A Reflection on 41 Years of Entrepreneurship

It was 41 years ago on April 11, 1980, that I walked across the threshold of my very first office.

At 22, I rented a second-floor walk-up space above Enchin Leather at 466 Bathurst Street in Toronto for $125 a month.

As a photographer and aspiring entrepreneur in 1980, I was equipped with all the gear required for success: camera equipment, a Selectric typewriter, a mobile phone the size of a football, a set of boardroom chairs purchased for $19 from Consumers Distributing, and a silver Pontiac Grand Prix with a navy-blue landau roof and navy velour interior – complete with a CB radio and a massive eight-track stereo system.

A true testament to my early sales ability is that I convinced my late parents, Renee and Irwin Nadal, to be my first employees. It’s what I refer to as a reverse family enterprise.

I then convinced Maria Pappas to work with me as my very first assistant. We have been a strong team for over 36 years , and I am grateful every day for her unwavering support and her oversight of the Dare to Dream Garage.

I am also grateful for decades-long relationships with other amazing Peerage partners, notably Trevor, Gavin, Walter, Layne, and Steve Pustil.

Time and time again their loyalty , commitment to the mission, and wise counsel has guided us forward through all of the trials and tribulations of your typical rags to prosperity story .

Our journey certainly has not been for the faint of heart , but we have gone on to incremental levels of success in each and every decade.

While a lot has changed in 41 years, the vision , culture, and values that drove me forward then remain at the heart of Peerage Capital today.

If anything, my belief in the power of partnership and the importance of harnessing all the extraordinary talent around you, is even stronger.

Identifying and nurturing the entrepreneurial talent of those who share the fundamental values of integrity, accountability, and kindness has steadily driven our corporate growth.

We remain steadfast in our belief that great talent, wonderful leadership, a strong vision, and a sound balance sheet can accomplish unlimited milestones of success .

We attract like-minded people and the trust that comes from that alignment makes it easier to move forward together.

As we identified almost 25 years ago, the power of the perpetual partnership continues to resonate in the marketplace more than ever before.

The collective ability to find remarkable value in consolidating  and building in fragmented businesses sectors is another constant.

Using that model, Peerage has grown into a leading North American enterprise with assets over $10 billion, sales over $20 billion, and 3,500 employees across all our lines of business.

We are a North American leader in the residential real estate re-sale business and in the pre-construction condo market. Currently, we are aggressively expanding our reach across the U.S.

Our self-storage partnership, Vaultra, is expanding aggressively with both newly developed and constructed facilities as well as the retrofit of existing ones. We have over 2,000,000 ft.² of self-storage under management, ownership, and development. We have very bold ambitions to expand this platform dramatically over the next decade.

On the wealth management and capital markets side, Echelon has firmly established itself as an independent powerhouse, focused on financing and advising the growth of small- and medium-sized Canadian enterprises.

With over $8 billion of assets under management, they are a significant force in the Canadian financial landscape.

Through our other wealth management businesses, Vestcap and New York-based ARS, we are a leading high net worth asset management firm

Yet another constant is that over 41 years, I have remained committed to the belief that “to whom much has been given, much is expected .”

Offering support to our communities is a core value for Peerage and our partners, whether we are rolling up our sleeves on a local level or helping to fund the broader infrastructure that allows others to thrive.

While Canada is the primary focus of our efforts, initiatives in the United States and Israel will always be near and dear to my heart.

I have never been more excited by the opportunities ahead, nor more inspired by the Peerage team and its partners.

After more than four decades, there is nothing quite like finding a new partner, putting a deal together, and accelerating the success of all involved.

Although we have accomplished much to date, my dreams exceed my memories. I believe our best years are well ahead of us.

Thanks to all of our partners , colleagues, and employees for their hard work, intelligence, dedication, and efforts to further our accomplishments .

The technology has gotten smaller since I began, but the dream has never been bigger.

Dare to Dream.