Frank Giustra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frank Giustra
Born 1957 (age 58–59)
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Residence West Vancouver
Citizenship Canadian
Alma mater Douglas College
Occupation business executive
Known for founding Lions Gate Entertainment
Spouse(s) Alison Lawton (2000-2007)
Children son, daughter
Parent(s) Giuseppe and Domenica Giustra

Frank Giustra (born 1957) is a Canadian business executive, who has been particularly successful in the mining and filmmaking industries, and is a noted philanthropist.

Early life[edit]

Giustra was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada in 1957, and lived in Italy and Argentina as a child.[1] Giustra spent his middle school years in Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada, and graduated high school there in 1976. Giustra's father was a Sudbury nickel miner, who introduced his son to his broker. He graduated in 1979 from Douglas College where he spent his first year playing trumpet in the school's music program before switching over to business and finance.

Investment industry[edit]

Giustra took a securities course and began his career in the investment industry in 1978 with Merrill Lynch as an assistant trader and then a stockbroker. In the early 1980s, Giustra left Merrill Lynch to create a resources-financing group in Europe for the new firm Yorkton Securities. He is said to have "transformed Yorkton into a major force in the world of international mining finance."[2] In 1990, he became President of the company and, in 1995, was appointed Chairman and CEO. From 2001 to 2007, Giustra was Chair of Endeavour Financial, a merchant banking firm which financed mining companies. Mr. Giustra is now Chief Executive Officer of Fiore Financial Corporation, an exclusive advisory services provider to Endeavour Mining Corporation,[3] a gold mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


The Radcliffe Foundation was established in 1997 by Giustra, who holds the position of president. The Vancouver-based foundation supports a wide variety of international and local charities. Focusing on issues ranging from disaster relief, economic development and homelessness to offering children around the world hope for a better future, The Radcliffe Foundation has been contributing to improving livelihoods worldwide for over a decade.

Internationally, the Radcliffe Foundation helps to fund a number of organizations with a common interest in enhancing understanding and empowering people. In June 2007, Giustra launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership with U.S. President Bill Clinton, an innovative partnership between William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs to increase the scope, scale, impact, and sustainability of social and economic development efforts in areas where poverty is widespread.[4] CGSGI aims to alleviate poverty in the developing world in partnership with the global mining community. Along with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, these two prominent philanthropists have pledged a minimum of $100 million each toward the effort.

On June 17, 2010, Mr. Giustra teamed up again with Carlos Slim and President Clinton to create a $20 million fund that will finance small businesses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.[5]

The Radcliffe Foundation has contributed $30 million towards the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), which works with governments and other partners to increase access to high-quality care and treatment for HIV-positive people.

In 2005, the Radcliffe Foundation began supporting the International Crisis Group,[6] an independent organization working to prevent and resolve deadly conflict on five continents through analysis and high-level advocacy. Mr. Giustra's philanthropic motives and connects to President Bill Clinton have been questioned. A New York Times article published January 31, 201: highlighted a trip made by Mr. Giustra and the former US President to Khazakistan where they dined with Khazakistan President Nursultan A. Naarbayev, who is known for his poor human rights record and facilitating rigged elections. Following the meeting Mr. Giustra's company signed an agreement to buy the rights to several uranium projects from a state-owned uranium industry. Shortly after, Mr. Giustra gave Clinton's charitable foundation a $31.4 million gift.[7]

With the personal support of Mr. Giustra and contributions totaling $10 million, today, the International Crisis Group is now generally recognized as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Mr. Giustra sits on the executive committee of the International Crisis Group.

The Radcliffe Foundation has been working closely with the Vancouver Foundation and the City of Vancouver on a program called Streetohome. Established in 2008, Streetohome is the first broad community-based initiative which brings together stakeholders from various sectors - non-profits, civil society groups, business, governments and citizens – in order to effectively address homelessness in Vancouver. Mr. Giustra sits on the Board of Streetohome Foundation and chairs the capital campaign. To show his dedication, Mr. Giustra donated $5 million in 2010.[8]

In Vancouver and surrounding communities in British Columbia, the Radcliffe Foundation maintains a strong philanthropic presence, as demonstrated by their support of a diverse base of charities and organizations. Among the long list of local charities supported by the Radcliffe Foundation are: BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place – Pediatric Hospice, Templeton Education Foundation, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, as well as various art and theater programs for children.

Lionsgate Entertainment, Thunderbird Films and Sea to Sky Entertainment[edit]

After he left investment banking in 1996, Giustra formed Lions Gate Entertainment in 1997, and served as Chairman from 1997-2003.[9] He hoped to capitalize on the growing film industry in Vancouver. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors. Its first success was American Psycho, which began a trend of producing and distributing films far too controversial for the major American studios. Other successes included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which turned out to be the studio's highest grossing film. In 2000, Giustra left the firm and it was taken over by Jon Feltheimer and Michael Burns. Giustra sold most of his stake in Lionsgate in 2003.

