Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: U. Gary Charlwood

Canada’s Richest People
U. Gary Charlwood
(Photo: Bayne Stanley/CP)

U. Gary Charlwood

Net Worth:
$1.03 billion
(▲1.0% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #99
Change in rank from 2017: ▼8
Major company holdings: Uniglobe Travel International Partnership, Century 21 Canada Partnership
Location: Vancouver
Age: 75

The master franchiser entered 2017 as a newly minted recipient of the Canadian Franchise Association Hall of Fame Award for his contribution to his franchisees, which include Uniglobe Travel International and Century 21, among the likes of Tim Hortons and Shoppers Drug Mart. It’s an honour, to be sure, but one that’s perhaps overdue, considering Charlwood was inducted into the International Franchise Association Hall of Fame back in 2008. He was the first Canadian to receive the honour, which ranks him among McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, Bill Marriott Jr. of Marriott Hotels and Fred DeLuca of Subway Restaurants.

The former airline executive owes his success and recognition to an emphasis on personal service within his cookie-cutter franchises. It’s how Uniglobe has managed to remain a $250-million bricks-and-mortar travel agency business in the age of online travel booking. His holding company, Charlwood Pacific Group, owns master and territorial franchise rights for the Uniglobe Travel, Century 21 Canada, Century 21 Asia-Pacific, Centum Financial Group and Real Canadian Property Management brands. Charlwood’s sons are now helping run the various businesses; Martin is president of Uniglobe and Christopher runs the property development arm.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017