French IT services, consulting and engineering giant Groupe Astek has announced that it plans to establish its North American headquarters in Greater Montréal, creating 100 new jobs over the next three years.
The announcement was made in Paris today during an economic mission to Europe that included Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre and Dominique Anglade, president and CEO of Montréal International, a public-private partnership set up to attract investment to Greater Montréal.
“We value our relationship with our clients and are committed to providing them with know-how, expertise and innovative solutions, and to being close to them,” said Julien Gavaldon, CEO of Astek. “Over time, we have developed strong ties with many North American clients, and Montréal, a true gateway to the continent, came as a natural choice when we decided to expand into this new market.”
Gavaldon cited Montréal’s research and development backbone, its skilled workforce and dynamic workers and a dynamic business environment as factors behind Astek’s decision. “Those are some of the key elements that will help our company become a leading long-term partner in innovative IT projects,” he said.
Montréal International will help Astek set up its headquarters. “Investment projects in knowledge-based industries are a key driver of economic development, but attracting foreign investments requires resourcefulness, determination and patience,” said Dominique Anglade. “We approached Astek over a year ago and our efforts have paid off. The arrival of this major IT group shows once again just how attractive Montréal is to businesses.”
The new headquarters will be completed in about eight months, Yoann Rouleau, Chief International Officer of Astek International, told IT World Canada. The company will be pursuing IT and engineering projects with clients in the aeronautical, financial and telecommunications sectors, Rouleau said. A Toronto sales office will open in June.
Rouleau mentioned a large portfolio of clients, good universities, the language affinity and programs like Quebec’s tax credit for e-business (CDAE) as factors that will all help Astek develop its business on this side of the pond from its Montréal base.
Astek’s clients include Thales (Nasdaq: THLEF), Airbus (Nasdaq: EADSF), Air France (Nasdaq: AFRAF) and BNP Paribas(Nasdaq: BNPQF). The decision to set headquarters in Greater Montréal is part of the group’s North American growth strategy, which includes opening a sales office in Toronto.
Earlier this year, Greater Montréal was ranked among the top 21 smart communities of 2014 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The ICT sector employs 93,000 people in the region, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all ICT employment in Québec.