Prem Watsa: Canadian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist (1950-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Prem Watsa
Canadian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist

Prem Watsa

Prem Watsa
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Canadian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist
A.K.A. V. Prem Watsa, Vivan Prem Watsa
Is Businessperson Investor Business executive Financial professional Financier
From Canada
Field Business Finance
Gender male
Birth 1950, Hyderabad, India
Age 73 years
University of Western Ontario Master of Business Administration
Indian Institute of Technology Madras Bachelor of Science
Member of the Order of Canada  
Padma Shri in trade and industry 2020
The details (from wikipedia)


Prem Watsa CM (born 1950) is an Indo - Canadian billionaire businessman who is the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, based in Toronto. He has been called the "Canadian Warren Buffett."He was given the Padma Shri Award, the fourth Highest civilian award in India, in January 2020.

Early life and education

Watsa was born in Hyderabad, India in a family of Roman catholic brahmin heritage. He attended Hyderabad Public School and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras where he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. He later moved to London, Ontario and went to the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario where he earned an MBA. Watsa left India with INR 8, sold furnaces and air conditioners to financially support his university education. He is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras.


After graduating, Watsa worked for the insurance company Confederation Life. In 1984, he started an investment firm with his former boss Tony Hamblin, called Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel. In 1985, Watsa took over Markel Financial, a small Canadian trucking insurance company that was verging on bankruptcy, and renamed it Fairfax Financial Holdings. He helped grow the company, where it reached annual revenues of $8 billion a year in 2012. Despite his success, he largely stayed out of the public eye, only beginning to hold investor conference calls in 2001.

On 22 January 2012, it was reported he was to be appointed to the board of directors of Research In Motion (RIM) in the company's largest ever corporate shakeup. Watsa resigned in August 2013, but kept his investment in the company. On 23 September 2013, BlackBerry announced that it had signed a letter of intent to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings in a $4.7 billion deal.

In April 2017, Watsa brought attention to concerns of a real estate bubble in Toronto. He asserts that most Canadian banks cannot survive a 50% drop in the value of real estate. "It's going to come down, and a lot of people are going to get hurt" said Watsa during Fairfax's annual general meeting.


He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Hospital for Sick Children, a member of the Advisory Board for the Richard Ivey School of Business, a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul's Anglican Church.

In June 2009, he was appointed as the ninth chancellor of the University of Waterloo.

He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.

In September 2017, he was elected as the first chancellor of Huron University College.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 30 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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