Timothy Dattels, who is chairing the special committee looking into strategic alternatives at BlackBerry, is the son of a former local investment guru.
His father Dave Dattels was the Warren Buffet of his day in the Twin Cities. He carried on business under the names Dattels and Co. and the national firm Davidson Partners, a reliable source tells me.
When Dave Dattels retired in 1983, Record columnist Henry Koch called him "the dean of the K-W investment community."
Dattels made his mark selling first-mortgage bonds, utility and major corporation securities after the Second World War, Koch wrote. Corporations and municipalities were broke at the time and the securities were selling for half price.
Dattels sold the investment vehicles all across Ontario and was earning up to $1,500 a week, an enormous sum in those days.
He opened his own office in downtown Kitchener, eventually moving to the Canada Trust building at the corner of King and Water streets.
Dattels was the first to sell Japanese stocks in Canada, the first to launch a course in investing in Canada and the first to warn about the dangers of holding long-term debt securities and bonds, Koch says.
When he retired, he lived on an estate in Caledon Hills and drove a Rolls Royce. He died in the early 1990s.
Koch was clearly enamoured of Dattels and wrote three columns on him between 1976 and 1983. One chronicled his observations after a trip to China in 1980.
His investment acumen must have robbed off on his son.
Tim was born and grew up in Waterloo. Now 54, he earned his BA at the University of Western Ontario and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Tim went on to achieve international success at Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, becoming head of investment banking for all Asian countries other than Japan.
Currently he is a senior partner at TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity firms in the U.S.
Now based in San Francisco, he joined BlackBerry’s board in July of 2012. His outside interests include serving as a trustee for the San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Jazz.
The special committee he chairs is exploring possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships and the sale of the Waterloo-based smartphone-maker company as it struggles to stay afloat in the mobile computing market.