Brad Griffiths

 

Body of missing Bay Street investment banker found


Kim Mackrael and Paul Waldie

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jul. 23 2011, 8:22 PM EDT

Last updated Sunday, Jul. 24 2011, 7:28 PM EDT


The body of Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths has been recovered from the depths of Lake Joseph in Muskoka, Ont., about 200 kilometres north of Toronto.

Mr. Griffiths had been missing since Monday afternoon, when a neighbour spotted him in distress in the water, a few hundred metres from shore. His boat was driving in circles beside him, and police say they do not believe he was wearing a lifejacket.

After several days of scouring the lake, the West Parry Sound OPP suspended their search for Mr. Griffiths on Thursday, while a private company employed by his family continued to scan the lake for clues, using video and sonar equipment.

On Saturday morning, the OPP rejoined the company in the search. They found Mr. Griffiths’s body just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, 295 feet below the surface of the water.

He was still wearing his sunglasses and a pair of shorts, a family friend said.

Frank Bellotti, Mr. Griffiths’ business partner and friend, issued a statement on behalf of the Griffiths family on Saturday evening.

He said the family wanted to thank friends and associates who offered support during the week, as well as police and Shark Marine, the private company, for their search efforts. “The family also wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to the quick-thinking cottagers who first alerted emergency services that a boater was in distress,” the statement says.

An autopsy will be performed on Monday, Mr. Bellotti said.

Lake Joseph is one of three large lakes in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Its rocky shoreline is dotted with multimillion-dollar cottages, many of which combine dockside boathouses with expansive living quarters.

Mr. Griffiths’s cottage, which he purchased with his wife in 2005 for $4.9-million, sits on the shore on the north end of the lake, close to the spot where he was last seen.

Mr. Griffiths’s name is well known on Bay Street. He co-founded Griffiths McBurney & Partners in 1995, one of the most powerful independent investment banks in Canada. It is now know as GMP Capital Inc. . He left the firm in 1999. He had also been head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; vice-president of Gordon Capital Corp.; head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital; and managing director of capital markets at McFarlane Gordon.

More recently, he served as chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors at United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp., as well as chairman of Griffiths Energy International.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/body-of-missing-bay-street-investment-banker-found/article588023/

Body of missing Bay Street investment banker found


Kim Mackrael AND Paul Waldie

Globe and Mail Update

Published Saturday, Jul. 23, 2011 8:22PM EDT

Last updated Sunday, Jul. 24, 2011 7:28PM EDT

The body of Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths has been recovered from the depths of Lake Joseph in Muskoka, Ont., about 200 kilometres north of Toronto.

Mr. Griffiths had been missing since Monday afternoon, when a neighbour spotted him in distress in the water, a few hundred metres from shore. His boat was driving in circles beside him, and police say they do not believe he was wearing a lifejacket.

After several days of scouring the lake, the West Parry Sound OPP suspended their search for Mr. Griffiths on Thursday, while a private company employed by his family continued to scan the lake for clues, using video and sonar equipment.

On Saturday morning, the OPP rejoined the company in the search. They found Mr. Griffiths’s body just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, 295 feet below the surface of the water.

He was still wearing his sunglasses and a pair of shorts, a family friend said.

Frank Bellotti, Mr. Griffiths’ business partner and friend, issued a statement on behalf of the Griffiths family on Saturday evening.

He said the family wanted to thank friends and associates who offered support during the week, as well as police and Shark Marine, the private company, for their search efforts. “The family also wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to the quick-thinking cottagers who first alerted emergency services that a boater was in distress,” the statement says.

An autopsy will be performed on Monday, Mr. Bellotti said.

Lake Joseph is one of three large lakes in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Its rocky shoreline is dotted with multimillion-dollar cottages, many of which combine dockside boathouses with expansive living quarters.

Mr. Griffiths’s cottage, which he purchased with his wife in 2005 for $4.9-million, sits on the shore on the north end of the lake, close to the spot where he was last seen.

Mr. Griffiths’s name is well known on Bay Street. He co-founded Griffiths McBurney & Partners in 1995, one of the most powerful independent investment banks in Canada. It is now know as GMP Capital Inc. GMP-T. He left the firm in 1999. He had also been head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; vice-president of Gordon Capital Corp.; head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital; and managing director of capital markets at McFarlane Gordon.

More recently, he served as chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors at United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp., as well as chairman of Griffiths Energy International.

http://ecestats.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/body-of-missing-bay-street-investment-banker-found/article2107734/

 



Body of Bay Street financier recovered from lake


Postmedia News | July 25, 2011 8:02 AM ET
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By Theresa Tedesco and Christine Dobby

TORONTO — The body of Brad Griffiths, one of Bay Street’s most colourful and successful corporate financiers, was recovered on the weekend, days after he was seen falling out of his boat and struggling in the deep waters of Lake Joseph.

