Michael Wekerle started his career on the floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange and rose to become one of the best institutional traders in Canada. A veteran of the capital markets, he is known for his shrewd value spotting across multiple sectors—most recently in the fields of technology and media. He is the co-founder and chair of the specialty finance firm Difference Capital Financial Inc., whose holdings include such successful growth companies as Hootsuite, Vision Critical, BuildDirect and Blue Ant Media.
Before launching Difference Capital, Michael was a partner and co-founder of Griffiths McBurney & Partners (now GMP Securities), which grew to become Canada’s leading independent investment dealer. Foreseeing major changes in the financial services industry, particularly for independent firms, he shifted his focus away from Bay Street and onto other sectors, most notably real estate and technology. Following the 2008 financial collapse, he began buying distressed real estate in the U.S., including many commercial properties in South Florida. The investments saw triple-digit returns. In anticipation of a resurgent tech sector, he bought an impressive portfolio of former BlackBerry buildings in Waterloo, Ontario. In early 2015, Michael acquired the El Mocambo, an iconic Toronto music venue that is currently being transformed into a cutting-edge entertainment and production facility. He is also a partner in the Canadian franchise of Wahlburgers—Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg’s Boston-based burger chain.
Michael lives in Toronto and is a doting father to six children. He donates millions of dollars to a wide variety of philanthropic interests, including UHN, CAMH, SickKids and Holland Bloorview, as well as the youth outreach organization Seeds of Hope and the acclaimed Baroque opera company Opera Atelier. Michael appears frequently on national television and radio programs, and is a popular public speaker, often sharing valuable insights on stock market trends, real estate investment, and the growth of the tech industry. He is currently featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, highlighting his entrepreneurial spirit.
01 THURS NOV 17 3:00-3:45pm Piccadilly Room : KEYNOTE: MICHAEL WEKERLE.