W. Brett Wilson is one of Canada’s most successful businessmen and respected philanthropists. A high profile Calgarian who proudly wears the label “maverick”, Brett is one of the founding partners of Calgary’s FirstEnergy Capital Corp. He helped turn an intrepid start-up into the energy industry’s leading investment bank, which has brokered thousands of financings and M&A deals worth over $150 billion. Brett’s instincts for investing in the right people have also translated into major holdings in the energy, agriculture, real estate, sports, and entertainment industries, financed through his private investment bank, Prairie Merchant.
His personal charisma and small-town charm have gained him a national audience, a platform he uses to inspire his brand of “prairie ethics” – focused on personal integrity, a commitment to community, and work/life balance. Brett uses his own larger-than-life story to illustrate what he has learned about the real meaning of success.
A self-described “capitalist with a heart”, Brett spends almost as much time giving money away as he does earning it. With an innovative approach to philanthropy, he has given – and engaged others to give – tens of millions to non-profit initiatives.
According to Alberta Venture Magazine, who named Brett Business Person of the Year in 2009, “he is single-handedly redefining the meaning of success in work-and wealth-obsessed Calgary.” His commitment to excellence and innovation has not only revolutionized the business sector in which he operates, but the community in which he lives, inspiring others to see how they can leave an equally unique mark on the world.