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Paul Reynolds, CEO of Canaccord Capital.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Paul Reynolds, chief executive officer of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., has died following complications related to an incident while competing in a triathlon in Hawaii.

Canaccord's board announced Mr. Reynold's death Thursday morning and said the company's chairman, David Kassie, is taking over as CEO immediately.

Mr. Reynolds was 52 and leaves a wife and four children.

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He is the son of former Conservative MP John Reynolds.

"This is a difficult day for everyone at Canaccord Genuity. As the architect of our firm's global transformation, Paul's distinct style of partnership, friendship and respect over three decades of commitment is just part of the legacy he leaves us all," Mr. Kassie said.

Mr. Reynolds was participating in the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon on the island of Hawaii on Sunday morning when he experienced an "unexpected medical emergency," the company said on Monday.

Mr. Reynolds ran into trouble during the swim part of the race, says Lori Cannon, a nurse who was part of the rescue effort.

"He called for help and went under the water," Ms. Cannon said via e-mail, adding that rescue personnel brought Mr. Reynolds back up and he was given CPR immediately.

Family members, who were with Mr. Reynolds on vacation, were by his side.

The triathlon event consists of a 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10-km run.

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Canaccord said on Thursday that its board "is confident that David [Kassie] has the necessary experience to lead the company forward. Looking ahead, David will be actively engaged with the Corporate Governance Committee of the board in the succession planning process."

"Like many of you, I have had the distinct privilege of knowing and working closely with Paul, and sharing in the relentless energy and commitment he brought to all of his personal and professional endeavours," Mr. Kassie said in the staff memo.

"We are all part of a team that Paul built. Over three decades, he dedicated a brilliant career to transforming our business into the one we share today, and one we will continue to shape in his vision."

Mr. Reynolds managed Canaccord's European operations out of London from 1999 to 2006, when he was appointed president. He became CEO a year later.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced soon, Mr. Kassie said.

With a file from Tim Kiladze

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