#21 David Thomson
Chair, Thomson ReutersIs breathing new life into an old media brand
The once struggling Thomson Reuters has shown a recent resurgence on the market. That must please David Thomson, the company’s chairman and majority owner—the improved market performance of Thomson Reuters has added about $2 billion to his holdings so far this year. Thomson is also chairman of The Globe and Mail and Woodbridge, the family’s personal holding company, which has about $20 billion in assets. It’s been reported that he’s attended business meetings in a suit and sneakers. When you’re one of the richest people on the planet, you have some liberty to set your own style.
#22 Bruce Heyman
U.S. Ambassador to CanadaHas a direct line to the White House
Bruce Heyman wasn’t expecting the grilling he got at a recent appearance in Ottawa. The United States’ brand-new ambassador to Canada found himself on the defensive as Frank McKenna, Canada’s former top diplomat to the U.S., hammered him mercilessly on virtually every major point of bilateral contention, from the status of the Keystone XL pipeline to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Heyman’s response didn’t rely on talking-point platitudes. Instead, he came across as cavalier, occasionally dismissive and, depending on who you ask, condescending. (A sample? “Let’s not get distracted by irritants,” in response to a question about Keystone.)
#23 Murray Edwards
Chair, Canadian Natural ResourcesCuts across party lines
Murray Edwards is a perennial business titan and political confidant (he’s a federal Liberal, albeit with connections that cross party lines), but the past 12 months have showcased his knack for building long-term shareholder value in diverse industries, with holdings such as Canadian Natural Resources (up more than 40%) and Magellan Aerospace (up 167%).
READ: Stock Pick: Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) keeps growing as oil falters »
#24 Robert Prichard
Chair, TorysDeftly bridges public and private business
On Bay Street, few insiders straddle the dual—and frequently conflicted—worlds of public and private business quite as adroitly as Rob Prichard, the Liberal-friendly former law school prof who has held three of the most high-profile gigs in Toronto: president of the University of Toronto, CEO of Torstar and chair of Metrolinx, Ontario’s transit agency. In his day job, Prichard is non-executive chair of Bay Street law firm Torys LLP, where he specializes in arbitration and public-private partnerships. He chairs the BMO board, holds a handful of other directorships and serves on two economic advisory panels—one for the feds, the other, Queen’s Park. And if John Tory wins the mayoralty in this fall’s municipal election, the nameplate on Prichard’s law firm door will draw him even closer to the beating heart of the action.
#25 Ann Cavoukian
Executive Director, Ryerson University Institute for Privacy and Big DataKeeps Big Brother at bay
Ann Cavoukian was trembling as she took the stage at an annual meeting of privacy commissioners held in Jerusalem in 2010. She was about to propose that her model for approaching privacy, called Privacy by Design, be adopted as an international standard. It wasn’t the crowd that made Cavoukian nervous; she just really wanted her proposal to pass. Privacy by Design is her life’s work, after all.
#26 Paul Browning
CEO, Irving OilCould get a pipeline to the East
Paul Browning is betting that TransCanada will get to build its pipeline. Not Keystone, the north-south route that’s caught in the mess of U.S. politics, but Energy East, a cross-country line that would end at a new $300-million Irving terminal in Saint John, N.B. Energy East has predictably come under fire from environmentalists. But Alberta’s crude has to go somewhere, and with other mega-projects stalled, Browning will be doing everything he can to make sure his company’s refinery on the East Coast will be it.
On August 14, Irving Oil announced that Browning had left the company. A replacement has not been named.
#27 Dominic Barton
Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Co.Heads “The Firm” (do you really have to ask what that is?)
Through its advice to governments and Fortune 1,000 companies, McKinsey has helped shape how we know the world today. And Canadian Dominic Barton is responsible for shaping McKinsey. The Rhodes scholar with high-profile connections (he calls former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak a close friend) took the helm in 2009, just before the insider-trading scandal that rocked the company. Now in his second term as managing director, Barton is focusing on polishing the firm’s tarnished reputation.
#28 Jim Prentice
Vice Chairman, CIBC (on leave)Can’t stay out of politics
Even before his return to politics, Jim Prentice was a formidable guy. He was not only vice-chairman at CIBC, but had also been tapped by Enbridge to garner First Nations support for the Northern Gateway pipeline. But as the frontrunner for leadership of the Alberta PC party, he’s highly likely to be the province’s next premier. And as a former federal environment and aboriginal affairs minister, he has the experience needed to quell the opposition that has bedevilled resource development in the province.
#29 Gerald Schwartz
CEO, OnexKnows how to work a deal
Gerald Schwartz, who took home an $85-million pay package last year, isn’t a leader in the private equity world just because he can swing a good deal. He knows how to use his influence and connections to make sure that deal goes through. According to Bloomberg, he got the CEO of American Airlines to vouch for him to win business from Boeing in 2005. More recently Schwartz has been making a bigger push into London, U.K. It’s been a challenging market, but he may have another big name to help shore up that part of the business: Nigel Wright, the prime minister’s former chief of staff, is returning to Onex to spearhead that part of the business.
READ: How to invest in private companies that are off limits to you »
#30 Donna Kennedy-Glans
MLA for Calgary-VarsityWields outsized influence in Alberta politics
Donna Kennedy-Glans didn’t exactly topple Alison Redford’s government with her exit from the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party in March, but her departure was the straw that broke the beleaguered premier’s back. When this newcomer to Alberta politics talks and acts, others take notice. Confident, articulate and extremely well-connected, Kennedy-Glans has experience in industry (she was Nexen Inc.’s first female executive vice-president), philanthropy (she founded Bridges Social Development), and corporate social responsibility (she’s advised global energy operators on the non-technical risks of their projects). She’s rebuffed approaches by the Liberals, the Wildrose Party and the Alberta Party and is expected to be a big behind-the-scenes influencer in the post-Redford government.
READ: What does Alison Redford’s resignation mean for Alberta business? »
Continue to #31–40 »