Weisdorf’s Bieber connection

“NEVER SAY NEVER” sang teen heart-throb Justin Bieber on the theme track for last year’s movie release, The Karate Kid. Infrastructure investment veteran Mark Weisdorf knows the truth of these words, having been surprised to find himself grouped with the likes of Bieber and Celine Dion on a list of Canada’s “new wave of the rich and powerful” earlier this year.

Canada’s CBC News, which compiled the list, noted that “Canadians haven’t generally registered that high on the list of the world’s most rich and famous, but in recent years, more of them have started making their mark”. And among those making their mark, according to CBC, is a certain Mark Weisdorf, head of the infrastructure investments group at JPMorgan Asset Management (the subject of this month’s keynote interview starting on p.22).

“Funny thing,” Weisdorf told us, reflecting on the list’s announcement.

“I had several Canadian friends and relatives call and email me on the Sunday that the program was aired – I was completely unaware of it.” It was, he says, “my 15 seconds of fame”.

It’s only fair to point out that the list contained a number of successful business people, hence Weisdorf’s inclusion was not as much of an anomaly as we might have mischievously suggested.

For example, Moya Greene, who assumed the helm of Britain’s Royal Mail last year, also found herself referenced; as did Jeff Mallett, who played an instrumental role in building Yahoo! from start-up to internet giant.

Strangely though, a colleague of Weisdorf’s seems to be as fixated as we are with the grouping mentioned in the first paragraph.

“Bieber, Dion and Weisdorf – what a great concert line-up,” pondered the colleague, when reminded of the list.

Three of Canada’s “rich and powerful” – Sample lyrics

Justin Bieber:
“I never thought that I could walk through fire, I never thought that I could take the burn, I never had the strength to take it higher, until I reached the point of no return”

Celine Dion:
“I find myself speechless, this feeling of completeness is so strong, and I was convinced that my heart had reached its limit, until you created this new place in it”

Mark Weisdorf:
“My biases and beliefs include that real return assets – led by infrastructure – play an important role in diversification, risk reduction, high risk-adjusted returns and long-term asset liability matching”