Canada's new wave of the rich and powerful

A new crop of rich and powerful Canadians are making waves around the world.
Canadian singer Justin Bieber attends the French premiere of his film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never on Feb. 17 in Paris. ((Jacques Brinon/Associated Press))

Canadians haven't generally registered that high on the list of the world's most rich and famous, but in recent years, more of them have started making their mark.

Here's a look at some of those in the new crop of rich and powerful Canadians, who they are, where their money came from and how they are making waves around the world.

Moya Greene

When Moya Greene assumed the helm of Britain's Royal Mail  in May 2010, the Newfoundland native became the first woman to take charge of the postal service in its almost-500-year history — and the first from outside the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining the Royal Mail, Greene spent five years as head of Canada Post, where she tripled the Crown corporation's profits, largely thanks to a hard-hitting cost-cutting program.

Moya Greene took over the helm of Britian's Royal Mail after leading Canada Post.

Greene has also held executive positions at stalwart Canadian firms like TD Securities, CIBC and Bombardier.

Michael Cohl

Cohl, a Toronto-born promoter, transformed the concept of live music with the Rolling Stones' 1989-90 Steel Wheels world tour.

He has handled every Stones tour since, and over a four-decade career, has worked with 150 artists - from Michael Jackson to Frank Sinatra to U2. In 2003, Cohl organized the biggest concert in Canadian history: the "SARSStock" benefit in Toronto, which drew more than 450,000 fans.

Cohl is also a theatre producer and is involved with the Broadway spectacle Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which at an estimated cost of $65 million is the most expensive musical ever.

Jeff Mallett

Mallet was once called the "wizard behind the curtains pulling all the levers" at Yahoo.

The North Vancouver native who was one of the founders of the internet giant is now one of the principal owners of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

The sports interests of the 43-year-old University of Victoria graduate extend back to British Columbia, where is also a co-owner of MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps.

Lawrence Ho

Lawrence Ho speaks at a news conference for the City of Dreams, one of the giant casino complexes in Macau, on June 1, 2009. ((Kin Cheung/Associated Press))

Casino magnate Lawrence Ho is bringing the glitz of Las Vegas to the multibillion-dollar world of Asian gambling.

Ho, who has been called the Prince of Macau, and who is CEO of Melco International Development Ltd., graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in commerce in 1999.

The son of casino tycoon Stanley Ho was raised in Toronto, is now based in Hong Kong and has an estimated net worth of $600 million US.

Stephen Elop

Elop is the first non-Finn to be named CEO of Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phonemaker.

Elop, a 47-year-old native of Ancaster, Ont., arrived at Nokia after a stint at Microsoft, where he led the business division and was one of the firm's senior leaders.

Prior to his work at Microsoft, the McMaster University graduate was chief operating officer of Juniper Networks and served as president of worldwide field operations for Adobe Systems.

Roma Khanna

As president of NBC Universal International in London, England, Khanna oversees 70 TV channels broadcasting to more than 150 countries in 25 languages.

A lawyer with an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Khanna, 41, was a  former senior vice-president for CHUM Television.

Prior to her work at CHUM, the Toronto native was executive vice-president for Snap Media, and manager of legal and business affairs for Sony Music Canada.

Several Canadians have turned their financial talents south of the border and found fortune on Wall Street.

Robert P. Kelly, CEO of the Bank of New York Mellon, speaks during the Global Financial Forum in New York on April 26, 2010. ((Mark Lennihan/Associated Press))

Robert P. Kelly

The 57-year-old Kelly is CEO of the Bank of New York Mellon, and in 2008 took home an estimated annual salary of $15 million to $20 million.

The Nova Scotia native and graduate of St. Mary's University worked for Toronto-Dominion Bank for 19 years, serving as a vice-chairman and head of the retail and commercial bank.

Named a top 10 bank CEO by U.S. Banker magazine in 2006 and 2007, he was CEO of Mellon Financial Corporation until its merger with the Bank of New York Company.

J. Michael Evans

In 1984, Evans rowed his way to an Olympic gold medal as a member of Canada's men's eight crew.

Twenty-seven years later, he is bringing his competitive edge to bear as Goldman Sachs' new head of growth markets, where his estimated base salary for 2011 is $1.85 million.

Labelled Goldman Sachs' "new wonder boy"  in the Wall Street Journal, the 54-year-old Toronto native joined the firm from Salomon Brothers in 1993.

Mark Weisdorf

Former Bay Streeter Weisdorf is head of the infrastructure investment group of JP Morgan Asset Management, controlling up to $3.5 billion in client funds.

Prior to his arrival at JP Morgan, Weisdorf was vice-president for private market investments at the Canada Pension Plan Investment board.

The University of Toronto graduate was also head of investment banking and equity capital markets for HSBC Securities.

Ryan Reynolds poses for a portrait at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 14, 2010. ((Carlo Allegri/Associated Press))

Other Canadians have found fame on stage and screen in the United States.

Ryan Reynolds

People Magazine may have labelled Reynolds the sexiest man alive, but the Vancouver native has also attracted considerable comedic attention at the movie box office.

His last big film, The Proposal, was among the Top 20 movies for 2009 and grossed $164 million in the U.S. alone.

He's about to make a splash on the action front as the new Green Lantern.

Seth Rogen

Rogen, another Vancouver native, has also found a way to lure film fans to the theatre, with successful roles in Knocked Up and The Pineapple Express.

Now he's hitting the big screen again as the Green Hornet.

While he may not be the most conventional action star, he is holding his own with the top-grossing movie in the U.S. this year. The Green Hornet has taken in nearly $96 million domestically so far.

Justin Bieber

From Stratford, Ont., to the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and the Grammy Awards stage, the 17-year-old Bieber is as hot as it gets in the music industry.

The Bieb just scored his second No. 1 album on the Billboard's 200 this past week, and his concert movie has earned $64 million since it opened last month.

It's been a rapid rise for Bieber, who found early fans on YouTube, where his videos were spotted in 2008 by manager and record executive Scooter Braun.


Drake's first official album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's 200 last summer.

The 24-year-old from Toronto was ranked 11th by Forbes magazine on its annual hip-hop cash kings list.

The singer, who started out playing Jimmy Brooks on the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, earned $10 million last year alone.

And there are others whose fortunes have extended far beyond simple and humble beginnings.

Céline Dion

Céline Dion arrives before the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2011, in Los Angeles. ((Chris Pizzello/Associated Press))
From a modest childhood as the youngest in a family of 14 in Charlemagne, Que., the singer has soared to worldwide success, selling more than 200 million albums.

She's preparing to kick off another multi-year residency later this month performing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on a stage built for her.

Forbes magazine ranked Dion as the fifth richest woman in entertainment in 2007, with an estimated net worth of $250 million US.

Jeffrey Skoll

The Montreal-born founding president of internet auction house eBay has signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate to charity half of his worth, estimated at $2.4 billion.

In doing so, the University of Toronto engineering graduate who pumped gas to put himself through school joins a growing group of billionaires who say they will give away most of their cash to charitable causes.

In 2008, Forbes magazine put net worth of Skoll, who also founded Participant Media, the company behind films such as An Inconvenient Truth, at $3.6 billion.

Guy Laliberté

The founder and CEO of Cirque de Soleil started out as a fire-eating busker and by 2010 had a net worth of $2.5 billion as estimated by Forbes magazine.

In 2007, Ernst & Young named the Quebec City native Entrepreneur of the Year at three levels: Quebec, Canada and international.

The 51-year-old became the first Canadian space tourist  in 2009.