Mark S. Bonham is a Senior Fellow of Massey College,
University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada.

mark-bonham_bio-picAfter his first financial services position at Canada Life Assurance Company of Toronto, Canada in its Investment Division (beginning in 1978), Mark Bonham obtained a Masters of Science in Economics degree, with a focus on Capital Markets Theory, at the London School of Economics (1986). Mark also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto (1982), and is a Fellow, Life Office Management Association (1982).

Mark Bonham departed Canada Life and co-founded BPI Mutual Funds (BPI) in 1986 serving as its Chairman, President and CEO. Over his ten years in this executive position, he built the company’s assets under management from nil to C$4.5 billion. In addition, he took the company public under the Junior Capital Pool Program of the Alberta Stock Exchange (the first non-oil & gas firm, and first financial firm, to utilize the program), and graduating the listing to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE).

In 1995, Mark sold his equity interest in BPI and formed Strategic Value Corp. (SVC). He built SVC, by way of a series of acquisition transactions and organic growth, over three years into another public TSE-traded industry leader with C$4.5B in assets under management. In May 2000, Mark Bonham and the major SVC institutional shareholders sold their positions to the pension fund Caisse de Depot of Montreal, Quebec.

Subsequently, Mark Bonham has managed his own investment portfolio. This has included significant investment in Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, amongst other investments.

Some of the highlights of Mark Bonham’s financial experience include:

  • Personally developing and utilizing a sophisticated securitization model that uses the annuity cash flow generated by rear-end redemption fees as securitization to obtain financing for the growth of these mutual fund firms;
  • successfully acquiring a series of competitor mutual fund firms, including:
  • The Walwyn Series of Mutual Funds (1987) – C$175 million in assets under management;
  • Bolton Tremblay Funds Management Inc. (1989) – C$425 million in assets under management;
  • MK Wong Mutual Funds (1990) – C$125 million in assets under management;
  • Laurentian Funds Management Inc. (1996) – C$800 million in assets under management;
  • O’Donnell Funds Management Inc. (2000) – C$1.2 billion in assets under management.
  • Creating and introducing Canada’s first unitized, tradeable alternative investment mutual funds for high net worth investors (BPI Canadian Opportunities Fund, BPI Global Opportunities Fund);
  • Introducing the first money market chequing account in Canada.
Mark Bonham is completing his financial book ‘A History of the Canadian Financial Industry, 1900 to Present’, a project which has been underway for the past six years. This book will present and analyze the development of the Canadian financial industry through the decades by sector, including the Chartered Banks, Mortgage Companies, Trust Companies, Insurance Companies, Stock Brokerage Firms, the Stock Exchanges, and Others, (Credit Unions, Mutual Funds, Investment Management, Commodity Exchanges, and more). An overview for each period includes the issues of government financial policy (fiscal, monetary, and legislative), international financial influences (exchange rates and trade flows), and significant events that affected the financial industry. The book will be of particular interest to academics and students interested in financial history, as well as the general public interested in Canadian history.

Mark’s most recent book is A Path to Diversity: LGBTQ Participation in the Working World (2017, University of Toronto Press).  This book investigates the current state of employment markets around the world for the LGBTQ community, and includes a survey of seventy five professions providing a status report on each, and seventy two biographies of influential LGBTQ professionals from around the world.

In 2014, Mark Bonham authored the book Champions: Biographies of Global LGBTQ Pioneers (University of Toronto Press), a book which profiles a selection of global LGBTQ individuals who were first in their professions. This book was followed by a second in the series, Notables: 100 Global LGBTQ People Who Changed the World (2015, University of Toronto Press).  The next book in the series will be Trailblazers: 100 Global LGBTQ People Who Are Changing the World (December, 2017).

SEE MORE ABOUT THESE BOOKS AND ORDER THEM HERE

In 2016, Mark became a contributing editor to Canadian Encyclopedia/Historica Canada.  The following articles have subsequently been published:

Mark Bonham has been very active in the charitable community.

Some of the highlights of Mark Bonham’s community activism and honours include:

