DeGroote School of Business

Michael Lee-Chin

The Michael Lee-Chin & Family Institute for Strategic Business Studies was made possible through the vision and generosity of Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman of Portland Holdings Inc.

Michael Lee-Chin is a graduate of McMaster University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He entered the financial services industry in 1977 as a financial advisor. In 1987 he acquired AIC Limited, and over the years, has taken the organization from $1 million to approximately $8 billion in assets under management in 2007. Upon acquiring AIC, Michael assumed the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Michael has distinct beliefs regarding wealth creation, role modelship, and his firm’s investment strategy. AIC’s goal is to create long-term wealth for investors. To achieve that objective, Michael looked for role models — those business people who created wealth in society by owning one or two businesses. For this reason, Michael established AIC’s investment philosophy of buying a few excellent businesses in long-term growth sectors and holding these businesses for the long term in order to help AIC investors prosper by preserving and growing their capital and minimizing taxes. He sums up this philosophy with the words: Buy. Hold. And Prosper.™

As a result of his investment philosophy, AIC was at one point the largest privately held mutual fund company in Canada. Michael was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997. In 2002, he earned the Harry Jerome Award for a decade of achievement. Michael has been profiled in Forbes, Fortune, Canadian Business, Black Enterprise, National Post and Time magazines.

Under his stewardship in 2002, AIC purchased 75% of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Jamaica’s only indigenous bank. Today NCB is Jamaica’s largest bank with 52 branches and offices in Cayman and the U.K. In November 2003, Michael received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from McMaster University in recognition of his business success and philanthropic initiatives, and in July 2004 was honoured by Time magazine as one of Canada’s Heroes and one of the country’s most intriguing and inspiring citizens. In June 2006, he received an honorary Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto.