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Business deal

Eszter Szepessy/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Difference Capital Financial Inc. has lost another key executive.

Managing partner Jamie Brown resigned late last week. Mr. Brown was among a handful of executives that CEO Michael Werkerle had identified as being core to the business as recently as July 2014. When he was hired in April 2013 the company trumpeted his experience in investment banking. Mr. Brown previously served as president of Canaccord Genuity Inc.'s U.S. division.

"It was an amicable departure and I remain a shareholder and supporter of the firm," Mr. Brown said in an email. He said he left to pursue another opportunity.

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Mr. Brown joins a laundry list of high profile individuals that have left the firm over the past year. Difference's team has shrunk to ten employees, down from its peak of 16.

Neil Johnson, president and one-time CEO of Difference resigned in August 2014. In July 2014, board members Wes Hall, Paul Sparkes and Ivan Fecan stepped down en masse.

Jeff Kehoe left as partner and general counsel in April 2014 (he has since rejoined the firm "to help with legal, compliance and regulatory issues," according to CFO Henry Kneis). Jim Shaw resigned as a director in Oct. 2013.

Difference, a publicly traded merchant bank, invests mostly in privately-held technology, media and health care companies. The company's portfolio has performed poorly and its stock has taken a shellacking. The company was co-founded by Dragon's Den star Michael Wekerle in 2012.

Mr. Wekerle is currently embroiled in a serious legal dispute with long-time Bay street fund manager, Rohit Sehgal, over a real estate deal gone bad. In court filings Mr. Sehgal alleges that Mr. Wekerle owes him $1.38-million (U.S.) Mr. Wekerle says he intends to pay back $1.1-million but isn't willing "to pay a penny more."

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