Primary markets: Quebec
Number of employees: 1,450
Contact: Rita Kataroyan, vice-president (marketing and sales)
Property developer ages gracefully
One of the Canadian business community’s biggest challenges is the country’s large block of ageing boomers, who forecasters say will consume less as they move into retirement. Luc Maurice, founder of Le Group Maurice, who foresaw the trend long ago, isn’t worried at all.
“Seniors control a vastly disproportionate share of national wealth,” says Maurice, whose company designs, develops and manages residential complexes that target older Canadians. “Many have the money to fund comfortable retirements and aren’t satisfied with the cookie-cutter homes that were put up decades ago. They demand modern accoutrements.”
Maurice should know. A doctoral thesis he wrote while attending the University of Alberta, about seniors’ emerging retirement needs, won second prize that year. But the real returns came when he decided to use the information to go into business for himself.
That turned out to be a good move. Today Le Groupe Maurice, which he founded in 1998, operates retirement homes that include 6,500 apartments which house close to 7,000 seniors. Growth is brisk. The company, which Maurice owns in conjunction with institutional investors, particularly pension funds, is projected to add 1,300 new units each year to its portfolio. During the past five years its employee base has doubled to 1,450. Maurice attributes the company’s success to its focus on an upper middle class clientele and to precise tailoring of new buildings to meet local market demands.
The future also looks bright. At last check Canadians continue to age and demographers suggest retirements will accelerate in coming years. Le Groupe Maurice will thus likely have a steady stream of potential clients.
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.