Gerry Schwartz

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Gerry Schwartz
Born (1941-11-24) November 24, 1941 (age 74)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Ethnicity Jewish
Alma mater University of Manitoba
Harvard University
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Heather Reisman (1982–present)
Children 4

Gerald W. Schwartz, OC (born 1941 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is the founder, chairman and CEO of Onex Corporation.

Early life and career[edit]

Schwartz graduated from Kelvin High School in Winnipeg. He received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Manitoba[1] where he became an active brother of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity. He later received an MBA degree from Harvard University in 1970.[2]

In the 1970s, Schwartz worked at Bear Stearns.[3] In 1976, his mentor Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. left, followed by Henry Kravis and George Roberts.[2] The trio later founded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.[2] Schwartz left Bear Stearns shortly afterward and returned to Canada.[2] Along with Izzy Asper, Schwartz co-founded CanWest Global Communications in 1977.

In 1983, Schwartz founded Onex Corporation. Serving as its CEO and majority shareholder, Schwartz grew the company into one of the largest in Canada.

Schwartz has been a director of Scotiabank since 1999. In 2015, Schwartz's net worth was estimated at $1.78 billion, making him the 26th wealthiest person in Canada.[3] As of 2015, he was the highest paid CEO in Canada.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1982, Schwartz married Heather Reisman, Chief Executive of Indigo Books and Music.[citation needed] Schwartz has two children from his first marriage and two stepchildren from his marriage to Heather Reisman.[citation needed] The couple are members of the Reform synagogue, Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.[5] Schwartz and Reisman own the most expensive house in Toronto, valued at $28 million.[6]


The Gerald Schwartz School of Business at St. Francis Xavier University was named in his honour in recognition of his donations to the university.[citation needed] In 2005, he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2005 Ontario Lifetime Achievement award.[7] In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[1]


The gold, silver and bronze medals for top academic standing in the JD/MBA program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Rotman School of Management are named after Schwartz.[citation needed]

In 2005, he and Reisman started a scholarship program for IDF lone soldiers called the Heseg Foundation.[8] In 2006, he made a donation to University of Waterloo for an exchange program between University of Waterloo and the University of Haifa.[9]

In 2013, Schwartz and Reisman donated $15 million to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Gerald W. Schwartz Profile". Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Canada's very own private-equity giant Onex quietly tops returns of big-name U.S. rivals". Financial Post. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  3. ^ a b "Gerald Schwartz". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Canada’s highest paid CEO, Gerald Schwartz of Onex, made $88 million in 2013". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  5. ^ Jewish Women's Archive: Heather Reisman by Michael Brown retrieved April 1, 2012
  6. ^ "The most expensive house in Toronto? Fort Schwartz". Yahoo Finance Canada. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  7. ^ "Meet the winners". Ernst & Young. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Q&A: Why United Church activists are targeting Israel". National Post. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  9. ^ "Waterloo, Technion partner to advance research, commercialization". Waterloo News. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  10. ^ Ballingall, Alex; LePage, Michelle (2013-12-05). "Toronto couple’s gift will expand the hospital’s patient volume.". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-11-18.