2016 Inductee Biographies
In 1966, Brian Aune was a promising young Vancouver accountant who joined Nesbitt Thomson in Montreal – one of Canada’s oldest and most reputable brokerages. Just four years later, in 1970, Brian took effective control of Nesbitt. He was just 30 years old.
He later went on to be the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the firm from 1980 to 1990. Under his leadership, in 1987, Nesbitt Thomson was acquired by the Bank of Montreal. The BMO-Nesbitt merger was the first bank/broker merger in the Canadian financial services sector, which paved the way for other bank-broker mergers in Canada.
At age 42, while still with Nesbitt Thomson, Brian accepted the chairmanship of the Investment Dealers Association (IDA), making him one of the youngest individuals to ever hold that distinction, from 1982 to 1983. Prior to the chairmanship, Brian also served for three years on the IDA Board, including two years on its executive committee. While serving the IDA, Brian was credited with centralizing industry self-regulation by bringing several large and mid-size dealers into the IDA fold. Brian’s tenure as chair of the IDA resulted in the IDA becoming a National Self-Regulatory Organization whose increasing membership represented the vast majority of capital market activity in Canada.
Brian has been a director of a number of Canadian public and private corporations, including BMO Nesbitt Burns Corporation Limited, Teck Cominco Limited, Power Financial Corporation and Constellation Software Inc.
Brian is an alumnus of the University of British Columbia and served on the 1988 Campaign Leadership Committee tasked with raising funding for British Columbia universities. He has served on the Board of Governors of Concordia University and was bestowed the honorary title, “Governor Emeritus”.
Brian has also served on the boards of the Montreal Chest Hospital Foundation, Montreal YMCA Foundation and Mount Royal Club.
Brian is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
Jim Davidson is a founding member of FirstEnergy Capital Corp. and recently acquired the title of Executive Chairman, after 14 cumulative years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Davidson is responsible for directing FirstEnergy Capital towards its singular objective: being one of the world’s premier choices for energy sector investment banking.
Under Mr. Davidson’s stewardship the firm has won numerous awards for both business leadership and community service, including being named as one of “Canada’s Best Managed Companies” for four consecutive years and “Best Workplace for Volunteerism and Community Involvement”.
Mr. Davidson graduated with an Honours BES (Bachelor of Environmental Studies) from the University of Waterloo. In May 2016, he received the Oil & Gas Council “Lifetime Achievement Award” which celebrates the triumphs and successes of individuals who have made a true difference to the Canadian oil and gas industry. In September 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has also been recognized as one of “Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People” as well as one of Canadian Business’ “The Power 50: Canada’s Most Powerful Business People.” Mr. Davidson is also Chairman of the Parks Foundation Calgary Fundraising Committee and has helped to raise over $42 million for the $65 million Greenway project, excluding his personal donation.
Mr. Davidson has been a member of numerous boards for both business and charitable organizations, including tenure as Governor of the former Alberta Stock Exchange. Currently, he sits on the Board of Trustees of The Fraser Institute, The Junior Achievement Southern Alberta Economic Futures Council, and Parks Foundation Calgary. He has also been a member of The Executive Committee (TEC) since 2000.
Doug began his career at Dominion Securities (DS) in the 1980s, and helped run the department for listed derivatives, then a new industry business. Doug recognized the impact that computers would have on investments and trading. At DS, he designed systems to allow traders to electronically execute equity and derivative orders to the exchange and convinced regulators to allow remote entry of orders electronically to Canadian exchanges, at the time a world-leading activity. He went on to work with other industry players to design a new Index for the TSE, The Toronto 35 Index®, and then worked to create the world’s first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), the Toronto 35 Index® Participation Units.
In 1992, he founded VERSUS Technologies Inc., one of the first electronic direct market access brokerage firms globally. In 1996 VERSUS licensed the E*TRADE service mark and technology for Canada, and commenced retail online trading. VERSUS went public in 1999 and was sold to E*TRADE Group in 2000.
In 2002, Doug started the first private equity fund in Canada dedicated to financial services infrastructure, which in 2005 became Perimeter Financial. Perimeter designed and operated transparent securities trading and reporting venues for institutional and retail clients.
Since 2004, Doug has also been a columnist in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, commenting on industry trends, economic analysis, and investor psychology.
Doug is currently Chief Executive Officer of Evree Corp., a firm helping consumers manage their financial decisions for debt, savings and insurance. He has served on the Chairman’s Advisory Board at the Ontario Securities Commission, the Customer Advisory Board at Thomson Reuters, the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, chaired the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival from 2006 to 2010 and is an Independent Director at Payments Canada.
