnergies, 2009-2021).


  • The report features the NBC Canadian Family Index (hereafter, total return), calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which tracks and measures the performance of Canadian companies controlled by families and founders against the S&P/TSX Composite Index (hereafter, total return), the leading Canadian stock market index.
  • From June 2005 to June 2021, the NBC Canadian Family Index has registered a cumulative return of 325.1% compared to 221.9% for the S&P/TSX Composite Index (9.4% compared to 7.6% in annualized terms).
  • While we measure the NBC Canadian Family Index over a long-term horizon, as we highlight family-controlled companies’ ability to generate alpha over generations, it is also interesting to note that, both over the course of the 2008 Financial Crisis and the 2020-2021 COVID-19 market disruptions, the NBC Canadian Family Index has also outperformed the S&P TSX Composite.


  • Laurent Ferreira, President & CEO, National Bank of Canada: “Many of the great Canadian business successes take root in the idea of an entrepreneur who, surrounded by talented and trustworthy people, knew how to make it grow with patience and discipline. Understanding the role of family-controlled businesses, as well as their specific characteristics, is essential to the development of our economy and its diversity.”
  • Vincent Joli-Coeur, Vice-Chairman, Financial Markets at National Bank of Canada: This Spring 2022 issue is about long-term vision embraced by their leaders, and the role played by Canadian families and founders to build global flagship companies such as Alimentation Couche-Tard, Canada Goose and Lallemand. Each of these companies is a true global champion, with solid family roots in Canada. Each is a global leader in its field and has dedicated long-term focus to its international expansion.”
  • Dr. Karl Moore Ph.D., Associate Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University and Associate, Green Templeton College, Oxford University: “One of the most charming things was to hear of Dani Reiss, Karinne Bouchard, Antoine and Frédéric Chagnon's humble starting positions in their firms. Hearing their views reinforced in my mind the tremendous value of family firms in a quickly changing global economy. I came impressed that these family firms are well placed to prosper and evolve successfully in these uncertain times. Family business leaders are often spending 25 or 30 or more years in their firms giving them a depth of perspective so often lacking for most executives who move from one firm to another in the course of their career.”
  • Karinne Bouchard, Corporate Director, Alimentation Couche-Tard: “The biggest advantage of being a family-controlled company is the business culture instilled by its founders. I remember when I was Global Treasurer, every penny was important. It is our money; it is our hard work that we have done all our lives. The four founders are still the largest shareholders and Couche-Tard is the result of their culture of hard work. This is the foundation of our long-term success.”
  • Antoine Chagnon, President & CEO, Lallemand: “When you are expanding a family business, I believe it is all about the long-lasting relationships the owners develop. Our unique knowledge of the industry, our relationships and persistence in negotiating with other parties helped us consolidate and internationalize.”
  • Arjun Khullar, Managing Director and Head of Integrated Strategies, GIC: “GIC is genuinely long-term. In our annual reports, we refer to 20-year returns as an important benchmark. When you think 20 years out, you assume that every investment you are going to make could be for the long term and that does change the way you look at things. In my view, one of the main benefits of family-controlled businesses is that they are willing to take this long-term view.”
  • Dani Reiss, CEO & Chairman, Canada Goose: “Being a good company and being a good corporate citizen is something that's very important to me and to everyone at Canada Goose. Giving back to the community and ensuring we’re doing our part to protect the environment around the world. At Canada Goose, our purpose is to keep the planet cold and the people on it warm – and that’s just what we’ll do.”
  • Maureen Sabia, Former Chairman of the Board, Canadian Tire Corporation: “Since becoming Chairman in 2007, I have seen the Company’s revenues grow from $8 billion to over $16 billion, the result of some bold and innovative initiatives. This could have not been possible without the long-term focus of the Billes family. I am sure that the Billes brothers would be very proud that their innovative and entrepreneurial vision for the Tire, and their focus on helping communities, are still guiding us. I know that Martha and Owen Billes are very proud that the values of our founders are still to be found deeply embedded in the culture of Canadian Tire.”

About The Family Advantage – Spring 2022 Report
The Family Advantage 2022 updates and enriches the 2020 edition of the report. It presents the NBC Canadian Family Index calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which tracks and measures the performance of Canadian companies controlled by families relative to the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the main index of the stock market. The Family Index includes 44 family-owned Canadian companies in different sectors across the country (see the full list of companies included in the Appendix) and is based on the application of objective quantitative criteria to an index universe provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices, the Index calculator.

In the NBC Canadian Family Index, a company is considered to be family-controlled if the founding family or founder(s) directly or indirectly hold at least 10% of the company’s voting rights or, alternatively, if individual(s) and/or related entities (not founders) hold at least 33.3% of the company’s voting rights (for more information, please see our website here).

Vincent Joli-Coeur, Philippe Lefebvre Duquette and Alexandre Tessier from National Bank of Canada alongside academic contributor Dr. Karl Moore of McGill University and Oxford University are the co-authors and coordinators of this report.

About National Bank of Canada
With $370 billion in assets as at April 30, 2022, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 28,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank's activities at or via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information:

Marie-Pierre Jodoin
Senior Manager – Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility
National Bank of Canada