The 55-year-old businessman had been in a large Boston Whaler motorboat on the cottage country lake near Parry Sound, 200 kilometres north of Toronto, before he went missing at about 12:43 p.m. last Monday. An extensive search was launched by the Ontario Provincial Police, aided by the local fire department and a private diving company.

Late Saturday West Parry Sound Ontario Provincial Police confirmed his body had been recovered.

“On the morning of Saturday July 23, 2011 the deep dive company and the West Parry Sound OPP Marine Unit resumed the search and at 6:23 p.m. the body of an adult male was located at the scene at a depth of 295 feet.”

Police say the family was notified and later identified the 55-year-old businessman.

“A post mortem will be performed to determine the cause of death,” a police statement said.

Griffiths, who co-founded independent securities firm Griffiths, McBurney Partners (GMP) in 1995, owned a cottage he had rebuilt with an adjoining boathouse about six years ago. He would spend most summers there with his family.

A colleague at Griffiths Energy International Inc., where Griffiths was chairman of the board, said the businessman worked long hours and had taken time off at his cottage.

“It’s a definite shock,” Fred Zaziski, president of the privately held Canadian company that is pursuing oil concessions in Africa, told the National Post. “He works 18 hours a day, and he was going to spend a couple days up there to recharge. I know he liked fishing, so I suspect he was out to go fishing.”

Griffiths’ dramatic career took off after he helped establish GMP. Amid the large, bank-owned brokerage firms, GMP rose to the top ranks on Bay Street as an independent firm. At the same time, his reputation as a potent deal-maker began to solidify. A chartered accountant by training, he left the company in 2000, although it still bears his name.

During his 30 years in the investment business, Griffiths also worked as head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, a director and vice-president at Gordon Capital Corp., co-chairman and head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital and managing director of capital markets at institutional brokerage house McFarlane Gordon.

Most recently, Griffiths was chief financial officer and chairman at United Hunter Oil.

According to the West Parry Sound OPP, the police were called to assist in the search just before 1 p.m. last Monday after Griffiths’ boat was found with no operator aboard. A glove and shoes belonging to Griffiths were found.
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http://business.financialpost.com/2011/07/25/body-of-bay-street-financier-recovered-from-lake/

Griffiths Energy announces IPO, launches probe

Christine Dobby | November 24, 2011 9:54 AM ET

Griffiths Energy International Inc., the energy company the late Bay Street financier Brad Griffiths founded before his death, has announced plans for an initial public offering.

The Calgary-based company, which is exploring and developing oil and gas properties in the African country of Chad, filed a preliminary prospectus on Tuesday.

The company also disclosed that it recently struck an independent committee to investigate consulting agreements entered into by previous management and directors.

Griffiths Energy engaged in three years of negotiations with Chad before acquiring its three production sharing contracts (PSCs) in the southern part of the country between January and August of this year.

The area covering these interests was historically held by a consortium most recently led by ExxonMobil, the company said.

The independent committee, formed on Oct. 31, will investigate whether any laws were violated through consulting arrangements entered into between August 2009 and March 2011.

The arrangements were between the company and its subsidiaries and individuals with ties to foreign public officials “for the provision of services in respect of oil and gas operations in Chad,” the company said.

Griffiths Energy paid signing bonuses to the state of Chad of US$40-million each for the first two PSCs and US$13-million for the third PSC it acquired.

“It is management’s view that the signing bonuses…. reflect market prices, based on other contract acquisitions seen in the Republic of Chad,” the company said in the prospectus.

Griffiths Energy also noted that the current management and board of directors are new to the company, having replaced the former management team and joined the company from July to September of this year.

The prospectus, filed with the securities commissions of all the Canadian provinces except Quebec, did not set out an offering price or number of shares.

The company estimates its capital expenditure needs for the next 12 to 18 months at between $250-million and $400-million, it said in the prospectus.

Griffiths Energy has US$64.7-million ($67.8-million) on hand in cash and cash equivalents and plans to bring its Mangara Field property into production next year, it said.

Between its existing cash resources and cash flow from production, the company said it expects the net proceeds from the offering to be sufficient to fund its capital program for the next year to year and a half.

Mr. Griffiths co-founded independent securities firm Griffiths McBurney Partners (GMP) in 1995.

The 55-year-old had a cottage on Lake Joseph in Ontario’s Muskoka region and was vacationing there when he fell out of a boat and drowned in late July.

At the time, Mr. Griffiths was a director and chairman of the board at Griffiths Energy, which he founded in 2009.

Gary Guidry joined the company on July 1 and is the current president and CEO.

Canaccord Genuity Corp. is leading a syndicate underwriting the offering.

Correction: This story has been updated to specify that the independent committee is investigating whether consulting arrangements the company entered into violated any laws.
http://business.financialpost.com/2011/11/24/griffiths-energy-announces-ipo-independent-committee-investigation/