  • Member, Leadership Board, City of Toronto Ravine Strategy (2017)
  • Co-Chairing the $10 million campaign for Toronto’s new LGBTQ Youth Homeless Centre (2016)
  • Recipient of the Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service (2016)
  • Board Member and Vice-Chair, Toronto Botanical Garden
  • Board Member and Chair, Finance Committee, We Are TheVillagers children’s charity
  • Co-Founder and Board Member, The Canadian Business History Association
  • Founder and Managing Editor, QueerBio.Com biographical website
  • Inaugural Alumni of Influence Award, University College, University of Toronto (2012)
  • Hope & Freedom Award, the Metropolitan Community Church (2012)
  • Benefactor and Advisory Board Member, The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto
  • Lead Donor and Capital Campaign Member, Casey House AIDS Hospice expansion
  • Advisory Board Member, Inside-Out LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Inaugural Benefactor, Inside-Out LGBTQ Film Festival endowment
  • Group of 175, University of Toronto (2003)
  • Ontario Sports Award – Cycling (2002, 2003)
  • Bonham Scholarship, and Bonham Chair in International Finance, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (2002)
  • Member, Administrative Council, University of Toronto (2002-2005)
  • Chair, Chancellors Awards, University of Toronto (2000-2005)
  • Co-Founder and Manager, Gears Racing Institute (competitive Canadian cycling team and athletic research)
  • Arbor Award for Volunteer Service, University of Toronto (1999)

He has endowed the Bonham Centre for Finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School including student scholarships and academic Chairs in Asset Management and International Finance.

He has been active with Casey House Foundation (an HIV-AIDS hospice in Toronto), donating funds to purchase its current home and provide an endowment to meet future operating expenses. Today, Mark Bonham is a member of the Capital Campaign Committee for Casey House, and donated an additional $1.0 million to build an expanded Casey House to meet the increased demand for HIV/AIDS treatment in Toronto. This new building is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2017.

Mark endowed the University of Toronto’s Sexual Diversity Studies (SDS) Program to establish it as a permanent centre located at University College. This program offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of multi-disciplinary studies that emphasize research and education on global issues related to sexual diversity. The SDS Centre also presents the annual Bonham Centre Awards to notable global individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the advancement of education around these issues.

Mark is active with the Inside Out Film Festival, and his Bonham Charitable Foundation gives out annual scholarships to promising students entering university or college each year.

Mark has received the Arbor Award (1999) from the University of Toronto for outstanding voluntary service and in 2003 was named to the University’s Group of 175, being the 175 most influential graduates of the University. Mr. Bonham chaired the University’s Chancellor’s Awards committee from 2000 to 2005.

He received an Ontario Sports Award in 2002 and 2003 for competitive cycling and has been recognized as a top fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Mark helped found the Gears Racing Institute, an organization committed to the training and development of Canada’s future Olympic cycling (road and mountain bike) athletes.

In 2012, University College at the University of Toronto acknowledged Mark’s achievements by saluting him as an Inaugural Alumni of Influence Award winner. That same year, Mr. Bonham received the prestigious Hope & Freedom Award from the Metropolitan Community Church.

In 2016, Mark was the recipient of the Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service, the highest honour awarded by the University of Toronto for public service.  The presentation was made by the former Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson.

As An LGBTQ activist, Mr. Bonham is a strong supporter of educational initiatives. He co-founded, and is Managing Editor of, the educational website QueerBio.Com – the definitive online biographical reference source for the international LGBTQ community. QueerBio contains a database of over 13,000 contemporary and historical figures who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, and includes artists, sports figures, politicians, entertainers, business leaders, academics, activists, and more. Mr. Bonham writes a bi-weekly commentary profiling the biographies of notable global LGBTQ individuals and professions that currently has over 5,500 subscribers.

Mr. Bonham is a member of the Board and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG). In 2015, the TBG embarked on an ambitious plan to build this cultural and horticultural attraction into a top tourist destination for the City of Toronto.  In addition, Mark has been appointed a member of the Leadership Board for the City of Toronto’s Ravine Strategy committee.

In 2015, Mark joined the Board and became Chair of the Finance Committee of the children’s charity We Are The Villagers (WATV).  The mission of WATV is to provide financial assistance to children from low income families in Northern Ontario aged 5-16 to cover the registration and equipment fees for sports, recreation, cultural, and educational extra-curricular activities.  In this way, no child is left behind in joining their peer group and participating in such vital development programs.  Under Mark’s leadership, fundraising increased three-fold in a short period of time, and the number of children active in the program increased from 245 to over 700.

Mark co-founded, and is currently a Board member and Secretary-Treasurer of,  the academic group Canadian Business History Association/l’assocation Canadienne pour l’histoire des affaires (CBHA/ACHA). This is a group of academics, businesspeople, and archivists whose mission is to raise the profile of Canadian business history in the community.

In 2016, Mark co-chaired (with Ed Clark and Martha McCain) the capital campaign for Egale Centre, a new LGBTQ homeless youth shelter in downtown Toronto.  In only 6 months, the team successfully raised over $10 million to build this urgently needed facility to provide transitional housing to LGBTQ youths facing a personal crisis in their lives.  Together with the Egale Youth Crisis Counselling Centre, this new shelter will provide transitional housing and programs in a city where 1 in 4 homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.