Are Canada's richest 100 dead to you?

Are Canada's richest 100 dead to you?

Are Canada

Targeting Canada’s richest to expand your book is little more than a waste of time, says a leading Toronto advisor on the heels of a list naming the country`s wealthiest 100.

“The likeliness of having that kind of business is rare,” said Bill Vastis, a wealth advisor on Bay Street. “You try to go after someone like that your entire career and you may not have any luck.”

This week, Canadian Business released the list of Canada’s 100 Wealthiest People, providing advisors the ultimate "fantasy team" of clients.

Collectively those well-heeled investors are worth $230 billion, more than the GDP of countries like New Zealand, Ireland and Portugal. They're also doing better than ever, with a combined net worth that has risen 15 per cent since the 2000 list.

According to Vastis, if you don’t have a personal or professional connection with these bigwigs, you’re unlikely to attract even the poor cousins of a Thomson or Rogers family.

“When you are that wealthy, you can have your own firm,” he said. “People like that go with people they know, so if you don’t know the person or their network, it’s a slim change and you’re probably wasting your time.”

Vastis does, however, acknowledge the temptation to pursue clients with a hefty pocketbook, not just for the recognition but the potential growth of your client base.

“Anyone would love to have a client anywhere near the top 100 (wealthiest), especially if your firm is well-suited to manage clients of that nature,” he said. “When they (clients) are high net worth, there is more potential for a great network and better quality business.”

Vastis does, however, identify a potential pitfall. “It’s a lot of work too,” he warns. “Nothing is for free.”

If you’re up for the challenge, here’s the top 25 richest Canadians for your perusing pleasure.

1) The Thomson Family, Toronto - $26.1 billion
2) Galen Weston, Toronto - $10.4 billion
3) The Irving Family, Saint John - $7.85 billion
4) The Rogers Family, Toronto - $7.6 billion
5) James Pattison, Vancouver - $7.39 billion
6) Saputo Famiy, Montreal - $5.24 billion
7) Estate of Paul Desmarais, Sr., Montreal - $4.93 billion
8) Jeffrey S. Skoll, Palo Alot, Calif. - $4.92 billion
9) Richardson Family, Winnipeg - $4.45 billion
10) Carlo Fidani, Toronto - $4.08 billion
11) Dennis "Chip" Wilson, Vancouver - value not disclosed as the Lululemon founder sells shares
12) David Azrieli, Montreal - $3.54 billion
13) Fred and Ron Mannix, Calgary - $3.46 billion
14) Harrison McCain Family (excluding Wallace), Florenceville, N.B. - $3.45 billion
15) Bernard Sherman, Toronto - $3.27 billion
16) Clay Riddell, Calgary - $3.26 billion
17) Daryl Katz, Edmonton - $3.15 billion
18) Estate of Wallace McCain, Toronto - $3.12 billion
19) Frank Stronach, Oberwaltersdorf, Austra - $3.12 billion
20) Sobey Family, New Glasgow, N.S. - $2.95 billion
21) Zekelman Famiy, Windsor and Bloomfield Hills, MI - $2.91 billion
22) Bombardier Family, Montreal - $2.8 billion
23) Lalji Family, Vancouver - $2.56 billion
24) (Norman) Murray Edwards, Calgary - $2.5 billion
25) Charles Bronfman, New York and Palm Beach - $2.46 billion