Working Group Created to Examine SME Governance in Quebec, Chaired by Michel Audet, Former Quebec Finance Minister

    MONTREAL, Dec. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - A working group comprised of
approximately fifteen well-known Quebec figures and chaired by Michel Audet, a
former provincial Minister of Finance, will present specific measures for
improving governance in small and medium-sized businesses, no later than next
    In his announcement today, Professor Yvan Allaire, Chairman of the Board
of Directors for the Institute for Governance of Private and Public
Organizations, stated that the experts' objective is to formulate a set of
practical proposals intended to improve the supervisory and management
functions in Quebec-based SMEs. "It's important, however, that the advisory
committee or the Board of Directors constitute a source of created value for
both the entrepreneur and his/her business," added Professor Allaire.
    "The relationship between the Board of Directors and the businessperson
in these organizations is different from that of a large company. A sound and
experienced Board can help the SME owner take on the challenges of market
globalization," asserted Michel Audet, who has agreed to chair this team, the
third governance-related working group set up by the IGPPO. The two previous
groups have examined governance in universities (report published last
September) and in healthcare institutions (recommendations to be published in
three weeks).
    The Group will gather input from approximately 15 experts representing a
variety of perspectives, all of whom maintain an interest in developing best
management and supervision practices within small and medium-sized businesses
based in Quebec.
    Michel Nadeau, Executive Director of the IGPPO, explained that the
Group's deliberations will be carried out in three stages:

    1. - An assessment of current practices and governance issues pertaining
directly to SMEs and family-run businesses, both in Quebec and elsewhere in
the world.
    2. - An appraisal of concrete solutions that are put forth to resolve
these issues in SMEs based in Quebec or elsewhere in the world.
    3. - Formulating a set of specific recommendations that could serve to
improve the quality of governance in our small and medium-sized businesses -
both stock-exchange-listed and closely-held companies.

    The following individuals have also agreed to share their experience and
expertise with the policy group:

        - Yvan Allaire, Institute for Governance of Private and Public
          Organizations (HEC Montréal, Concordia University).
        - Pierre Beaulieu, Groupement des chefs d'entreprise du Québec.
        - Françoise Bertrand, Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec.
        - Robert Côté, former head of SMEs and Business development, HEC
        - Alban D'Amours and Pauline D'Amboise, Desjardins Group.
        - Jacques Daoust, Investissement Québec.
        - Gilles Demers, Ministère du Développement économique, de
          l'Innovation et de l'Exportation.
        - Jean-René Halde, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
        - Isabelle Hudon, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
        - Guy Lefebvre, Institut québécois pour les familles en affaires.
        - Normand Provost, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
        - François Renauld, Ordre des comptables en management accrédités du
          Québec (Order of Quebec Certified Management Accountants (CMA).
        - Jean-Luc Trahan, Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec.
        - One member representing the Fonds de solidarité FTQ du Québec.

    Michel Lord, a management executive and communications expert, will also
be a member of this team, and will work with Mr. Audet to coordinate the
working group and write up the final report. The post of secretary for this
group will be filled by Suzanne Ethier.
    The IGPPO hopes to receive the policy group's recommendations by
April 30, 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Michel Nadeau, Executive Director, Institute
for Governance of Private and Public Organizations, (514) 949-0080

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