Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: The Richardson family

Canada’s Richest People
Richardson family
(Photo: John Woods/CP)

Richardson family

Net Worth:
$6.55 billion
(▲10.1% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #9
Change in rank from 2017: No change
Major company holdings: James Richardson & Sons
Location: Winnipeg

James Richardson & Sons Ltd. has a long history of counterintuitive business moves. In the face of weak oil prices last year, the company expanded its energy infrastructure holdings with the $1-billion purchase of a pipeline system in Saskatchewan through one of its subsidiaries.

The pattern stretches back 159 years. The Manitoba-headquartered family firm ventured into financial services during the Great Depression. When its original line of business (grain handling and trading) looked threatened by drought a decade ago, the company bought more grain depots and loading facilities. Fifth-generation president and CEO Hartley Richardson bulked up its Tundra Oil & Gas subsidiary last year, buying 550 wells in Manitoba from a retreating American operator, EOG Resources.

The company isn’t solely focused on commodities. In partnership with True North Sports and Entertainment (in which David Thomson has a stake), the Richardsons are undertaking a $400-million mixed-use development in downtown Winnipeg.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017