Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Charles Bronfman

Canada’s Richest People
Charles Bronfman
(Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty)

Charles Bronfman

Net Worth:
$2.54 billion
(▲1.2% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #39
Change in rank from 2017: ▼4
Major company holdings: Vivendi
Location: New York & Palm Beach, Fla.
Age: 86

Last spring, Claridge Inc., the private equity firm founded by Charles Bronfman in 1987 and executive chaired by his son Stephen, teamed up with Ivanhoe Cambridge, the property arm of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, to commit approximately $100 million to a slate of mid-size development projects in and around their hometown of Montreal. The two companies, which are also collaborating on a renovation of the city’s Place Ville Marie office tower to include an observation deck and entertainment facilities, intend to target residential, mixed-used, light industry or low-density office properties. Claridge’s other investments include stakes in Cirque du Soleil and Luxury Retreats, a high-end vacation rental company. Claridge and Stephen Bronfman, revenue chair for Justin Trudeau, came under scrutiny in November 2017 when the Paradise Papers were released, alleging questionable use of offshore tax havens.

The backstory: When Edgar Bronfman and his brother, Charles, inherited the century-old Seagram spirits empire in 1971 upon the death of their father, it was the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. But the family empire unravelled after an ill-fated $50-billion deal in 2000 to merge the company with France’s Vivendi SA. Charles Bronfman penned a memoir, Distilled, which came out last October.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017