Seymour Schulich is an eccentric entrepreneur, with a flare for the wild-west, cowboy-style memorabilia, and a penchant for philanthropy.
The son of a Hungarian dress maker, Mr. Schulich came from humble roots in Montreal to his first job at Shell Oil. He went on to various positions (including president and vice-chairman) at Beutel Goodman, a pension management fund firm.
Mr. Schulich and his partner introduced the concept of royalty payments in the mining industry, and founded Franco-Nevada and Euro-Nevada, through which they earned royalties in some of the world's most profitable mines.
As chairman and co-chief executive officer, Mr. Schulich helped Franco-Nevada become the largest royalty resource company in the world. In 2002, it merged with Normandy Mining of Australia and Newport Mining to form Newport Mining Corporation, the world's largest gold mining company. Mr. Schulich was a company director and chairman of its merchant banking division for five years.
The mining magnate has donated extensively to universities and health care centres across North America - a total of over $250 million. His $26-million gift to the University of Western Ontario was the largest in the university's history.
Mr. Schulich is the benefactor of the Schulich School of Business at York University, the Schulich Heart Centre at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, the Library of Science and Engineering at McGill University, a student residence and a chemistry hall at the University of Nevada, and numerous student scholarships across Canada.
Nominator: Dan Richards, Toronto