Financier Ned Goodman, a major player on Bay Street who for five decades founded money management firms and backed successful mining companies, passed away on Sunday at age 85.
Mr. Goodman, a native of Montreal, provided the capital and leadership that transformed small resource projects into major companies such as Kinross Gold Corp. K-T and IAMGOLD Corp. IMG-T He was also a driving force behind the creation of mines now owned by Barrick Gold Corp. ABX-T Over the course of his career, he launched two major money managers: Beutel, Goodman & Company Ltd. and Dynamic Funds.
In later life, he turned his attention to philanthropy. As a result of his donations, Brock University’s business school, Concordia University’s investment management program and Laurentian University’s mining school are all now named in his honour.
During his Canadian Mining Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2012, Mr. Goodman said his dual careers as mining financier and fund manager were shaped by the resource industry’s ups and downs. After graduating from McGill University with a geology degree in 1960, he worked for Noranda, one of the largest mining companies in Canada at the time. But a slump in commodity prices led the company to lay off Mr. Goodman shortly after he joined. He returned to school, and soon earned an MBA at the University of Toronto.
With that degree, Mr. Goodman moved into money management. He founded Beutel Goodman in 1967, with fellow Montrealer Austin Beutel. Their partners included Seymour Schulich, who would eventually also become a major financier of resource companies. The Toronto-based firm, which now manages more than $40-billion for institutional clients and is still controlled by its employees, built a reputation for astute investments in mining operations.
Pierre Lassonde, co-founder and chairman emeritus of precious metals royalty company Franco-Nevada Corp. FNV-T, got his start in 1980 as Mr. Goodman’s understudy, running Beutel Goodman’s gold fund. Mr. Goodman, he said, was unlike anyone else in the business, because of his range and his dynamism.
“Oh my God, the guy was a serial entrepreneur,” Mr. Lassonde said. “He could be intimidating, but once you got to know him and became friends, you were his friend forever. He was incredibly loyal.”
Mr. Lassonde noted that Mr. Goodman was an early champion of flow-through shares, a tax-efficient structure that is used to this day by mining companies to raise money for exploration.
In 1991, Mr. Goodman left Beutel Goodman to launch Dundee Corp. DC-A-T, which became the home of the Dynamic family of mutual funds, an investment bank and wealth management business. Dundee also included Dundee Realty, now known as DREAM Unlimited Corp. At their peak, the Dundee businesses managed more than $100-billion for clients.
Eric Sprott, another of Canada’s best known mining financiers, said Mr. Goodman was a leader in the resource financial business, a risk taker and a multitalented investor.
“He was an investor at heart. He was always looking for the next opportunity,” Mr. Sprott said. “He was one of the early guys to step up and say ‘I think this is going to work.’ He had some great successes – and, like everyone else, not everything was successful. But he put his money on the line.”
Rohit Sehgal, who worked for more than two decades as chief investment strategist at Dynamic, said Mr. Goodman was among the first to recognize how China’s appetite for metals would reshape the economics of the global mining industry.
“Ned was a legend, a true visionary,” Mr. Sehgal said.
“I learned a lot from his brilliant mind, especially not to follow the crowd, and to think out of the box.”
Dundee stumbled during the global financial crisis that began in 2008, in part because of a significant investment in asset-backed commercial paper. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS-T acquired the Dynamic division in 2010, in a deal that valued the business at $2.3-billion. Mr. Goodman was also an early backer of FNX Mining Company Inc., a nickel mining company that was eventually acquired in 2012 for $3.9-billion by a Polish miner.
In recent years, Mr. Goodman had suffered from dementia. His son, Jonathan Goodman, has been chief executive at Dundee since 2018.
Mr. Goodman served as chancellor at St. Catharines, Ont.-based Brock University from 2007 to 2015, and helped raise $22-million for renovations at the business school that now bears his name. In a news release, Brock interim president Lynn Wells said: “His generosity and drive to succeed will continue to be an inspiration to generations of Brock University students.”
Mr. Goodman leaves his wife of nearly 62 years, Anita Goodman, four sons and their wives, 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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