Sharpen your swords and prepare your armour, Canada, a whole new breed of Dragon is loose in the Den.
Described as “Mick Jagger meets Warren Buffett,” Michael Wekerle reigns as a rock star in the world of Canadian finance. “Wek” has made many fortunes investing in tech and media companies. Most recently he founded and was appointed CEO of the merchant-banking firm Difference Capital. Now, Michael Wekerle is ready to use his investing acumen in the Den to fund the best start up businesses in Canada.
At 18 years old and fresh out of high school, Michael honed his talents on the Toronto Stock Exchange trading room floor. He rapidly shot to the top of his first firm, First Marathon, where he ran the equity markets desk. By age 30 he was Bay Street pack leader, launching his own investment banking business, GMP Securities. Wekerle and his partners were early believers and investors in Research in Motion, eventually taking the Blackberry maker public in 1997.
Michael now oversees a vast investment portfolio that includes video games in the form of Virgin Gaming, an innovation center and tech incubator in Waterloo, Ontario, and even fast food. Wekerle is a backer of Mark Wahlberg’s Boston burger joints, Wahlburgers, which will soon be opening their first location in Toronto.
Beware, there’s no buttoned-down-businessman in Wekerle’s DNA. He’s a heavily tattooed single dad to six children. He loves fast cars and rock music. He donates millions to a wide variety of philanthropic interests, ranging from hospitals, and educational funds, to arts companies such as Opera Atelier.
Michael Wekerle’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with lavish lifestyle, celebrity friends and joie de vivre have placed him uniquely at the top of both the society pages and the list of Canada’s top power players.