Monthly Archive: April 2021

Patience and persistence

Regular readers know how much I enjoy a well-written memoir by a business leader. Such a book is “Lessons Learned on Bay Street: The Sale Begins When the Customer Says No,” by Donald K. Johnson. Johnson’s distinguished career as an investment banker started in 1963 at Burns Bros. and Denton and continued through various mergers until he became president of Burns Fry and then vice-chair of BMO Nesbitt Burns. Now eighty-five, he’s as active as ever. Johnson’s grandparents, on both sides of the family, moved from Iceland to Manitoba in the 1880s as did many others after a volcanic eruption....

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The next best thing

I’ve just completed an extensive project, Volume Five of the history of CIBC, covering the years 1973-1999. Four other authors wrote the previous four volumes, one of whom was Arnold Edinborough, editor and publisher of Saturday Night, so I am in good company. Research for the commissioned book included lengthy periods poring over the bank’s archives as well as conducting 150 interviews with people who worked at the bank and others who had relationships with the institution during that era. The book will be published by ECW Press later this year. This is my twentieth book in the nearly forty...

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Everywhere a sign

To quote Geoffrey Chaucer, “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote (When April with its sweet-smelling showers) The droghte of March hath perced to the roote.” (Has pierced the drought of March to the root).” Beginning at 4 a.m. coyotes bay at the rising half moon that lights up the early morning sky. Once dawn has fully arrived, we notice more activity in the pond. The pair of mallards that were there yesterday has been joined by two pairs of hooded mergansers, preening and diving beneath the water for breakfast. Compared with the mallards, the mergansers appear tiny, but both...

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