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Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani is expected to make a full recover after being shot and injured.Strategic Group

The Calgary real estate executive shot and injured in a targeted attack had hired private security personnel several months ago after receiving threats, though the nature of the threats was not immediately known.

A source close to Riaz Mamdani and his family said the Calgary businessman had hired security to be posted inside the perimeter of his mansion in Calgary's wealthy Mount Royal neighbourhood. The gunfire on Monday erupted outside the grounds and multiple shots pierced the windshield of a Rolls-Royce he was driving. Police say there was at least one other person in the car, who was not injured.

Late on Tuesday, the Strategic Group real estate company that Mr. Mamdani founded in 2001 released a statement saying "thankfully he is stable, improving and we can expect a full recovery."

Read more: Strategic Group's Riaz Mamdani identified as man shot in wealthy Calgary neighbourhood

Calgary police continue to investigate the shooting. The suspect is described as a man wearing an orange jacket, and police are also probing a possible link to a small, white sport-utility vehicle that was found on fire not far from the mansion.

Mr. Mamdani's early careers were in pharmacy and law, but the forty-something businessman has made his name as a member of Calgary's close-knit real estate sector. His Strategic Group owns, manages and develops office, retail and apartment properties across the country, with corporate documents pointing to $1.5-billion in assets.

Many in Calgary describe Mr. Mamdani as an estimable businessman with a penchant for stealth philanthropy. However, he has faced troubles in his business dealings. For instance, Mr. Mamdani is among the defendants listed in a class action lawsuit by investors of Platinum Equities Inc., a now-defunct real estate company that raised as much as $200-million from thousands of small investors to buy commercial buildings in Calgary.

Bob MacDougall, senior managing director at Cushman & Wakefield in Calgary, said he has worked with Mr. Mamdani on several leasing deals over the years.

The past two years have been especially hard on the energy sector, with weak oil prices leading to a spike in commercial vacancies in Calgary as oil and gas companies go out of business. But Mr. MacDougall said he saw no connection between the state of the industry and the shooting. He described Mr. Mamdani as a forthright negotiator and an honest businessman.

"Sometimes people get frustrated by development. They might get frustrated with the developer," Mr. MacDougall said. "But to trigger something like this is almost unbelievable."

In reaction to the drop in oil prices of the last two years – and the corresponding crash in office space demand, particularly in Calgary – Mr. Mamdani has shifted the focus of his commercial-centred business to pursue growth in the residential rental sector. In an interview with The Globe and Mail earlier this year, he said developers had historically underinvested in rental housing in Alberta.

"Our business is to plan for the worst and hope for the best," he said.

"We've made a calculated decision to focus on multifamily residential construction. We see a niche. The population continues to grow. I recognize there are sectors of the economy that struggle but people do want a nice place to live."

Last year, Mr. Mamdani made headlines for promising to provide free housing, for an indeterminate period, to some of the thousands of Syrian refugees Canada has welcomed in the last 12 months.

"I know this gentleman, very well," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said this week, after the attack. He noted that Mr. Mamdani's family came to Canada as refugees from Uganda.

"They came with absolutely nothing. And he became one of the most important philanthropists in our city," Mr. Nenshi said.

"He and his family are incredibly important to this city and they've done great things to try to give back to this country that has given them so much."

With reports from Jeff Lewis in Calgary and Tamsin McMahon in Toronto

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