Brenda Bouw is the mining reporter for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. This article was orginally published December 18, 2010.
When Aaron Regent walks into Ki, a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of Bay Street, amid a cluster of other dark-suited businessmen during a recent lunch hour rush, his presence is immediately noted.
Within seconds, the hostess greets him as “Mr. Regent” and whisks him and his party to his usual table, a quiet corner booth located alongside a calming rock and marble water feature.
Ki is a regular lunch spot for Mr. Regent, in part because it’s located inside Brookfield Place, the same downtown Toronto office tower that is home to the head office of Barrick, where he celebrates his two-year anniversary as president and chief executive officer next month. The Irish-born executive has spent much of his career around this particular square mile of prime real estate, working either at Brookfield Asset Management (where he was, most recently, co-head of its vast infrastructure group) or within the nexus of companies affiliated with it.
So when he was offered the Barrick job by legendary founder Peter Munk, the physical move was easy – he merely had to change floors. That is where the simple part ended, however.
Barrick is a complicated beast with interests in 25 mines scattered across five continents, each with its own challenges.