Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.
The Northern Miner’s Man of the Year in 2002, Rob McEwen of Goldcorp (G-T), has probably squeezed more shareholder value out of a small number of assets than anyone else in the gold business.
McEwen, as chairman and chief executive officer of the mid-tier gold producer, has built one of the strongest contenders in that field with an aggressive attitude coupled with an uncommon gift for timing. As a company, Goldcorp has used the resurgence of the gold market as a springboard to top-level status among comparable-sized North American gold producers.
McEwen’s association with the mining industry, and more particularly its financial-markets side, runs deep. His father, Donald, was a financial analyst and investment manager who started his own firm, McEwen Securities, in 1967, after a long association with Equitable Securities and before that, Crown Life. One of the firm’s first in-house offerings was Goldfund, an investment fund that held gold, gold equities, and gold-backed securities. The fund did much to make gold investment available to the individual investor.
The younger McEwen took over leadership of the companies his father had founded, with the keystone company, CSA Management, as the principal holder of control blocks in other companies, including the nascent Goldcorp Investments. Interestingly, today’s firm non-hedger put Goldcorp into the gold-lending business in 1987, at the peak of the flow-through era when gold mines were going into production at a fast pace.