As always the Rich 100 researchers put many hours of work into estimating the net worth of Canada's wealthy. Canadian Business's Rich 100 research team for the 2007-08 list was made up of Alex Mlynek, Graham F. Scott, Phil Froats and Regan Ray. Sources of information included proxy statements, insider trading reports and tips from some Rich 100 members. We began with a list of some 150 potential candidates, who typically had to be worth at least $200 million before we gave them serious consideration. From there, estimated net worth was measured using the following criteria:
1. Members of the Rich 100 had to be Canadian citizens.
2. We valued assets held as of Oct. 12, 2007.
3. We included financial transactions that occurred between Oct. 21, 2006 and Oct. 12, 2007, and we included the value of dividends and distributions received during that time period.
4. Publicly traded securities were valued at the market close on Oct. 12, 2007. This was the date used for exchange rates applied to foreign investments as well.
5. Privately owned companies were valued using a multiple of cash flows, earnings or sales. If these figures weren't available, we looked to industry experts for their estimates, or we compared private companies to similar public companies. Debt, whether know or estimated, was subtracted from the value.
6. Real estate values were based on estimates per square foot, less debt.
7. Where companies or shares were sold, we applied appropriate capital gains taxes.
8. Where assets were held by families or trusts, we focused on who controlled the wealth.
9. We intentionally used conservative estimates of private investments. It's virtually impossible to determine the full extent of these holdings for every member. It's safe to assume the Rich 100 are worth more than the stated amount.
10. Sometimes we relied on estimates provided by the Rich 100 candidates themselves, although we attempted to independently verify their information.
11. Occasionally, new information comes to light that can affect our estimate of an individual's wealth.