In December 2010, Giustra returned to Lionsgate Entertainment as a member of the Board of Directors.[10] In March 2012, he launched a new joint venture with Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films, called Sea to Sky Entertainment, which will focus on projects in the television industry.

September 2014, Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films, where Mr. Giustra is both a director and investor, purchased UK Soda Pictures Inc. In April 2013 Thunderbird Films, who has a partnership with Lionsgate to run a TV studio, purchased Renunion Pictures for an undisclosed sum to bolster its one-hour drama production capacity. The deal is Thunderbird's latest move to turn the distribution and rights management company into a major film and TV production player in Canada and abroad. Lionsgate founder Frank Giustra is a major shareholder who largely orchestrated the 50-50 joint venture Sea to Sky Entertainment with Lionsgate.

Other work[edit]

Mr. Giustra is President and CEO of Fiore Financial Corporation, a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments. Mr. Giustra has an established track record of building natural resource companies through access to capital and creative deal-making. Fiore Financial provides advisory services to Endeavour Mining Corporation,[3] a gold mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Vancouver Magazine for numerous years has ranked Giustra in the Power 50 list of the most powerful people in Vancouver.[11]

Giustra is a co-owner of Thunderbird Films. In August 2011, it was announced,[12] by Alcon Entertainment that Ridley Scott will direct the new Blade Runner film. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. He also formed Sea to Sky Entertainment.[13]

Mr. Giustra became close with former US President Bill Clinton during fundraising efforts for tsunami relief in 2004. Giustra is a member of the board of trustees of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra provided his corporate jet for Clinton's fundraising campaign in Africa. The two play the card game Oh Hell during flights.

In September 2005, Giustra flew Clinton to Kazakhstan as part of a three-country philanthropic tour. Clinton praised the Kazakh autocrat for "this statement you have made about opening up the social and political life [of Kazakhstan]". Within two days of the former President's meeting with Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Giustra's fledgling uranium company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by the state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom. "The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers."[14][15]

In 2006, in the months after Mr. Clinton's visit helped secure Giustra's company the right to mine uranium in Kazakhstan, Mr. Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.[14] This figure is at variance with the one released by the William J. Clinton Foundation (on the 18 December 2008), as part of an arrangement with President-elect Barack Obama. It reports Frank Giustra as giving between US$10–25 million.[16]

In February 2007, a company called Uranium One agreed to pay US$3.1 billion to acquire UrAsia. Giustra, a director and major shareholder in UrAsia, would be paid $7.05 per share for a company that just two years earlier was trading at 10 cents per share.[14]

In May 2007 Giustra was one of four chairs of the 2006 Global Leadership Awards dinner in New York where Clinton was honoured along with out-going UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

In June 2007, Giustra joined with Clinton to launch the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership to address global poverty. Giustra committed $USD 100 million plus half of what he makes in the resource industry for the rest of his life. Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican businessman and richest person in the world, made a matching contribution and Giustra is expected to enlist others in the Canadian resource industry.

Giustra is frequently quoted regarding gold and currency markets in publications such as Forbes,, and

Giustra cited Andrew Carnegie as an influence in his philanthropy but credited his wife, Alison Lawton, a dot-com millionaire turned human rights activist and producer of documentary films on humanitarian crises, with inspiring him about sustainable growth.[17]

Giustra is also a director of the International Crisis Group, an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts through high-level advocacy.

Recently, Mr. Giustra started Fiore Music, and Westsonic Music, and spends much of his time writing lyrics. He is also a guest blogger on the Huffington Post, under Dear Rich People.

Personal life[edit]

In 2000, Giustra married Alison Lawton, an investor and producer of documentary films on humanitarian crises. Giustra and Lawton divorced in 2007 and have two children together.[18] They live in West Vancouver.


  1. ^ Archived Profile: Frank Giustra
  2. ^ The Pursuit of the Wealth for the Greater Good, by Patrick Brethour, Andy Hoffman, Sinclair Stewart, Globe and Mail, June 22, 2007
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Foundation for Renewable Energy & Environment" Frank Giustra,, Retrieved on July 19, 2012
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Becker, Jo (January 31, 2013). "After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Funding Universe" Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation History, Retrieved on July 19, 2012
  10. ^
  11. ^ The Vancouver Power 50 2011 by Vancouver Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, December 1, 2011
  12. ^
  13. ^ Frank Giustra launches Sea to Sky Entertainment Globe & Mail, The Globe and Mail, Last updated Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2012 5:28PM EDT
  14. ^ a b c An Ex-President, a Mining Deal and a Big Donor, By JO BECKER and DON VAN NATTA Jr., New York Times: January 31, 2008
  15. ^ Clinton hails Kazakhstan's planned reformsAFP: September 7, 2005
  16. ^ Contributor Information to the William J. Clinton Foundation
  17. ^ Huge donation
  18. ^ Archived Profile: Alison Lawton, human rights activist and documentary filmmaker

External links[edit]