Ian Soutar R.I.P. 1936 – 2016

Written by  //  March 24, 2016  //  Absent Friends  //  No comments

ian-soutar-one-of-the-co-founders-of-local-investment-firmPembroke co-founder Ian Soutar dies
Ian Soutar, a pillar of the Montreal investing community and active contributor to many Quebec charities and community organizations, has died, age 79.
He had been battling multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer, for eight years, yet remained a regular presence at Pembroke Management Ltd. until two weeks before his death.
“He found strength among his work colleagues,” daughter Annabel said. “He lived for his work and his family. We never imagined or envisioned him ever retiring.”
A McGill graduate in engineering who subsequently obtained a fellowship to study at the London School of Economics, Soutar was co-founder of Pembroke Management in 1968 with Neil Ivory, Clifford Larock and Scott Taylor.
The Montreal-based firm today has clients in Canada, the U.S. and Europe and manages about $3 billion in assets for institutional and private investors and owners of its mutual funds.
Ian Aitken, who succeeded Soutar as president and chief executive officer in 2000 after being hired by him for a summer job in 1982, called him “an incredibly good person to work with and for, which is why there is such low turnover in the firm. He was a natural optimist, a very fair person, always interested in the world around him, and a believer in backing great people.”
In addition to being an avid skier, fisherman and golfer, Soutar was a major philanthropist, active in the fundraising and organizational structures of many local charities, foundations and schools, including the Mackay Centre, Westmount’s The Study, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Montreal Association for the Blind and Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, said Soutar “generously shared his business acumen and financial expertise with his alma mater,” as a member of its board of governors and investment committee and also through his support for its students and programs.
The career centre of its Desautels faculty of management was named the Soutar Career Centre in honour of his family in 2012, and in 2015 he received the McGill Alumni Association award of merit for “his record of exceptional leadership and service to the university.”
“All of us who had the pleasure to know Ian will remember him as a kind, gracious, modest and unfailingly supportive friend and colleague. Although he will be greatly missed by the McGill community, his outstanding legacy will endure,” Fortier said.
A native of Asbestos, Soutar started his investing career with stints at Sun Life, Power Corp. and Standard Life before co-founding Pembroke.
“I tell our clients this is not the time to be giving up on equities. It always looks bleakest at the bottom,” he told The Gazette in an interview after the tech meltdown at the turn of the century. And sure enough, markets rebounded.
Soutar is survived by his wife of 52 years, Helgi, and their three children, Adam, Annabel and James, and their families.

McGill Governor Emeritus Ian A. Soutar passes away
[The following is a message from Principal Suzanne Fortier]
Dear members of the McGill community,
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Ian A. Soutar, McGill Governor Emeritus and longtime friend and supporter of the University. He was 79 years old.
On behalf of the McGill community, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Helgi, and their three children, Adam, Annabel and James, and their families.
… He generously shared his business acumen and financial expertise with his alma mater, as a member-at-large of the Board of Governors from 1999 to 2003, as Governor Emeritus since 2005 and as a key member of the Investment Committee, most notably in guiding the University through the economic challenges of 2008 and in taking steps to ensure McGill remained on a solid financial footing.
Ian also played an instrumental role as a member of the Steering Committee of Campaign McGill: History in the Making.
Ian was a true champion of the University through his support for its students and programs, particularly through his involvement with the Faculty of Engineering and the Desautels Faculty of Management. In honour of his wife, Helgi (also a McGill graduate), Ian established the Helgi Soutar MBA Fellowship at the Desautels Faculty of Management. He also established the Soutar Fund for Career Enhancement and Professional Development at McGill in the faculties of Engineering and Management. In 2012, the Career Centre at Desautels was named the Soutar Career Centre in honour of his family. His record of exceptional leadership and service to the University was recognized in 2015 with the McGill Alumni Association Award of Merit, given annually to a graduate who has enhanced the reputation and prestige of McGill.
All of us who had the pleasure to know Ian will remember him as a kind, gracious, modest and unfailingly supportive friend and colleague. Although he will be greatly missed by the McGill community, his outstanding legacy will endure. (McGill Reporter)

Obituary

SOUTAR, Ian Alexander
1936 – 2016
Passed away peacefully at the MUHC Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal on Monday, March 21 at the age of 79 after a multi-year battle against multiple myeloma. Dearly beloved husband of Helgi Soutar (née Ulk) and cherished brother of David Keith Soutar. Loving father of James Soutar (Abby Lai), Adam Soutar (John David Rigsby), and Annabel Soutar (Alex Ivanovici). Dear grandfather of Alistair, Augustine, Ella and Beatrice. Predeceased by his father William Henderson Soutar and Mabel Soutar (née Catton). Ian also leaves behind his professional family at Pembroke Management and GBC Asset Management.
Ian was born on May 10, 1936 in Asbestos, Quebec and attended Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville and McGill University (Class of ’58, Mining Engineering). In 1958 he was awarded an Athlone Fellowship to study at the London School of Economics for one year.
Ian started his career in the investment business at the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Power Corporation and the Standard Life. In 1968 he co-founded Pembroke Management and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 1988 to 2000. Under his leadership, Pembroke founded GBC Asset Management in 1988. Ian continued working at Pembroke as Chairman Emeritus and Partner right up until 2 weeks before his passing.
Ian earned his CFA in 1963. In his long career in the investment business he became known as one of Canada’s top money managers. In 2013 he was given the Morningstar Career Achievement Award for investment management.
Along with his wife Helgi, Ian was a generous philanthropist. He made major gifts to the MUHC Capital Campaign, and to McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and its Engineering Faculty. Other beneficiaries of Ian’s generosity include The Study School, The Montreal Association for the Blind-Mackay Foundation and The John Dobson Foundation. Ian served on the Board of Governors at McGill University and in 2012 was presented with the McGill University Alumni Association’s top honour – the Distinguished Service Award.
Ian also made important contributions to the community of Brome Lake where he spent his childhood summers. His many years of service to the Brome Lake Boating Club and the Knowlton Golf Club, as well as his involvement with the Brome Lake Land Foundation and the Brome Lake Conservation Association, reflected his deep commitment to local community, sports and environmental protection.
Ian was a passionate golfer and a long-time member of the Mt. Bruno and Knowlton Golf Clubs and of the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida. He was a risk-taker on the ski slopes and a keen fisherman.
Ian’s favourite place to be was with his family at his beloved cottage on Brome Lake. Friends will fondly remember him relaxing in a deck chair on Friday evenings at sunset, a glass of wine in his hand after a hard week’s work. It was at the lake that Ian demonstrated his true love and understanding of the great Canadian outdoors, regularly confounding family and friends with his fearless determination that included being the first one out skating on winter’s early ice, and the first one to put in the dock each spring.
Ian was described by all who knew him as a fun-loving man of great integrity who remained humble despite his long list of professional and philanthropic achievements. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chantal Séguin of the MUHC Hematology Department and the compassionate medical staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital Departments of Hematology and Oncology and in the Intensive Care Unit.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 29 at 2 p.m. at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, 3415 Redpath, corner Sherbrooke Street West.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to: The MUHC Montreal General Hospital Foundation 1650, Cedar Avenue, E6-129, Montreal Quebec H3G 1A4 or online at www.mghfoundation.com. A tribute fund has been opened in the name of Ian A. Soutar. Condolences may be sent to www.kanefetterly.qc.ca – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montrealgazette/obituary.aspx?n=ian-alexander-soutar&pid=178735806#sthash.gElz3r6X.dpuf

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