Latham Cawthra Burns began his career working in the family business, Burns Brothers, founded in 1932 by his father and uncle. Burns joined the firm in 1952 after it merged with Denton Ltd. and worked in all areas of the business, ultimately becoming president in 1966. In 1976 he orchestrated a move to create Canada’s dominant full-service investment dealer by merging with Fry Mills Spence Ltd. He remained Chairman of Burns Fry Ltd. from 1976 to 1989.
In 1994, Mr. Burns and his partners sold their firm to the Bank of Montreal. The bank then merged Burns Fry with Nesbitt Thomson, which it had previously acquired, creating what became known as BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Mr. Burns stayed on as honorary chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns until his retirement. In his 40-plus year career, Latham Burns was a driving force that built and grew his family firm into a true powerhouse, transitioning it from a small regional player to an international firm and a major Bay Street contender.
Burns also participated in the growth of the investment industry which he served in numerous capacities including Chairman of the Investment Dealers Association (IDA) in 1973-1974. The industry recognized Burns’ contributions in 2012 when he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In his later years, Burns mentored many young entrepreneurs sharing with them his wisdom and business acumen. Burns also devoted considerable time and energy to a number of worthy organizations, including as Chair of the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, leading the fundraising campaign for the restoration of Toronto’s iconic Carlu Concert Hall and as a major supporter of the United Way helping start a corporate giving program for his firm that blossomed into an enormously successful relationship between BMO Nesbitt Burns and the United Way.
J. Ross LeMesurier enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1943 at the age of 20. That same year he was promoted to Commissioned Lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Artillery. Under the CANLOAN Programme, Mr. LeMesurier volunteered to join the British Army and during 1944 and 1945 he served in northwest Europe with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Mr. LeMesurier was seriously wounded and his left leg was amputated below the knee at the age of 22. He was awarded the Military Cross.
After the war, Mr. LeMesurier pursued his education and earned a B.A. from McGill University in 1947, a law degree from Osgoode Hall in 1950 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1952.
A Montreal native, Mr. LeMesurier began his career on Bay Street in 1952 joining the Corporate Finance Department of Dominion Securities. In 1964, Mr. LeMesurier joined Wood Gundy. He was the Head of the Corporate Finance Department for twelve years. During that time, Wood Gundy dominated the corporate finance business in Canada, with major underwriting business for companies in a multitude of industries. Mr. LeMesurier’s integrity, competence, thoroughness and professionalism influenced his colleagues and clients. Mr. LeMesurier stayed heavily involved in the firm’s recruiting and training practices. He eventually held the position of Vice Chairman, retiring from Wood Gundy in 1983.
After his retirement at the age of 60, Mr. LeMesurier remained active. He volunteered at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre sitting on the Board of Trustees and served on many committees. He served as Chair of the Veterans Advisory Committee. His passion was to assist the veterans at Sunnybrook and elsewhere. Before his death in 2000, he submitted a stamp suggestion relating to Canada’s Victoria Cross recipients to Canada Post. His suggestion was approved and, in 2004, the stamps featured the medal itself and the stamp pane was printed with the names of the many Canadians who have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Mr. LeMesurier also maintained a close association with Trinity College School in Port Hope and became a Life Governor.
Austin George Edward Taylor’s career with McLeod, Young, Weir began in 1964. Taking a role on the investment banking side of the business, he began to attract new business for the firm by leveraging his personal relationships with his array of friends and contacts, predominately on Canada’s west coast.
Austin continued to foster deep business connections as he transitioned to the role of Chief Executive Officer of McLeod, Young, Weir in 1978. Later as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, he continued to drive the firm forward, convincing prominent executives to join the company’s ranks, supplementing the existing talented executive team of underwriters and traders.
Under Austin’s initiative, McLeod’s retail sales force grew from around 80 in 1978 to 350 by 1984. Further, its number of offices more than doubled during this period, servicing more clients and expanding its market. The firm’s bond desk also grew in size and volume to become a well-respected, top-ranked fixed-income sales and trading operation. Austin successfully transformed McLeod from a moderately successful peripheral dealer into significant Bay Street contender.
By the mid-1980s, however, the landscape for Canadian investment banks was changing. Recognizing that Canadian investment dealers such as McLeod would need a larger, stronger capital base to compete internationally, Austin’s most significant transaction for the firm was its purchase by the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1988.
Austin G.E. Taylor passed away December 19, 1996 leaving a massive legacy to those who knew him.