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Difference Capital Financial Inc chief executive officer Michael Wekerle poses for a portrait in Toronto, Tuesday January 27, 2015.Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

Michael Wekerle is stepping down as chief executive officer of Difference Capital Financial Inc.

The company said on Tuesday that Henry Kneis, who was formerly the chief financial officer, has taken over as CEO. Mr. Kneis, a former hedge fund manager has been with Difference Capital since its founding in May, 2012. Victor Duong will assume the role of CFO.

Mr. Wekerle, who is also relinquishing his executive chairman role, will stay with the firm as chairman of the board. Mr. Wekerle personally invested $65-million of his family's money into the firm and was made CEO in the summer of 2014, after a management shakeup that saw a flurry of executive departures. Mr. Wekerle is also known for his exploits on the CBC reality show Dragons' Den.

The company took a couple of huge swings early on, and incurred heavy losses in alternative energy firm Lignol Energy Corp. and online gaming company World Gaming Ltd. Shares in Difference have lost more than 70 per cent of their value since inception. In its most recent quarter, Difference swung back to a profit after a string of losses. The company is sitting on a number of technology investments that it hopes will go public over the next year or so.

The company also announced it is acquiring Difference Capital Management Inc. (DCM), a separate firm that was managing its assets, for $2.4-million. It plans to wind down DCM and begin managing its investments in-house instead. The move will "simplify the organization, streamline the portfolio, and consolidate the professional staff," the company said in a statement.

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