Photo: The Canadian Press
Gerry Schwartz, CEO of Onex Corporation
The rich Canadian behind an offer to purchase WestJet has a track record for his stellar organisation acumen and owning a mansion amongst mansions in downtown Toronto, but a long time family friend says the titan has not forgotten his humbler beginnings.
On Monday it was announced that the Toronto-based private equity company Onex Corp. signed an offer to purchase the Calgary-based airline company for $3.5 billion. The man behind the yoke of the enormous transaction for Onex is its 77- year-old creator and ceo, Gerald Schwartz.
” Despite the fact that he’s remained in Toronto now for probably a majority of his life, I don’t think he’s ever lost that sense of being a Winnipegger,” stated David Asper.
Asper is the child of Izzy Asper, who established CanWest Capital with Schwartz in the 1970 s. Asper keeps in mind meeting Schwartz when the now popular financier was articling under his father in the 1960 s.
” I have vibrant memories of Gerry as a young man who started working for my daddy and he was a wonderful character and he would come by and do magic techniques and entertain us,” Asper said. ” He was extremely active and liked to laugh and was complete of life.”
Along with his partner, Heather Reisman– the creator and CEO of Indigo Books and Music– and the couple’s children, Schwartz is a member of among Canada’s wealthiest households.
He has a nearly unparalleled reputation for business– Onex is considered an international force in private equity– and for philanthropy, contributing millions to universities and medical facilities.
He’s been inducted into the Canadian Service Hall of Popularity and is an officer of the Order of Canada.
The couple’s house in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, nicknamed “Fort Schwartz,” has a credibility as perhaps the most expensive in the city.
It’s all worlds far from Schwartz’s developmental years in Winnipeg, Asper stated with a laugh.
Schwartz was born in the Prairie city in1941 In an online video from when he accepted the 2016 Horatio Alger Award, he discussed how his mother was deaf, which led to her being really distant. But he was extremely close with his dad, a local businessman and auto-parts dealership.
” My dad was a wonderful man who I admired, admired and liked,” Schwartz said in the video, adding his father “originated from far more simple beginnings, he worked his method up.”
Schwartz operated in his daddy’s shop beginning when he was10 He earned commerce and law degrees from the University of Manitoba, and later pursed a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.
His goal was to get to Wall Street, Schwartz told trainees at the University of Toronto throughout a speech in2016 However things didn’t go according to strategy.
” A successful career doesn’t need to follow a straight line,” he stated. “You can afford to choose that turn out to be major mistakes and time will let you remedy the trajectory that you want to be on.”
In 1977, at age 35, Schwartz and Izzy Asper formed CanWest Capital in Winnipeg. By 1984, that partnership was dissolved, and Schwartz took his part of the industrial properties to start Onex.
Asper stated the mutual respect both guys had for each other in company– and as friends– was maintained.
Schwartz’s worth has grown gradually. He’s one of 45 Canadians to make Forbes list of billionaires in 2019, with his net worth pegged by the magazine at $1.6 billion. Onex boasts $33 billion in properties, Forbes says.
Angie Ronson is Editor-in-Chief at THRS. She covers the transformative impact of new technology on all sectors.