It’s difficult to identify the “ten best performing investors in Canadian history” since investment performance can be subjective and difficult to compare across different time periods and investment strategies. However, here are ten Canadian investors who are known for their investment success.
1. Prem Watsa: Founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings
Prem Watsa is an Indian-born Canadian businessman and investor. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, a financial holding company based in Toronto, Canada. Watsa is often referred to as Canada’s Warren Buffett for his investment acumen and value investing philosophy. Under his leadership, Fairfax Financial has grown to become one of Canada’s largest and most successful holding companies, with investments in insurance, reinsurance, and a variety of other industries. Watsa is also known for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the area of healthcare and education.
2. Stephen Jarislowsky: Founder of Jarislowsky Fraser
Stephen A. Jarislowsky is a Canadian businessman and investor who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925. He is the founder and chairman of Jarislowsky Fraser, an investment management firm based in Montreal, Quebec. He is considered one of Canada’s most successful and influential investors, known for his value investing philosophy and long-term investment approach. Jarislowsky is a vocal advocate for corporate governance and responsible investing, and he played a key role in shaping Canada’s capital markets over the course of his career. In addition to his business pursuits, Jarislowsky is also a philanthropist, supporting a variety of causes related to education and the arts.
3. Gerald Schwartz: Founder of Onex Corporation
Gerald Schwartz is a Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Onex Corporation, a private equity firm based in Toronto, Canada. Onex is one of Canada’s largest and most successful investment firms, with holdings in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, aerospace, and manufacturing. Schwartz is known for his expertise in deal-making and his ability to turn around struggling companies, making them profitable once again. He is also a noted philanthropist, having donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes over the years. In recognition of his contributions to business and philanthropy, Schwartz has received numerous awards and honors, including being named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
4. Seymour Schulich: Co-founder of Franco-Nevada Corporation
Seymour Schulich is a Canadian businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is best known for co-founding Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, a gold-focused royalty and streaming company. Schulich has also had success as an investor, particularly in the resource sector, and has been involved in a number of other ventures over the years. In addition to his business interests, Schulich is also a generous philanthropist, having donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes in Canada and around the world. He has been recognized for his philanthropy and business acumen with numerous awards and honors, including being named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
5. Eric Sprott: Founder of Sprott Inc.
Eric Sprott is a Canadian billionaire businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chairman of Sprott Inc., a publicly traded alternative asset management firm that specializes in natural resources investing. Sprott is widely considered one of the most successful resource investors in the world, having made significant profits by investing in gold, silver, and other commodities. He has been involved in the resource sector for over 40 years and has also been a prolific philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to various charitable causes in Canada and around the world. Sprott has been recognized for his business acumen and philanthropy with numerous awards and honors, including being inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.
6. Jean Coutu: Founder of Jean Coutu Group
Jean Coutu is a Canadian businessman who founded the Jean Coutu Group, a large pharmacy chain in Quebec, Canada. He was born in 1927 in Montreal and started his career as a pharmacist, opening his first pharmacy in 1960. Over time, he expanded his business by acquiring other pharmacies and establishing a franchise model. The Jean Coutu Group became one of the largest pharmacy chains in Canada, with over 400 locations in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. In 2004, Jean Coutu sold the majority of his stake in the company, which was subsequently acquired by the Canadian pharmacy chain, Metro Inc. Today, the Jean Coutu Group continues to operate as a subsidiary of Metro Inc. Jean Coutu is widely regarded as a pioneer in the Canadian pharmacy industry and has been recognized for his contributions with numerous awards and honors.
7. Charles Bronfman: One of the co-founders of Seagram
Charles Bronfman is a Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He was born in Montreal in 1931, the son of Samuel Bronfman, the founder of Seagram Company Ltd., a major international liquor company. Charles Bronfman followed in his father’s footsteps and became a successful businessman in his own right, serving as CEO of Seagram from 1971 to 1994. Under his leadership, Seagram became one of the world’s largest liquor companies.
In addition to his business career, Charles Bronfman has been a prominent philanthropist and supporter of the arts. He is the co-founder of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a charitable organization that supports Jewish causes, as well as the founder of the CRB Foundation, which supports Canadian arts organizations. He has also been a major supporter of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the McGill University Health Centre.
Charles Bronfman has received numerous awards and honors for his business achievements and philanthropic work, including the Order of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. He continues to be involved in philanthropic efforts and is widely respected for his contributions to Canadian society.
8. Stephen Smith: Founder of First National Financial
Stephen Smith is a Canadian businessman and the founder of First National Financial, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender. He was born on March 21, 1951, in Montreal, Quebec. After earning a degree in engineering from Concordia University, Smith worked for several years as a real estate developer before founding First National Financial in 1988.
Under Smith’s leadership, First National Financial has grown to become one of Canada’s leading mortgage lenders, with over $100 billion in mortgages under administration. Smith has also been involved in various philanthropic activities, including the creation of the Stephen Smith Foundation, which supports various health-related charities and initiatives in Canada. In recognition of his contributions to business and philanthropy, Smith has received numerous honors and awards over the years.
9. Ned Goodman: Founder of Dundee Corporation
Ned Goodman was a Canadian businessman and investor who passed away in May 2019. He was born on August 13, 1934, in Toronto, Ontario. Goodman was the founder and former CEO of Dundee Corporation, a diversified financial services company that he established in 1991.
Prior to founding Dundee, Goodman had a long and successful career in the investment industry, having held senior positions at a number of major Canadian financial institutions. He was also an active philanthropist, supporting a variety of causes and organizations in the arts, education, and health sectors.
Goodman was a highly respected figure in the Canadian business community, and was widely regarded as one of the country’s most successful and influential investors. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, and was a strong advocate for responsible corporate governance and ethical business practices.
10. Ian Telfer: former chairman of Goldcorp
Ian Telfer is a Canadian businessman and mining executive. He is best known for his leadership roles in the mining industry, having served as the Chairman and CEO of Goldcorp Inc., one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, from 2005 to 2019. Under Telfer’s leadership, Goldcorp grew rapidly through a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships, and became known for its innovative and sustainable approach to mining.
Prior to joining Goldcorp, Telfer held senior executive roles at a number of other mining companies, including Wheaton River Minerals, TVX Gold, and Homestake Mining. He is widely respected in the mining industry for his business acumen and his commitment to responsible mining practices.
Outside of his work in the mining industry, Telfer is also known for his philanthropic efforts. He has donated millions of dollars to a variety of causes, including healthcare, education, and the arts, and has been recognized for his contributions to the community with numerous awards and honors.
It’s worth noting that these investors achieved their success through different strategies, and their investment performance may have varied over time. Additionally, this list is not exhaustive and there may be other Canadian investors who have also achieved significant success.