Jamaican-Born, Toronto Multi-Millionaire Philanthropist Passes On

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The late G. Raymond Chang.

News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Mon. July 28, 2014: He’s been named among the most ‘Outstanding Philanthropist’ by the Toronto chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, having donated upwards of $200 million. On Sunday morning, the Jamaican-born, Toronto-based businessman and philanthropist breathed his last breath.

G. Raymond Chang, OJ, OC, the founder of CI Financial, now the second largest publicly traded fund company in Canada, passed away at his home in Canada on July 27th according to Jamaica media reports, after struggling with an illness.  He was 65.

Chang was born in Kingston, Jamaica of Chinese parents and immigrated to Canada in 1967.

He earned an engineering degree from the University of Toronto and went on to earn his qualifications as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst and pursued a career in finance. He worked for Coopers & Lybrand until 1984 when he joined CI Financial as Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.

He was promoted to COO and President in 1996, becoming President and CEO in 1998 and then Chairman and CEO from 1999 to 2010 but remained a Director on the CI Board.

Chang oversaw the company’s growth from a small money manager with $5 million in assets to Canada’s second-largest fund company, with more than $92 billion in  fee-earning assets.

Chang also owned an investment holding company, G. Raymond Chang Ltd., and founded software firm Mercatus Technologies Inc. and was also a shareholder and board member of various other Canadian and Jamaican companies.

Over the years Chang has anonymously donated millions to health and education. He donated $5 million to Ryerson University, Toronto, where the school of continuing education is named after him and he is also chancellor.

He gave a total of $7 million to fund research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation has a teaching chair for internal medicine named after his parents, Gladstone and Maisie. And he’s been good for a million here or there to the Royal Ontario Museum, his alma mater high school, the St. George’s College, an institution founded by the Jesuits in Kingston, Jamaica and the University of the West Indies.

As he told the Toronto Star in 2011: ““It’s not about the recognition. I really am not doing anything different than my grandfather, or father who always gave back. They just did things and they didn’t expect anything back. It wasn’t something to talk about.”

In 2003 Chang was honored with the Jamaica Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Services to Jamaica and was appointed a Director of GraceKennedy Limited on March 17, 2004 and was also a member of the Board of GraceKennedy companies – GraceKennedy Financial Group Limited, First Global Holdings Limited and First Global Bank Limited.

In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University and a year later, was bestowed the honor of becoming Ryerson’s  third Chancellor.

In 2007, Mr. Chang received an honorary doctorate from UWI and also funded a Chair in Family Medicine at the University.

He was conferred the Order of Jamaica in 2011.

Chang also received numerous awards from various communities and organizations, in Canada and the Caribbean.

In April 2014, Chang entered a friendly impromptu bidding war with fellow Jamaican, Michael Lee-Chin at the University of the West Indies (UWI) fundraising banquet at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto.

The two ended up paying a total of $40,000 for The Voice’s Tessanne Chin to sing at the ball.

In June 2014 he was awarded the Order Of Canada.

Chang is survived by his second wife, Donette Chin-Loy and two children from a previous marriage.

 

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