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How did you guys meet? Sheff: I was an executive at property developer Cadillac Fairview and Ira was a pre-eminent real estate analyst. Over time, he became my broker. For the first time in my life, I started making money in the stock market. As I left Cadillac, I was talking to people about what I would do. Much to my surprise, Ira wasn't entirely happy where he was. He proffered that maybe we could do something together, and I said, "If you could manage the money, I could raise the money."

Was it a gamble? Gluskin: It was a big risk for me. He was rich. I wasn't rich. Sheff: He says I was rich, but only relatively speaking. He was broke. I wasn't broke. But we had young families and that kind of thing.

Why has it worked? Gluskin: I'm an easygoing guy. Anybody could work with me. Sheff: He is so full of shit, it's unbelievable. It's worked because from day one, he runs the money and I run the business. I have no interest in running the money, and 99% of the time I have no opinion on what he is doing.

But what about ego? After all, Ira is a high-profile commentator. Sheff: Ira already had a profile before we started. In the financial community, he is a bit of a curmudgeon-he's outspoken, he writes provocatively-and I was never looking for that. I was always very happy not to deal with the press. Gluskin: Whenever there was a profile on Gluskin Sheff, it was never about the business. It would be about investment matters. But since it became a public company, I haven't been spoken to for [as long as]10 minutes. Sheff: If anything, we've both taken a back seat to the new guys.

How will life change now? Gluskin: For me, nothing is going to change. I've been doing my job the same way for 10 years. It doesn't matter if I am in Toronto, Florida or Scotland. I read most of the day and listen to voice mails. I haven't been much of an executive for years. So I am just going to be managing a smaller amount of money. Sheff: I am going to stay out of day-to-day operations. I'm going to feel less responsible. I am going to walk around the office more, and talk to a bunch of people I haven't talked to-and maybe don't even know. I'll become an elder statesman. Gluskin: What normally happens [in succession]is overwhelming. Gee, how can you be 100% involved for so long and then, boom, you're out? That's what goes on in corporate life all the time. Well, there is something wrong with it. Sheff: We can orchestrate this [longer exit]because we still own a lot of shares. The timing is a personal decision. I want to hang around for the next annual meeting. I'm not as secure as he is. He's happy because winter's here, he wants to spend more time in Florida, and he wants to feel less guilty about it. I don't go to Florida.

But won't investors want to meet the real Gluskin and Sheff? Sheff: We have made a conscious effort with many very large clients to make sure they know the other senior people. As long as they are tied to the two of us and we are the only people they talk to, we are trapped. Gluskin: After all, we went public. Why don't most investment managers go public? They can't: A lot of the really successful firms are tied to specific entrepreneurs. The thinking is: What if those old guys die? But we've tried to make [Gluskin Sheff]into a brand.

Do you fight? Sheff: I don't think we ever had a fight because Ira is not a fighter. He goes silent, he gets cold. It's hard to fight with someone who retreats. Gluskin: He's matured. He used to be a much more difficult guy. Now he's quite a tolerant guy. Sheff: And he's just as difficult as he ever was. He hasn't matured.