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Canadian businessman Joseph Rotman dies at 80

Joseph Rotman, the Canadian businessman and philanthropist who founded private equity firm Clairvest Group, has died in Toronto at the age of 80.

Joseph Rotman, the Canadian businessman and philanthropist who founded private equity firm Clairvest Group, has died in Toronto at the age of 80. 

Rotman founded Clairvest in 1987, which has grown to manage more than C$1.5 billion (€1.05 billion) of equity capital. His son, Kenneth, is now co-chief executive, alongside Jeff Parr. 

The octogenarian also established several oil and gas companies, including Tarragon Oil and Gas Limited. He remained chair of Roy-L Capital Corporation, his family office, until his death on Tuesday.

Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper summed Rotman up in the following statement: "Joe was a remarkable Canadian who leaves an impressive legacy in the fields of life sciences, arts and business, including the students who will graduate from the schools that bear his name.”

Rotman was well known for his affiliation with the business school of his alma mater, the University of Toronto, to which he donated more than $42 million. 

Tiff Macklem, dean of the Rotman School of Management, added: “[Joseph] was a visionary who inspired confidence in a generation of Canadians to see themselves not just as business people and entrepreneurs, but as global leaders."

Rotman was a huge supporter of the arts and together with his wife, Sandra Frieberg, donated more than $90 million to various causes over several decades.

Rotman also helped fund the Rotman Research Institute at the University of Toronto's Baycrest Health Sciences Centre and, in 2010, was appointed chair of the Ontario Brain Institute.

The businessman was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and later inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Details of Rotman’s death were not disclosed. However, it is known that the octogenarian underwent heart surgery in early January and recently returned to hospital following complications.

Rotman is survived by his wife and two children, Janis and Kenneth. 

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