Mark S. Bonham
Mark S. Bonham
|Born||Guelph, Ontario, Canada|
|Occupation||President, Bonham & Co. Inc.|
Mark Stephen Bonham is a Canadian businessman, philanthropist, writer, and LGBTQ activist. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and the Benefactor of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. He was named a Global OUTstanding LGBTQ Business Leader by the Financial Times of London (UK) in 2017. He founded two of Canada’s early mutual fund companies, BPI Financial Corporation and Strategic Value Corporation.
Early Life & Education
Mark S. Bonham was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the son of Ralph Albert William Bonham and Kathleen (née Riach). He spent his childhood years in the towns of Guelph, Tiverton and Hepworth in Ontario, before moving to Elliot Lake, Ontario where he attended Elliot Lake Secondary School. He completed his undergraduate studies in economics, accounting and business at the University of Toronto, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1982. He continued graduate studies in Economics, specializing in Capital Markets Theory, at the London School of Economics and obtained his Masters of Science in Economics degree in 1986.
Mark S. Bonham joined Canada Life Financial in the Investment Division on a part-time basis during his undergraduate years, and full-time in 1982. His work included administering the company’s portfolio of Segregated Funds. He left Canada Life to pursue his graduate degree in 1984. On returning to Canada in 1986, Mark co-founded the mutual fund management company BPI Financial Corporation and served as its President & Chief Executive Officer. BPI grew by internal growth and through acquisition, including The Walywn Series of Funds (1988, $77 million of assets) of Toronto, MK Wong Asset Management (1989, $95 million of assets) of Vancouver, and Bolton Tremblay Funds Inc. (1994, $188 million of assets) of Toronto and Montreal. Mark took BPI public in 1991 on the Alberta Stock Exchange under the Junior Capital Pool Program (being the first financial firm to use this program). BPI Financial graduated to the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1992. Mark Bonham sold his position in the company and left BPI Financial Corporation in 1995 after it reached $3.6 billion in assets under management and was the fourteenth largest fund company in Canada. He founded the mutual fund management company Strategic Value Corporation in September 1995 and became President and Chief Executive Officer. He took the company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1996. Strategic Value acquired Laurentian Funds Management Inc. from the Desjardins Group in May 1997 ($1.8 billion of assets). In June 1999, Strategic Value Corporation acquired O’Donnell Investment Management Corporation of Toronto ($1.2 billion of assets)  and was renamed SVC O’Donnell Corporation. In 2000, SVC O’Donnell was purchased by Nova Bancorp Group, a unit of the Quebec pension plan Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, when the company had $3.3 billion of assets under management. Mark S. Bonham departed the company and continued investment management, consulting and advisory services with Bonham & Co. Inc. From 2003-2008, he was co-owner and President of Stoney Ridge Estate Winery located in Vineland, Ontario, Canada.
Community Activity and Philanthropy
Mark S Bonham has been an active philanthropist in education, the arts, health and the LGBTQ community.
- Endowed the Bonham Centre for Finance, two chairs in finance, and created the Bonham Scholarship at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in 2001.
- Donated $2.6 million to Casey House (Toronto) in 2000 for its home care service and to expand its facilities.
- Provided the lead donation to the Inside Out Film and Video Festival in 2001(the largest LGBTQ film festival in Canada) to establish its endowment, being the largest single donation to a Canadian film festival to date. He remains a member of the Advisory Board.
- Endowed the Mark S. Bonham Teaching Fellowship in LGBTQ studies at the University of Toronto in 2001.
- Endowed the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto in 2006.
- Lead donor and capital campaign member for the expansion of [ Casey House (Toronto) Casey House Hospital] which opened in 2017.
- Co-chaired the capital campaign for the first LGBTQ homeless youth centre in Toronto in 2017.
- Board member and Chair of the Board of Directors, The Toronto Botanical Garden.
- Member of the Leadership Board, City of Toronto Ravine Strategy Committee since 2017.
- Board member and Chair, Finance Committee of the children’s charity We Are The Villagers.
- Co-founder, Board Member and Secretary-Treasurer, The Canadian Business History Association.
- Member of the Administrative Council, University of Toronto (2002-2005).
- Chair of the Chancellor’s Awards Committee, University of Toronto (2000-2005).
In addition to the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, Mark founded the LGBTQ biographical website and database QueerBio.com.
Mark S. Bonham is a contributing editor to The Canadian Encyclopedia on the financial industry. He has authored several books on LGBTQ issues and the study of business history:
- ‘’Champions: Biographies of Global LGBTQ Pioneers’’ (2014, ISBN 97809939600-1-7 Search this book on .)
- ‘’Notables: 101 Global LGBTQ People Who Changed the World’’ (2015, ISBN 97809939600-2-4 Search this book on .)
- ‘’A Path to Diversity: LGBTQ Participation in the Working World’’ (2017, ISBN 97809939600-3-1 Search this book on .)
- ‘’Becoming 150: 150 Years of Canadian Business History’’ (2018, ISBN 97809939600-4-8 Search this book on .)
Awards and Recognition
Mark S. Bonham has received several awards and recognitions for his work:
- OUTstanding Global LGBTQ Business Leader, The Financial Times of London (UK) and OUTstanding (2017).
- Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service (2016).
- Inaugural recipient of the Alumni of Influence Award, University College, Toronto (2012).
- Hope & Freedom Award, Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (2012).
- Ontario Sports Award for contribution to Cycling (2002, 2003).
- Livestrong Foundation Award for fundraising (2002).
- Arbour Award for Outstanding Voluntary Service, University of Toronto (1999).
- The Wall Street Transcript, May 17, 1999
- Strategic Value Corporation, Annual Report, 1997 page 3
- Shakeup in Mutual Fund Industry, The Globe & Mail, April 15, 1999
- Nova Bancorp Buys Toronto Firm, The Globe & Mail, March 11, 2000
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