Frank Stronach

Written by Natalie Bank


Chairman, Magna International Inc.

Claim to Fame

Auto parts magnate, race horse owner and youth philanthropist




Weiz, Austria

Currently residing in


When Frank Stronach immigrated to Canada and opened a one-man tool shop, he likely had no idea that some 50 years later he would be retiring as CEO of an automotive and entertainment empire. Today that tool shop is Magna International, one of the world’s leading auto parts suppliers, employing some 70,000 people and earning US$11 billion in revenue in 2001. Stronach now spends his days at some of North America’s premier horse racing tracks — many owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. — fulfilling his passion second only to business.

Through Magna, Stronach influenced the new economy like few others when he introduced a unique approach to business. Termed Fair Enterprise and exemplified by Magna’s practices, his philosophy ensures everyone shares in the company’s profits by making all the employees shareholders as well.

While Stronach is known largely for his success as an entrepreneur, he is also widely recognized for his dedication to improving the quality of life for Canadians. In 1995 he established the Magna for Canada Scholarship Fund, which supports students working to improve the nation through such programs as the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs and the As Prime Minister Awards program. Stronach has also raised over $4 million through the company’s annual ‘Hoedown’, York Region’s biggest fundraising event for local charities and community groups.

Stronach has received numerous honourary university degrees and has earned some of the most prestigious business awards for his accomplishments. One of his most recent was the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award” which he received in 2000. In 1999 he was given the Order of Canada and in 1996 he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Today he sits proudly on the Magna board across from his daughter Belinda who is now CEO of Magna and leader of the second generation of Stronachs to fuel Canada’s new economy.

This success story brought to you by The Leaf Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing Canadian success and involvement in the New Economy. Natalie Bank is a freelance writer and journalism student at the University of Regina.

© 2002 Natalie Bank

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