Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Frank Stronach

Canada’s Richest People
Frank Stronach
(Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty)

Frank Stronach

Net Worth:
$3.06 billion
(▲0.7% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #31
Change in rank from 2017: ▼4
Major company holdings: Magna International
Location: Oberwaltersdorf, Austria
Age: 85

After making his fortune with auto-parts manufacturer Magna International, Frank Stronach put his money to work in a variety of other ventures. Most recent is a grass-fed cattle operation based in Florida, called Adena. Proving tricky to manage a growing number of farm properties scattered across the States, Stronach listed his Kentucky horse-breeding property, Adena Springs, in October for a whopping $80 million. The sale is part of a plan to move his breeding business closer to his horse racing tracks in California and Maryland, Stronach told the press.

More than 40 years ago, the Magna founder decided his company would experience higher productivity and less labour strife—and, as a result, faster growth—if its workers got some of the financial benefits of strong performance. The firm has been paying a percentage of pre-tax profits to employees ever since. Stronach’s own compensation has proved less popular over the years: Magna bought him out for $870 million in 2010 and continued to pay him mid-eight figures in consulting fees and performance bonuses for the following four years.

In 2012, Stronach founded a political party named after himself in his homeland of Austria. The faction won just 11 seats, taking less than 6% of the popular vote. Some blamed Stronach’s inability to pull voters from more established parties; others pointed to debates in which he warned of invading Chinese troops. The Putinesque shirtless photos of the 81-year-old billionaire published during the election probably didn’t help. The whole excursion cost Stronach a reported $25 million.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017