Merchants of Enterprise - Private Equity in Canada: The Colour and Controversy

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Private equity firms burst onto the investment scene in a big way over a decade ago but kept a low profile. When people saw big household names such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Yellow Pages being scooped up, they began to ask, who are those guys? Now, Merchants of Enterprise provides the answers.

Miriam Varadi, a professional investment advisor for more than 27 years, takes you behind the curtain and exposes the inner workings of private equity firms. Ms. Varadi's account is all the more authoritative because she gained unprecedented on-the-record access to many of the biggest deal-makers in private equity. Private equity is a global industry, and this book presents the global picture. But Ms. Varadi writes from the vantage point of Canada. Canada was the scene of the world's biggest attempted leveraged buyout by a private equity group, the aborted $52 billion BCE deal. Canada is also home to some of the world's most sophisticated private institutional investors. The book deals with the vital issues raised by private equity. Why did it often outperform public markets? How does private equity compare to public markets? Did it contribute to the meltdown? This easy-to-understand book will be of interest not only to entrepreneurs, investors and their advisors, but also to everyone concerned with the health of our financial system.

Get answers to these questions:

  • Why is private equity gaining ground
  • Is it a worthwhile investment choice
  • Does it outperform public stocks
  • What are the new rules of the game
  • What are the risks and rewards
  • Who are the suitable investors
  • Who are the current participants
  • How does one gain entry into this market
  • Where does Canada stand in this new field
  • Does private equity have a future

Reviews by experts:

  • The definitive Canadian resource on everything Private Equity did, does and will do. A must read before you invest one dollar in any private equity deal.
    Kevin O'Leary, Chairman O'Leary Funds, TV Co-Host on CBC's Lang/O'Leary Exchange & Dragon's Den and ABC'S Shark Tank

  • Miriam Varadi understands Private Equity in Canada and she has laid it out clearly and intelligently for everyone interested in this important part of our financial marketplace. If you are interested in Private Equity this is a must read.
    Gerald W. Schwartz, Chairman & CEO, Onex Corporation

  • Miriam takes a relatively unknown industry and through a series of detailed interviews, simplifies it to make it understandable to the reader. I believe it is a Canadian first and well worth the read.
    Brent Belzberg, Senior Managing Partner, TorQuest Partners Inc.

  • Having become the first author to chronicle the history and progression of Canadian private equity, Varadi has immediately vaulted herself to become the authority on the subject. Her natural story telling ability combines elegantly with the expertise of a sophisticated investment executive. The result is a highly informative and enjoyable treatise on Canadian private equity that reads like a cross between a Josh Lerner textbook and a Peter C. Newman page turner. Bravo Miriam!
    Bruce M. Rothney, Deputy Chairman, RBC Capital Markets

  • In Merchants of Enterprise, Miriam Varadi brings much needed clarity and accessibility to the opportunities and challenges of the Private Equity market in Canada. For business students and investors considering broadening their investment portfolio, Merchants is a helpful resource that delivers straight-forward insight and knowledge. I particularly applaud Miriam's informal and easy-to-read format, enlivened with personal experiences and conversations that help shine a light of understanding on this important financial market, even as it continues to evolve.
    Carol Stephenson Lawrence, G. Tapp, Chair in Leadership Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario

About the Fidrisk collection

Carswell is publishing a series of books on fiduciary risk. The collection aims to foster better understanding of a risk that affects a fast-growing part of world savings. With securities such as shares, bonds, money market instruments, and derivatives weighing far in excess of the world stock of bank deposits, fiduciary risk has now surpassed credit risk as the mother of all financial risks. Also known as agency risk, it is the probability of breaching the investor's trust by negatively affecting the performance of a portfolio. Solvency and reliability are two sides of the same coin, somebody can be reliable without being creditworthy and someone else can be creditworthy without being trustworthy.

Since 2000, the financial crisis has opened a whole new vista in the quest for a genuine financial equilibrium between credit and fiduciary risk. And this is what this collection is all about; the risk of trust. The potential applications of fiduciary risk analysis go beyond traditional finance, they also incorporate governance of all types of institutions, including not-for-profit organizations. This is why we invite contributions to the collection from all those who wish to explore the boundaries between credit and fiduciary operations.


Practice Area:
Commercial law & contracts


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