Wellington Financial Endows Technology Evaluation Scholarship at University of Toronto
I’ll let you in on a little secret before the press release goes out. We are announcing later today that our charitable foundation and the Rotman School of Management have established the Wellington Financial LP Award in Technology Evaluation & Analysis in honour of Joseph L. Rotman, O.C. at the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto was named Canada’s most innovative university and among the top 50 innovative universities in the world, according to a 2015 Reuters report.
Given our deep connection to the Canadian innovation economy, we endowed this scholarship to encourage students to gain a better understanding about how to analyze innovation companies. The better young Canadians are at evaluating firms in the innovation economy, the more inclined they may be to join the venture space. With more young talent joining our industry, it should make for a better fundraising climate down the road for Canadian entrepreneurs. This is our second such University scholarship, which should give you a sense of our commitment to building the venture space in Canada.
Joe Rotman was instrumental in the establishment of our firm in 2000, and Clairvest Group Inc., the merchant bank he founded and led for many years, has been our partner ever since. He was a huge fan of both Western and UofT.
This newly endowed scholarship will be awarded this December to an MBA or engineering student who has demonstrated a passion for technology or has experience in the venture space, and who has been recognized for their strong leadership skills. Via this new endowed scholarship, Wellington Financial will continue to support the University of Toronto’s students in these two faculties, as well as Canada’s venture sector, in perpetuity.
Western has already awarded the first scholarship prize to one of its Engineering students (see prior post “Western Engineering student receives Wellington Financial’s Award in Technology Evaluation & Analysis” Jan. 15-16), and we are excited about the chance to work with these talented individuals down the road.
As Chairman of Roy-L Capital Corporation, a private family investment company, Joe invested in a number of private and public companies active in oil, merchant banking, real estate and venture capital. In 1997, the University of Toronto’s School of Management was re-named in his honour. Joe passed away in January of 2015, and in 2016, the Rotman family made a transformational gift to the Rotman School of Management, which helped establish the Rotman Catalyst Fund. Today, the fund is used to finance innovative initiatives that transform management education.
Joe is deeply missed, both at our firm and household; words can’t do justice to the impact he had on so many people across our country. He was passionate about so many things, including commercializing research and technology advancements in and around University campuses. Joe was always interested in how our team evaluated money-losing innovation companies, which required such a different skill set than he brought to bear in his wide array of successful investments over the course of his remarkable career.
One can never match Joe’s philanthropy, but I’d like to think he’d be delighted that firms such as ours are doing what we can to encourage the next generation of risk capital investors.