Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Gerry Schwartz & Heather Reisman

Canada’s Richest People
Gerry Schwartz & Heather Reisman
(Photo: George Pimental/Getty)

Gerry Schwartz & Heather Reisman

Net Worth:
$3.13 billion
(▲7.2% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #29
Change in rank from 2017: No change
Major company holdings: Onex, Indigo Books & Music
Location: Toronto
Age: 76 and 69

Despite an uncertain investment climate in the last couple years, Gerry Schwartz’s Onex Corp. managed to score a number of deals. Notably, the private equity fund purchased U.S. supermarket chain Save-a-Lot for US$1.37 billion, they picked up the science and intellectual property division of Thomson Reuters for $3.5 billion, and raised US$5.2 billion with Onex Partners V in July. Meanwhile, Heather Reisman’s transformation of Indigo is paying off. Reisman is reinventing the bookseller as a cultural department store, stocked with everything from meditation aids to American Girl dolls. Indigo turned a profit in both fiscal 2017 and 2016, following a loss in 2015.

Schwartz got his start in finance at investment bank Bear Stearns, working under private equity legend Jerome Kohlberg. He later partnered with Izzy Asper to start a buyout shop (Global Television was their first purchase) before striking out on his own with Onex in 1984. Reisman served as CEO of Cott Corp. before founding Indigo in 1996. The couple married in 1982 and live in a sprawling, walled-off multimillion-dollar home in Toronto’s exclusive Rosedale neighbourhood.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017

#28: Jean Coutu

#29: Gerry Schwartz & Heather Reisman

#30: Lalji Family