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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CALGARY -- Prominent Alberta investment banker and former Arizona Coyotes co-owner George Gosbee died suddenly on Sunday and his passing sent shockwaves through the tightknit Calgary business community.

Mr. Gosbee, age 48, was co-founder and chief executive officer of AltaCorp Capital Inc., a Calgary-based investment bank that is partly owned by the provincial government through the Alberta Treasury Branches. He was also a founding director at Alberta Investment Management Co., the provincial pension fund, and served as an economic adviser to the federal Liberals and Conservatives. "George was a force in the investment community and his loss will be felt by many," AltaCorp said in a statement.

The company announced that Paul Sarachman, president of Altacorp, would take over as CEO.

Mr. Sarachman said in a statement: "The AltaCorp family is deeply saddened by George's passing."

Calgary-based investment banker and entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson, a veteran of CBC's Dragons' Den, said in an e-mail, "George was a competitor and friend - and a great entrepreneur - a true loss for Calgary, for Alberta and for Canada."

Mr. Gosbee was a former co-owner of the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes.

He led a group of Calgary business executives who bought the troubled team in 2013, after it had filed for creditor protection, but the group sold a controlling interest to hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway in 2014.

"George was a tremendous person and passionate hockey fan who played a key role in keeping the Coyotes in Arizona," Mr. Barroway said in a news release.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends." NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on social media: "George stepped up at a time when this franchise needed him most.

"He and his partners created an opportunity for the Coyotes to carve a long-term future ... an opportunity that may not have existed without them."

Born in Kingston, Ont., Mr. Gosbee moved to Alberta as a child and earned a business degree at the University of Calgary. He survived a brain tumour at the age of 22.

He joined investment bank Peters & Co., which focuses on the oil patch, in the early 1990s, then worked at a number of independent dealers.

Mr. Gosbee co-founded Tristone Capital Inc. in 2000 and subsequently sold the firm to Australia's Macquarie Bank for $130-million in 2009, then launched AltaCorp. in 2010.

He also served as a director at TMX Group Ltd. for three years and spent two years on the board of Chrysler Group LLC, from 2009 to 2011, representing the Ontario and Canadian governments as the auto maker was restructured following the global financial crisis.

An active philantropist, Mr. Gosbee volunteered his time for the Calgary Highlanders infantry unit, where he was a former honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, and at the University of Calgary and with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

Associated Graphic

The death of George Gosbee, pictured in 2013, has sent shockwaves through the Calgary business community.


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